Gythion was the original port of Sparta since many centuries. Its name means “the land of gods” and the city was a resting spot for traders. In 1898 the island Cranea connected to the mainland by a platform. According to legend, when Paris of Troy abducted Helen from Sparta they spent their first night in Cranae (or Kranai). On leaving the island, Paris forgot his helmet - hence the name of the small island, since the helmet in Greek is called “kranos”.On the island there is a chapel dedicated to St Peter (Agios Petros) and the octagonal lighthouse, an impressive building (22 meters high), built in 1873, with Taenarius marble. The small island was inhabited since Neolithic times and had been a location of great importance during the Mycenaean period. In modern times the fennel herb plant - which was naturally growing on this island – was the reason that the island was also called “Marathonisi” or “fennel-island”, especially during the pre-Revolutionary times and in 1821. The first habitants of Marathonisi were the famous family of Grigorakos.