In about the mid 13th century mail-coated Frankish knights built watch-towers from which they could defend fertile Lacedaemon and control the unruly mountain dwellers of Taygetos. They were unable to retain their hold on 'Beautiful Mystra' for long.
With an array of churches and monasteries visiting Mystra is like going back in time. Even though many of the churches are ruined there are still some with early characteristics of painted fresco-works from the 13th -14th centuries.
Some of the most important works of the 14th century will be found at the Aphendiko and every type of Byzantine churche can be found at Mystra as well as specific examples of decorative architecture pertaining to palaces, mansions and ordinary houses.