The acropolis of Tiryns is located on the road that connects Nafplio with Argos, over a hill, and it consists of one of the most important acropolis related to the legends of many mythological heroes.
The ceramic findings attest that the site was first occupied in the Neolithic period. During the Bronze Age, arch buildings were constructed around the cyclopean circular building. The cyclopean walls surrounding the Acropolis were built during the Late Helladic period. The visitor can admire the palace with its frescos, the cyclopean tunnels, the bath room, the west rampart, the small megaron and the impressive staircase of escape. The rich frescos and the coppery and ceramic objects found are exposed in museums of Nafplio and Athens.
On the road leading from Nafplio to Argos, built on an 18m hill, impressively rises the “mighty wall”, according to Homer, acropolis of Tiryns, the most ancient of all the Mycenaean acropolis. Even Pausanias was amazed by this enormous construction.
According to the mythology, the citadel was founded by the prince of Argos, Proetus, who, pursued by his brother, Acrisius, fled to Lycia and returned bringing with him the Cyclops who constructed these enormous walls. Another myth associates the foundation of the citadel with Tiryns, grandson of Zeus. Other mythical heroes associated with the site are among others, Velerefondis, Perseus and Hercules who initiated his twelve labors from this area.
It was inhabited continuously since the Neolithic period until the Late Antiquity. It was located in a strategic position as it controlled a large plain and the passages to Argos, Mycenae, Nafplio and Epidaurus. The arched buildings around the gigantic circular structure were built during the Early Bronze Age. The citadel flourished during the Mycenaean age, when the Cyclopean walls and most of the buildings were built. It was then that it started its commercial activity and became an important center of the region. During the Classical time Tiryns started declining and in 468 B.C it was destroyed by the city of Argos.
Many archeologists have carried out excavations in this site that belongs officially to the monuments of World Heritage. The excavations were initiated in 1884 by Schliemann and Dörpfeld and were continued by Karo, Mόller, Verdelis and many other archaeologists.
At present a few remains of the Neolithic period are saved. Most of the findings date back to the Mycenaean period. The frescos, decorating the walls of the palace and numerous rare and valuable objects of everyday use and decoration are exposed in the Archaeological Museum of Nafplion and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
The visitor who walks in this acropolis can easily perceive the ancient constructions. The basic structures are two, the Upper Acropolis with the east gate and the Lower Acropolis with the palace chambers. The walls surround the entire hill and create a fortification around a land of 20.000 square meters. The walls are 8 meters thick, while their height in some places reaches 7 meters. In the Lower Acropolis we can distinguish the rooms in the interior of the wall, and the two entrances, the tunnels to the underground springs outside the Acropolis on the northwest side. To the west of the Upper Acropolis, the visitor can see the rampart, the stair and the west exit Gate. While on the southeast side narrow long corridors lead to the chambers. In the center of the construction lies the Palace and the big courtyard, and the most impressive of all, the room of the ancient baths.
A few kilometers away from the Acropolis, on the hill of Prophet Elijah(Profitis Elias), lies the Mycenaean pit tomb and a little further away a chambered one.
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Admission: 3 Euro
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