1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kalamata

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KALAMATA (officially Καλάμαι, from an ancient town near the site), chief town of the modern Greek nomarchy of Messenia in the Morea, situated on the left bank of the Nedon, about 1 m. from the sea. Pop. (1907), 13,123. There is a suburb on the right bank of the stream. On a hill behind the town are the ruins of a medieval castle, but no ancient Greek remains have been discovered, although some travellers have identified the site with that of the classical Pharae or Pherae. It is the seat of a court of justice and of an archbishop. During the middle ages it was for a time a fief of the Villehardouins. In 1685 Kalamata was captured by the Venetians; in 1770, and again in 1821, it was the revolutionary headquarters in the Morea. In 1825 it was sacked by Ibrahim Pasha. Kalamata is situated in a very fruitful district, of which it is the emporium. The harbour, though recently improved, offers little shelter to shipping. Vessels load and discharge by means of lighters, the outer harbour having a depth at entrance of 24 ft. and inside of 14 ft. The inner harbour has a depth of 15 ft. and is sheltered by a breakwater 1640 ft. in length; in the winter months the fishing craft take shelter in the haven of Armyro. The silk industry, formerly important, still employs about 300 women and girls in four spinning establishments. Olive oil and silk are the chief exports.