Mycenae, Greece

October 9th, 2004

Mycenae ruins

The ride from Nafplio to Mycenae takes about an hour, so we decided to start off after breakfast on Saturday. Growing up I had always heard the ruins pronounced pretty much like we spell it, but in Greece it's spelled Mikines (mih-kee-ness). So when we were asking for bus schedules, nobody understood where we wanted to go. It wasn't until we pointed to it on the map that the hotel guy laughed and told us the correct way to say it.

Mycenae was written about in Homer's "The Iliad and the Odyssey". According to Homer, Mycenae was founded by Perseus, the son of Danae and Zeus. Later it was ruled over by King Agamemnon (brother-in-law of Helen of Troy and leader in the Trojan War). Historically, it's said that Mycenae was the head of the Greek world from 1600 to 1100 BC. First settled by Neolithic people and later invaded by Indo-European's in the Bronze Age, Mycenaean territory stretched through Pylos, Tiryns, Corinth and Argos in the Peloponnese. There is also evidence of Mycenae influence in Athens and Thebes. Then around 1200 BC the Mycenean kingdoms were destroyed.

This is the Lion's Gate which guards the ancient city. Weighing around 20 tons, the lions are believed to be one of the oldest monumental structures in Europe.
lions guarding front gate

Not much is left standing of the ruins, so a good imagination is necessary. The travel guide shows outlines of what is believed to be Agamemnon's palace, including the throne room and great court. There was also a secret sistern, but it was too dark to take a good picture.
cool tree back gate look thru gate

The view from the top of Mycenae was beautiful!
Z at ruins me at ruins

Further down the road is the Treasury of Atreus (tomb of Agamemnon), with a burial chamber shaped like a beehive called a tholos (sorry... no close-up picture!).
looking down the road

The little design End

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