Tiryns Archeological Site

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Tiryns is a Mycenaean site aprox 4kms North from Nafplio.

Between 1400-1200 BC Tiryns reached its peak as one of the most important centers of the Mycenaean World. It is considered as the birthplace of the mythical hero Heracles and the location from which he performed his 12 labors.

Tiryns is built by the Cyclopean Walls that are estimated to have original high of 9-10 meters while now are 7 meters and they extend to the entire area of the top of the hill.

In 1300 BC the Citadel and the lower area had a total population of 10,000 people.

The acropolis is separated into two sections by a strong traverse wall. The northern section protects only the top of the hill area while the south includes the palatial buildings. In the Citadel of Tiryns there are small gates and many tunnels covered on the top by a triangular roof, where people where using to get covered in times of danger.

The entrance of the citadel was always on the east side and had a tower at the left and the arm of the wall at the right that were protecting the gate. The walls of the outer arcade were richly decorated with a zone at the bottom of alabaster slabs with rosettes and flower, while the rest was decorated with frescos, paintings.

Argos – Archeological Sites

The Ancient Theatre of Argos

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Click the map for directions to the Ancient Theatre of Argos

The Ancient Theatre of Argos was founded during the Hellenistic period (300-250 BC) the Theatre. Theatre that could host up to 20.000 spectators constitutes one from the biggest ancient theatres in Greece. In its long-lasting use it entertained the musical and dramatic Nemean games, as well as games in honour of Hera. During the Roman era should be also established games in honour of the emperor.

Both the cavea, the place where sate the spectators, and the orchestra, where the performances were played, were far hewn out in the natural rock. Cavea is constituted by 89 rows of seats that are separated by three concentric corridors -the diazomata- in four parts. Five radiating staircases separated the cavea in four sectors, the cunei (kerkides). The central cunei were hewn out in the rock, while these in the lower part of cavea were made of stone domos above landfill.

The theatre allocated a circular orchestra of 26.68 m. in diameter, which was surrounded by a gutter for the flow of rain waters. Limestone slabs shape on the floor of orchestra a circle, which is adjacent to two straight lines. This form refers probably in the provision of the chorus that was circular in the dithyramb and rectangular in the comedy and the tragedy. The access to the orchestra became from two corridors in the north and in the south, the parodoi. The cavea’s slope was supported by powerful retaining walls.

An oblong space, the proscenium, with 20 columns in its facade was opened to the orchestra. Behind the proscenium was found the scene to which led two ramps. This space was used initially as background for the action of the actors, while here they also made their disguise. An underground passage that led from the scene to the orchestra, the charoneia staircase, was used for the appearance of Charon. Behind the scene was existed a Dorian gallery with its facade in the east. The theatre allocated initially an entrance that was found in south-eastern of the scenic building. In the 100 AD. a second entrance was added with a ramp in north of this.

During the first half of the 2nd century AD. (100-150 AD.), the scenic building of the theatre was reconstructed according to the roman models. The scene (postscaenium) was extended in length and in depth and it was acquired a monumental facade (scenae frons) that had three entrances. The new logeion (pulpitum) covered the eastern part of the orchestra and it was elongated up to the retaining walls of parodoi. The logeion’s face towards the orchestra was decorated with niches, while symmetrically in its two edges were founded the parascenia that were connected with the platform of logeion. Three staircases led from the scene to the logeion. Parallel to the two entrances in south-eastern of the scene which remained in use, a third entrance was shaped in the southern parodos for the access of spectators in the cavea. The hellenistic gallery in the east of the scene should be partly retained.

After the introduction of new spectacles, such as the duels and the games with wild animals, a fence was constructed for the protection of the spectators, which was fixed in holes that were opened in the space of the orchestra. Other holes in the space of the cavea imply the placing of a shelter (velum) for the protection of the spectators from the sun. In the north of the central staircase was constructed a new platform for officials (proedria). During the 3rd century AD. the scenic building was embellished, while mosaic floors with geometrical decoration replaced the wooden floor in the edges of the scene.

Larissa Castle – Argos

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 24hours

Click the map for directions to Larissa Castle

The history of the fortifications on Larissa Hill begins in prehistoric times and reaches the Greek revolution of 1821. Part of the long history of the city of Argos from prehistoric times, it was, from the first, a fortified observation post and the last line of defence for the city. The castle was first mentioned due to it being seized by Leontas Sgouros in 1203. Following his death, it was run by Theodoros Angelos, until 1212, and then it passed into the hands of the dukes of Athens, the de la Roche family, and in 1309 to the house of de Brienne. In 1388, Maria d’Enghien sold Argos and the castle to the Venetians, but before they could take possession, Nero Acciajuoli and the despot Theodoros I took the castle. They eventually surrender it to the Venetians in 1394. In 1397, following a short occupation by the Ottomans, Larissa was destroyed and abandoned. The Venetians returned to the castle but it eventually came under Ottoman rule from 1463 to 1686, when it was re-taken by the Venetians under Morosini. In around 1700, an explosion destroyed the castle’s central cylindrical tower, which was used as a powder store, and the bastion that has survived to the present was built in its place. It was conquered by the Ottomans again in 1715. The monument’s adventures would continue during the time of the Greek revolution, and battles were fought there. At the beginning of the 20th century, Wilhelm Vollgraff began his excavations, which mostly focused on uncovering the interior. 

Traces of the Mycenaean fortifications (13th century BC) have survived in the castle’s citadel, and some of the bulky, monolithic architectural elements were reused in later medieval defences.

Although the site was in continuous use from prehistoric times until WWII, it took the form we see today in the Middle Ages. The ancient walls, sections of which can still be seen incorporated into later masonry, were the main guide used when laying out the medieval fortifications. The fort is made up of the citadel at the top and a curtain wall. The walls are re-enforced by towers, which, as a rule, are triangular or quadrilateral. Later, from the 15th century, with the arrival of guns, the castle underwent extensive building work and was re-enforced with cylindrical towers.

The headquarters and military installations were most likely inside the citadel. A first millennium church has been found there. In 1174, a smaller church, dedicated to the Virgin, was built on the same site. The area inside the curtain slowly became residential, but this has yet to be explored. There were large cisterns in both the castle’s enclosures. It kept this form until the end of the 14th century, with a few Byzantine and Frankish re-enforcements and alterations, and made Larissa one of the four most powerful castles in the Peloponnese, according to the Chronicle of Morea.

During the 15th century, there was extensive re-enforcement of the fortifications as the result of the castle constantly changing hands between the Venetians and the Ottomans, as well as the developments in defensive architecture brought about by the arrival of guns. Amongst these interventions was the construction of the partition that cut off the south section of the exterior precinct. The external defences were strengthened with large cylindrical towers which had gun loops. The citadel wall was made higher and re-enforced with triangular and quadrilateral towers and one oval one. At the same time, the Byzantine gate was blocked off and another was built a little further to the west. Some point after the mid-15th century, the now-ruined cylindrical central tower was built in the southwest corner of the citadel.

During the 16th century, the section of the exterior precinct south of the partition was abandoned, while another partition was added to the south of the citadel gate, creating an interior courtyard. On the eastern edge of the partition, a passageway was constructed with double gates.


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