The Peloponnese or Peloponnisos is a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece. It is connected to the central part of the country by the Isthmus of Corinth land bridge which separates the Gulf of Corinth from the Saronic Gulf. During the late Middle Ages and the Ottoman era, the peninsula was known as the Morea, a name still in colloquial use in its demotic form; the peninsula is divided among three administrative regions: most belongs to the Peloponnese region, with smaller parts belonging to the West Greece and Attica regions. The Peloponnese is a peninsula that covers an area of some 21,549.6 square kilometres and constitutes the southernmost part of mainland Greece. It is connected to the mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth, where the Corinth Canal was constructed in 1893. However, it is connected to the mainland by several bridges across the canal, including two submersible bridges at the north and the south end. Near the northern tip of the peninsula, there is the Rio -- Antirrio bridge.

Indeed, the Peloponnese is if referred to as an island. The peninsula has a mountainous interior and indented coasts; the Peloponnese possesses four south-pointing peninsulas, the Messenian, the Mani, the Cape Malea, the Argolid in the far northeast of the Peloponnese. Mount Taygetus in the south is the highest mountain in the Peloponnese, at 2,407 metres. Οther important mountains include Cyllene in the northeast, Aroania in the north and Panachaikon in the northwest, Mainalon in the center, Parnon in the southeast. The entire peninsula has been the site of many earthquakes in the past; the longest river is the Alfeios in the west, followed by the Evrotas in the south, the Pineios in the west. Extensive lowlands are found only in the west, with the exception of the Evrotas valley in the south and in the Argolid in the northeast; the Peloponnese is home to numerous spectacular beaches. Two groups of islands lie off the Peloponnesian coast: the Argo-Saronic Islands to the east, the Ionian to the west.

The island of Kythira, off the Epidaurus Limera peninsula to the south of the Peloponnese, is considered to be part of the Ionian Islands. The island of Elafonisos used to be part of the peninsula but was separated following the major quake of 365 AD. Since antiquity, continuing to the present day, the Peloponnese has been divided into seven major regions: Achaea, Argolis, Laconia and Elis; each of these regions is headed by a city. The largest city is Patras in Achaia, followed by Kalamata in Messenia; the peninsula has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Its modern name derives from ancient Greek mythology the legend of the hero Pelops, said to have conquered the entire region; the name Peloponnisos means "Island of Pelops". The Mycenaean civilization, mainland Greece's first major civilization, dominated the Peloponnese in the Bronze Age from its stronghold at Mycenae in the north-east of the peninsula; the Mycenaean civilization collapsed at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Archeological research has found that many of its palaces show signs of destruction.

The subsequent period, known as the Greek Dark Ages, is marked by an absence of written records. In 776 BC, the first Olympic Games were held at Olympia, in the western Peloponnese and this date is sometimes used to denote the beginning of the classical period of Greek antiquity. During classical antiquity, the Peloponnese was at the heart of the affairs of ancient Greece, possessed some of its most powerful city-states, was the location of some of its bloodiest battles; the major cities of Sparta, Corinth and Megalopolis were all located on the Peloponnese, it was the homeland of the Peloponnesian League. Soldiers from the peninsula fought in the Persian Wars, it was the scene of the Peloponnesian War of 431–404 BC; the entire Peloponnese with the notable exception of Sparta joined Alexander's expedition against the Persian Empire. Along with the rest of Greece, the Peloponnese fell to the expanding Roman Republic in 146 BC, when the Romans razed the city of Corinth and massacred its inhabitants.

The Romans created the province of Achaea comprising central Greece. During the Roman period, the peninsula remained prosperous but became a provincial backwater cut off from the affairs of the wider Roman world. After the partition of the Empire in 395, the Peloponnese became a part of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire; the devastation of Alaric's raid in 396–397 led to the construction of the Hexamilion wall across the Isthmus of Corinth. Through most of late antiquity, the peninsula retained its urbanized character: in the 6th century, Hierocles counted 26 cities in his Synecdemus. By the latter part of that century, building activity seems to have stopped everywhere except Constantinople, Thessalonica and Athens; this has traditionally been attributed to calamities such as plague and Slavic invasions. However, more recent analysis suggests that urban decline was linked with the collapse of long-distance and regional commercial networks that underpinned and supported late antique urbanism in Greece, as well as with the generalized withdrawal of imperial troop

Western Spanish ibex

The Western Spanish ibex or Gredos ibex is a vulnerable subspecies of goat indigenous to Spain. It is indigenous to the central Spanish mountains Sierra de Gredos, it was re-introduced to other sites in Spain and to northern Portugal. Remnant populations survive in the Picos de Europa and other parts of the Cantabrian Mountains along with some reintroductions; the largest population there is in the mountains north of Riaño. It is found in southern Galicia near the border with Portugal. In northern Portugal 100 or so survive in the Peneda-Gerês National Park which adjoins the larger population in southern Galicia; the Gredos Ibex has been reintroduced to several areas for hunting purposes

Julio Larraz

Julio César Ernesto Fernandez Larraz is a Cuban painter, sculptor and caricaturist. Julio Larraz was born in Havana, Cuba on March 12, 1944. In 1961, he and his family left Cuba for Miami, Florida moving to Washington, D. C. and to New York City. Julio Larraz's first solo exhibitions was in 1971 at the Pyramid Gallery in Wahshington D. C, he has since shown is work at Hirschl and Adler Galleries, New York, Nohra Haime Gallery, New York, Ron Hall Gallery, Texas. Marlborough Gallery, New York, Ascaso Gallery and The Miles McEnery Gallery in New York. In 1976 Larraz's work was chosen for Exhibition of Works by Candidates for Art Awards at the American Academy of Art and Letters/National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York. In 1985 Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain was seen at the Grand Palais, France represented by Gallery Il Gabbiano, Rome Italy. In 1975 Larraz won the Cintas Foundation Fellowship from the Institute of International Education, New York. In 1977 he was awarded the Acquisition Prize.

Childe Hassam Fund Purchase Exhibition from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Institute of Arts & Letters, New York. Larraz's work is in several collections, including the American Express Bank, France. New York. New York. C. Boca Raton Museum of Art Jose Veigas-Zamora, Cristina Vives Gutierrez, Adolfo V. Nodal, Valia Garzon, Dannys Montes de Oca. Memoria: Cuban Art of the 20th Century. California/International Arts Foundation, 2001. ISBN 978-0-917571-11-4 Jose Viegas. Memoria: Artes Visuales Cubanas Del Siglo Xx. California International Arts, 2004. ISBN 978-0-917571-12-1 Edward Lucie-Smith. Julio Larraz. Skiro, Milan, 2003. ISBN 88-8491-347-0 Contini Art UK Julio Larraz Official Website