Kalamata is a city in Messenia with a fertile hinterland, near the Gulf of Messenia. Unimportant in antiquity, Kalamata was generally ignored by the Byzantine sources. At least five surviving churches dating to the 11th-12th centuries suggest considerable activity in this period - among these the Church of the Holy Apostles has a cross-in-square plan. The castle of Kalamata was the acropolis of ancient Pharai and was refortified sometime during the Byzantine era. The Latins rebuilt the castle substantially, giving it a double circuit of walls.
Kalamata was conquered by William I of Champlitte in 1205 and given to Geoffrey I Villehardouin. William II Villehardouin was born and died there. The city was taken by the neighboring Slavs in 1293 or 1295. It remained a possession of the Principality of Achaia until the end of the principality in 1428, when it came briefly under Byzantine control. In the second half of the 15th century and later it was contested between the Ottomans and Venetians.