The small luxury hotel
Tower of Mystras stands proudly under the ragged shadow of Mount Taygetos, Greece's "male mountain" as called by novelist Stratis Myriviles, and in the heart of the famous Byzantine fortress state of Mystras, often referred to as the "Greek Pompeii".
The imposing mansion was built in 1850. As the center of the community of modern Mystras it has hosted several eminent figures of the country's modern history, including the great politician Eleftherios Venizelos and the acclaimed iconographer and novelist Fotis Kontoglou..
The current owners, Haris Chomenides and Maria Veneti, have transformed the mansion into an aristocratic small luxury hotel, taking every care to maintain and highlight its great beauty and peaceful charm, while totally respecting the natural surroundings and the area's history.
The small luxury hotel consists of two suites, two double rooms and three triple-bed rooms, in which words such as harmony, art, quality, style, peace, daydreaming, symmetry, indulgence and nobility acquire a new meaning.
A JOURNEY IN HISTORY
First stop: 1850-1914
Second stop. 1914-2003
Third stop. Nowadays
First stop: 1850-1914. Two Greeks from Constantinople, modern day Istanbul, find the call of their origins hard to resist. Feeling a deep affinity with the last stronghold of Byzantine Hellenism, and lured by its incomparable beauty, they arrive at Mystras. The two Greeks from Constantinople are practical doctors, trained by Sparti's famous doctor, Panagiotis Giatrakos. They decide to build their home and surgery at the foot of Mount Taygetos, opposite the ruins of the Byzantine fortress state.
The horizontal plaque above the old main entrance to their house on the first floor still bears the inscription of its foundation date, as well as the name of the mansion's chief builder. Patients and travelers alike find refuge in the mansion, as the two doctors affectionately take care of all those who seek help.
Second stop. 1914-2003. Leonidas Manousakis, graduate of the Medical School of the University of Athens, returns to his birthplace and buys the mansion that belonged to the two practical doctors from Constantinople, for the sake of his red- haired sweetheart Pipina. The mansion becomes the couple's nest for their love and developing family. Due to their generosity, it quickly turns into the center of the community of modern Mystras. The couple have five children, Anna, Katina, Zoe (or Zizika), Evangelia and Nikolaos, who also studied to become a doctor. The mansion's first floor houses Leonidas Manousakis' surgery until 1989, the year of his death. It is there that the doctor prepares the medicines himself and sees his patients or indeed whoever else seeks his help. Manousakis' Tower exudes love and giving; the doctor is famous for his kindness and philanthropy, especially towards the poor and the destitute, whom he not only refuses to charge for his medical services but also helps financially. The mansion is a refuge to anyone in need, while in his capacity as leader of the local community, Manousakis offers his warm hospitality to several distinguished figures of Greek modern history.
In the mansion, Eleftherios Venizelos, the leading political figure of modern Greece, enjoys Pipina Manousakis' speciality, baby walnuts in syrup. The eminent iconographer and novelist Fotis Kontoglou, who stayed in the area for four years, working on the restoration of the murals of the Church of Perivlepton in the fortress state, spends his nights talking with Leonidas Manousakis.