Argos Tourist Attractions
ArgosÁrgos, in the Argolid, is a country town situated in a fertile plain near the Gulf of Náfplion, at the foot of two hills - Lárisa (948ft/289m), crowned by a castle, and the low dome of Aspís 260ft/80m).The site of Árgos was occupied in pre-Greek times, and during the Mycenaean period it became the seat of the Danaid dynasty.
After the coming of the Dorians, in the first millennium B.C., it grew into a place of considerable importance, although during the seventh and sixth centuries it exhausted itself in strife with Sparta. In the fifth century the Árgos school of sculptors produced the great Polykleitos, who perfected the canon (the ideal human figure) of Doric sculpture. In 146 BC. the city became Roman. In A.D. 267 and 305 it was plundered by the Goths. During the Middle Ages and the early modern period it was held at different times by the Venetians (1388- 1463, 1686-1715) and the Turks (1463-1686, 1715-1826). National assemblies were held in the ancient theater in 1821 and 1829.Bus connections with Náfplion and Palaiá Epídavros.
In the Argos central square, the Platía, are St. Peter's church and the Archeological Museum, the most notable exhibits in which, in addition to the pottery and mosaics, are the finds from Lerna.
Argos Archeological Museum
The Argos Archeological Museum exhibits local finds from all eras. The collections include a Mycenaean bronze helmet and breastplate, and an Archaic pottery fragment showing Odysseus blinding Polyphimos.
Lárisa - Agorá
On the road to Trípoli from Árgos are the excavated remains of the Agora, and opposite, on the lower slopes of Lárisa, the theater and remains of Roman baths. The ancient town walls took in both Aspís and Lárisa. The latter hill can be climbed in 45minutes; half way up is the Panayía monastery, and on the summit is a medieval castle (views). In the lower ground between the two hills temples dedicated to Apollo and Athena and Mycenaean graves were found.
Argive Heraion, Greece
The Argive Heraion is reached by way of the village of Khónika. From Mycenaean times onwards this was the principal Argive sanctuary. In its present form, laid out on terraces on the slopes of a hill (1,970ft/600m), it dates from the eighth-fifth centuries B.C. On the south side a broad flight of steps leads up to a stoa and the foundations of the fifth century temple of Hera, which contained a chryselephantine statue of the goddess by Polykleitos. On the next terrace was the older (seventh C.) temple which was destroyed by fire in 425 B.C. Beside this temple were other stoas. The impressiveness of this site is due not so much to the meagre remains as to its grandiose and solitary situation.
The road from Khónika to Náfplion runs past the village of Mérbaka, named after a 13th century Roman Catholic bishop of Corinth, William of Moerbeke. In the churchyard is one of the most beautiful churches in the region.
Five km/3mi from Árgos on the road to Trípoli a minor road (signposted) branches off to the village of Kefalári, famed for its large plane-tree. A spring which emerges from the rock here was believed by Strabo to be the outflow of the Stymphalian Lake (see Xylókastro, Surroundings). Here, where once Pan and the nymphs were worshipped, there now stands a chapel dedicated to the Mother of God as the Zoodókhi Piyí ("Lifegiving Spring"). Nearby is the "Pyramid" of Kefalári, which is frequently interpreted as a mausoleum but in fact was certainly part of a military control system of the fourth century B.C.
Near Kefalári is the little village of Kókla, where a Mycenaean tholos (domed) tomb was discovered in 1981. One km from Kefalári on the Árgos road a side road goes off on the left and in two km comes to Kókla. The tomb, which dates from around 1400 B.C., is notable for its magnificent situation, its size and the fact that it had not been robbed. In recesses in the entrance passage (dromos) were found two skeletons. The tomb itself was hewn from the rock to a depth of 25ft/7.5m and then completely faced with dressed stone. It contained rich grave goods, including gold and silver bowls. Other graves of the 16th-13th centuries B.C. were found in the surrounding area.
Just beyond the village of Myli on the Trípoli road can be seen (on the left, close to the sea) the roofed-over American excavations of Lerna, a site occupied from neolithic times onwards. Here a double line of defensive walls of the early Helladic period was found built over a neolithic dwelling of the fourth millennium B.C. In the center of the site is an early Helladic palace, known as the "House of the Tiles", which was built about 2200 B.C. and burned down about 200 years later. Measuring 79ft/24m by 36ft/11m, it is the largest building of the pre-Greek period in Greece. After its destruction it was buried under a mound of earth enclosed by a large circle of stones. Two Mycenaean shaft graves provide evidence of Mycenaean occupation of the site about 1600 B.C. Immediately north of the site is the Spring of the Hydra, which is associated with one of the labors of Herakles.
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