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Pylos is a large bay and a town on the west coast of the Peloponnese, in the district of Messenia in southern Greece. Old Pylos and New Pylos are distinct settlements and castles, several kilometers apart. Old Pylos (Navarino Vecchio) is located on the northwest of the bay, while New Pylos is located in the southeast.

The bay of Pylos was the site of two naval battles: the Battle of Pylos, in 425 BC during the Peloponnesian War and the Battle of Navarino, in 1827 during the Greek War of Independence.

It is formed by a deep indenture in the Morea, shut in by a long island, anciently called Sphacteria or Sphagia (modern name Sfaktiria), famous for the defeat and capture of the Spartans, in the Battle of Pylos during the Peloponnesian War, and still showing the ruins of walls which perhaps formed their last refuge.

This island has been divided into three or four separate sections by the violence of the waves, and boats could pass from the open sea into the port, in calm weather, using the channels so formed. One such section contains the tomb of a Turkish saint, or santon, called the Delikli Baba. This same section also contains a monument to the French sailors who died at the Battle of Navarino; the monument to the Russian dead of the same battle is on the island of Sphacteria, while the monument to the English dead is on another very small island near the centre of the port.

Monuments and tombs from the Greek War of Independence are on the island of Sphacteria, the most important being the monument to the Italian philhellene Santorre di Santa Rosa.

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