Mycenaean Citadel, Tiryns Tírynthia
The mighty Mycenaean citadel of Tiryns stands on a rocky hill which is only 25m/80ft high but commands the coastal plain on the Argolic Gulf. The site was occupied from the third millennium B.C., and excavation has revealed the remains of a large circular structure dating from that early period. The site was excavated by Schliemann and Dörpfeld from 1884 onwards, and some sections of the massive cyclopean walls were re-erected.Tiryns was associated in ancient legend with Perseus and with Eurystheus, in whose service Herakles performed his twelve labors. It shows many parallels with Mycenae. The first fortress was built in the 16th century B.C.; then in the 14th and 13th centuries the walls and bastions on the south and east sides were built in their present form, and the old eastern gate was buried under the new propylaia. The ramp on the east side, the flight of steps on the west side and the new palace also date from this Late Mycenaean period, when there was evidently a threat from bands of invaders. Recent excavations have shown that the lower part of the citadel to the north was not, as had long been supposed, merely a place of refuge for the population of the surrounding area but was densely built up and remained inhabited after the fall of Tiryns (ca. 1125 B.C.) and into the 11th century B.C.The entrance to the Mycenaean Citadel at Tiryns is at the southeast corner. The ramp on the east side leads up to the entrance gate, guarded by two towers. Turning left, we pass through another gate, which was originally of the same size as the Lion Gate at Mycenae, turn right and pass through the propylaia into the large forecourt. From here we can descend to the east bastion; the passage, which was originally roofed in Mycenaean style, has been preserved, but the six chambers in the thickness of the outer wall are badly ruined.From the forecourt we enter the inner court, in which, immediately on the right, is an altar. The far side of the court was occupied by the dominating bulk of the principal megaron (with remains of a seventh century temple of Hera built over its ruins). Adjoining it on the right is a smaller megaron. These two rooms were the central elements of the palace, with a series of smaller rooms grouped round them. To the west can be seen a large stone slab which was the floor of a bathroom (with drain) - recalling the story that on his return from Troy (not to Tiryns but to Mycenae) Agamenon was killed by his wife Klytaimnestra in his bath. Near this is the massive west bastion, a 13th century addition to the citadel's defenses. Within this bastion is a staircase leading down to a postern gate. Outside this is a recently excavated part of the town.Partially closed off for safety reasons.
Opening hours: 8:30am-3pm
Always opened on: Assumption Day - Christian (Aug 15), Óhi Day - Greece & Cyprus (Oct 28)
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Greek National Day (Mar 25), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Easter - Christian, Good Friday - Christian
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €3.00, Concession or reduced rate €2.00, Students from EU FREE, Child 18 & under FREE
Disability Access: No facilities for persons with disabilities.