During the Palaeologos hegemony, the role of Mystras was very important, especially in culture and education. The small state became a pole of attraction for artists, scientists, scholars and philosophers. The great Neoplatonic philosopher Georgios Gemistos - Plethon founded a school of philosophy in Mystras and influenced Modern Greek thinking with his teaching, even during the years of the Ottoman rule.
Mystras is described as the "swan song" of Byzantine art, architecture and painting. The castle, the triple wall, the gates, the palaces, the mansions, the streets and the churches of Mystras are exquisite examples of the last cultural glimpse of Byzantium until the middle of the 15th century. The Byzantine phase in the history of Mystras ends in 1460 when it was surrendered to the Turks but It continued to be an important city until the early post-revolutionary years. Today Mystras is one of the best preserved medieval settlements and is by far the most important Byzantine monument in Greece. In 1989 the ruins, including the fortress, palace, churches, and monasteries, were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.