Messene (Greek: Μεσσήνη Messini), officially Ancient Messene, is a local community within the regional unit (perifereiaki enotita) of Messenia in the region (perifereia) of Peloponnese.
It is best known for the ruins of the large classical city-state of Ancient Messene. The site was founded in the Bronze Age as Ithome, an ancient city originally of Achaean Greeks which eventually came under the hegemony of the military state of Sparta with which it had a long struggle. During the latter period many inhabitants went into exile, and eventually it was destroyed by the Spartans and abandoned for some time.
After the defeat of the Spartans at the Battle of Leuctra (371 BC), the Thebans invaded the Peloponnese and Epaminondas built the new city of Messene on the site in 369 BC over the ruins of Ithome and invited the return of the previous inhabitants and their descendants.
The substantial ruins are a major historical attraction. Much has been archaeologically excavated and partly restored or preserved for study and public viewing, as well as for various events.
The site was never totally abandoned. The small village of Mavromati occupies what was the upper city around the fountain called klepsydra.
The Castle of Methoni is a medieval fortification in the port town of Methoni, Messenia, in southwestern Greece. The castle of Methoni occupies the whole area of the cape and the southwestern coast to the small islet that has also been fortified with an octagonal tower and is protected by the sea on its three sides. Its north part, the one that looks to land, is covered by a heavily fortified acropolis. A deep moat separates the castle from the land and communication was achieved by a wooden bridge. The Venetians built on the ancient battlements and added on and repaired it during both periods that they occupied the castle.