Garden of the Heroes

Central Greece

Just inside the Gate of Exodus, where Ottoman forces massacred escaping Greeks in 1826, this memorial garden contains a prominent statue of Lord Byron (look for the inscription BYPONA). After Byron died, his embalmed body was returned to England for burial in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, but his lungs lie beneath the statue.

The Garden of the Heroes was established by Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Greek head of state following independence. Translated, his decree, engraved here on a marble slab, reads: '…within these walls of the city of Messolongi lie the bones of those brave men, who fell bravely while defending the city…it is our duty to gather together, with reverence, the holy remains of these men and to lay them to rest in a memorial where our country may, each year, repay its debt of gratitude'.