The Peloponnese is a rugged and mountainous peninsula in the south of Greece with an an area of 21549 sq. km. Along its coasts the climate is Mediterranean while it is continental in the interior. The Peloponnese has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The first major civilisation was the Mycenaean one centered around Mycenae in the northeast of the peninsula. During the classical period a number of powerful city states were located in the Peloponnese. After that the Peloponnese was ruled by the Romans, the Byzantines and the Ottoman Turks. In the 19th century the Greek of the Peloponnese rebelled against the Turks and gained independence in 1832.
In the Peloponnese are a number of significant historical sites: the archeological site of Olympia, the temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae, the ancient Byzantine city of Mystras, the ancient city of Messini, the Mycenaean sites of Mycenae and Tyrins and the sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus and the archeological site of Corinth. Nafplio in the east of the Peloponnese was the first capital of modern Greece.