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Kalamata is the second-largest city of the Peloponnese in southern Greece. The capital and chief port of the Messenia prefecture, it lies along the Nedon River at the head of the Messenian Gulf. Located near the ancient city of Pharai, it lies 238 km SW of Athens, about 60 km SE of Kyparissia and, about 120 km SSE of Pyrgos, about 80 km SW of Tripoli, about 60 km W of Sparta, NW of Areopoli and about 8 km E of Messene, it is also 215 km south of Patras and 715 km south of Thessaloniki. The 2001 census recorded 57,620 inhabitants.
Kalamata is renowned as the land of the Kalamatianos dance and the silk kerchief; of succulent dark olives, honey-eyed figs and the honey-covered sesame sweet called pasteli. Furthermore, the city has an international airport and an important harbour. Ferries are available to places such as the Greek islands of Kythira, and Crete.
The Messenian Gulf where Kalamata is located has various long beaches. The Taygetus mountain range is located about 4 km E of Kalamata.
Olives and olive oil are important and famous products that are exported from Kalamata.
Kalamata has schools, lyceums, gymnasia, banks, a post office, and squares (plateia). The newly established University of Peloponnese has a campus in Kalamata, where the history, literature, religion and philosophy departments are located. The Kalamata campus of the university also provides free Greek lessons to expatriate Greeks.