3300BC-1200BC-Bronze Age Europe Greece Archaeological sites, ancient temples UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Mycenae – the mythological citadel of the powerful Mycenaean civilization

Citadel of Mycenae, Peloponnese, Greece
Legend has it that the Citadel of Mycenae was built by Perseus, the son of Zeus and Danae. To build the Acropolis, Perseus hired Cyclops, mythological beings of gigantic dimensions with one eye, who surrounded the fortress with Cyclop's defensive walls. The ancient citadel of Mycenae is located in the Argolis, Peloponnese, in Greece.
TypeArcheological Site
Construction
year
Between the 14th and 13th century BC
Ticket Price12 E
Visiting HoursWinter:
08:00 – 15:30
Summer:
April – August: 08:00 – 20:00
1st September – 15th September : 08:00 – 19:30
16th September – 30th September: 08:00 – 19:00
1st October – 15th October: 08:00 – 18:30
16th October – 31st October: 08:00 – 18:00
Good Friday: 12.00 – 17.00
Holy Saturday: 08.30-16.00
Closed
1 January
25 March
1 May
25 December
26 December
Getting to
Citadel of Mycenae
By CAR
90 km from Athenes (2 H)
Take the highway to Corinth and head in the direction of Tripoli.
After you passed by Corinth, continue around 15 miles and then take the exit to Nafplio.
You will then see the exit to Mycenae on this road. 

By BUS
Bus from Athens to Nafplio (there is a stop in Mycenae)
Departure Station: Terminal A (100 Kifissou) every hour between 7:30 AM and 7:30 PM
LocationArgolis, Peloponnese, Greece, Europe

Citadel of Mycenae legends

According to Greek legend, the city of Mycenae was founded by the hero Perseus – the grandson of King Acrisius of Argos and the son of Zeus and daughter of Acrisius, Danae.

Mycenae was a fortified city located between two hills on the Argolid plain of the Peloponnese, Greece.

A real treasure was discovered at Mycenae: unique gold and silver objects weighing more than 14 kg, ornaments and other objects belonging to the Mycenaean kings.

Homer said that the scepter of the Mycenaean kings had been made in Olympus and was inherited from father to son over the centuries, calling the Mycenaean Fortress “the rich in gold.”

List of Mycenaean kings

  • Perseus – son of Zeus and Danae; the founder of the fortress
  • Electrion – son of Perseus and Andomeda
  • Sthenelos – son of Perseus and Andomeda
  • Eurystheus – son of Sthenelos and Nicippa; killed by heraclids
  • Atreus – son of Pelops and Hippodamia, uncle of Eurystheus
  • Tieste – son of Pelops and Hippodamia
  • Agamemnon – son of Atreus and Aeropa; participant in the Trojan War
  • Egist – son of Tieste; he assassinated Agamemnon
  • Orestes – son of Agamemnon; led much of the Peloponnese
  • Tisamenus – son of Orestes; killed by heraclids

The Lion Gate

The Lion Gate was build during the 13th century BC (most probably around 1250 BC)

The name is taken from the relief sculpture of two lionesses in a heraldic pose that stands above the entrance.

The Lion Gate is the sole surviving monumental piece of Mycenaean sculpture, as well as the largest sculpture in the prehistoric Aegean.

Treasury of Atreus ( Tomb of Agamemnon)

Build around 1250 BC, the circular monument was a large tomb for the Mycenaean royal family.

It is even believed that the remains of Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, lie here.

Grave Circle

Six circular tombs were discovered to the south of the Lion Gate.

The remains of nineteen people were found in the tombs.

Cyclopean Walls

Around 1350 BC, the fortifications of the Acropolis and the city were built in a style known as “cyclopean”, as the stones used in the construction work gave the impression that they had been brought and processed by some fabulous giants. Legend has it that Perseus hired Cyclops, mythological beings of gigantic dimensions with one eye, to build this great city.

In one of the temples, a beetle belonging to the queen of Egypt, Tiye, the wife of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, was discovered.

Mask of Agamemnon

The gold mask of Agamemnon was found in a burial shaft designated Grave V at the site “Grave Circle A, Mycenae”. The mask is one of five discovered in the royal shaft graves at Mycenae.

The passionate German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered in the royal tombs located outside the fortress, among others, this mask, which he attributed as the Mask of Agamemnon. It turned out that the death mask of the legendary King Agamemnon was, in fact, much older than the era in which the great ruler lived.

The Mask of Agamemnon and the treasures discovered can be found at the National Museum of Archeology in Athens.

What to visit in the area

  • Archaeological Museum of Nafplion
  • The archaeological site of Asine
  • Byzantine Museum of Argolis
  • Fortress of Palamidi
  • Tiryns

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