The history of Greece, the history of Messinia can hardly be traced to its origins that date back to the beginning of time; millions of volumes won’t be enough to write it down. Let us mention some historical sites and events relating to Pylia, the current municipality Pylos-Nestor: The Palace of Nestor built in the 13th century BC by King Nestor, who is mentioned many times in Homer’ Epics, is located in the area of Ancient Pylos.
A few kilometers away from the Palace of Nestor, closer to the sea, is the strategically located Acropolis of Pylos. It stood on the Koryfasio peninsula, at the north end of the Navarino Bay opposite the north end of the historic Sfaktiria island, where the Frankish fortress Old Navarino Castle, which used to control the southern part of the Koryfasio peninsula and its adjacent Sfaktiria island, stands today. The port of Ancient Pylos and part of the city was also located in this area. A narrow strait (currently navigable only by small boats), the Sykia Pass, which is the natural northern entrance to the Bay of Navarino/Pylos, separates the peninsula from Sfaktiria.
The cape, naturally fortified by the steep and rocky relief of the hill and surrounded almost entirely by the sea, is washed to the west and the south by the Aegean Sea, to the north by the Voidokilia Bay and to the east by the Osman-Aga or Divari lagoon. From this strategic location, in Classical times, the Acropolis of Pylos used to oversee the marine area from Proti island to the Messenian Oinousses (Sapienza, Schiza – now a firing range of the Hellenic Air Force, Agia Mariani of Messinia or Amariani, and Venetiko of Messinia), controlling also the northern entrance to the Navarino Bay and the area where the Gialova port is located today.
Finally, we should mention the Battle of Navarino – one of the greatest events in modern Greek history. In this bay, which we love and in which we operate, performing infinite journeys, on 20 October 1827 during the Greek War of Independence from the Turkish-Ottoman rule (1821-1832), the Turkish-Egyptian fleet was destroyed and sunken by an Allied force of British, French and Russian warships. Within 4 hours, 60 of the 89 Turkish-Egyptian ships were sunken resulting in the death of 6,000 Turkish-Egyptian sailors.
The Allied fleet, on the other hand, did not lose a single ship and had relatively few casualties. Older residents of Pylos claim that at the right sunlight, when the sea is calm, someone sailing the Navarino Bay near the Sfaktiria island, who would stare from their boat down to the seabed, could see the masts of sunken Turkish-Egyptian ships!!!