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Tirintha

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Nea Tirintha, is located very close to the cities of Nafplio and Argos. The people of the town are mainly occupied with the tourism industry, since the archaeological site of Ancient Tirintha is visited throughout the year. Another main source of income for the people of the area is agriculture as well, just like all the others living in the remaining flat areas of Argolida Prefecture. 
The town is historically linked with the ancient town Tirins or Tirintha. The first inhabitation findings in the area are dated approximately in 2500 B.C. The name of the town is considered to be one of the most ancient ones. There is a belief that the town was given the name of Tirintha, the son of Argos and grandson of god Zeus. The first walling works are supposed to have started during the 15th century B.C.  By the following two centuries, mainly by the end of the 13th century B.C., the walls of the town were continually reconstructed and braced. Eventually, these walls reached at that enormous length and width, parts of which we are able to admire still today.

By the end of the 12th  century B.C. following the fall of the Mycenaean civilization, Tirintha declined too. Around 750 B.C. the palace of Tirintha was completely destroyed by fire and a temple of god Hera was built on its place. By then, the town was not that important as it used to be. During the Persian Wars a small troop was sent to fight by the side of the rest of Greeks. But, a few years later, in 468 B.C., they were enslaved by the Argioi forcing most of the Tirinthians to neglect their homeland. Some of them came down to Ermionida establishing the town of Alieis. When Pausanias arrived at Tirintha during his travels in the 2nd century D.C. found a neglected town. The connection between the cities of Tirintha and Mycenae was kind of a questioning for the scientists, two that strong and powerful cities existed so closely together. One possible explanation given is that Tirintha might have been the second capital of the Mycenaean state. Through the city of Tirintha they were able to watch over the trade paths, since Tirintha was located closer to the sea than the city of Mycenae.

The first official excavations at the ancient city started in 1884 by Schliemann. Some excavations had already carried out since 1831. During the byzantine period Tirintha was a very small and simple village. It used to be called Palaiokastro and was currently renamed to Tirintha. 9th of May, 1824 is one of the most significant current historical dates of the region, when an aroused conflict between the opposition party and the government ended to a battle with many victims.

The main sightseeing of the region is ancient Tirintha built on a short hill having its entrance at the eastern side of the hill. Firstly, we are impressed by the size of the walls surrounding the city, which some parts of them are even higher than the walls of the Mycenae. Their height, nowadays, is about 7.5 meters and their width about 8 meters. At the lower levels of the city we can walk through secret tunnels that used to be secret paths to secured tanks of drinkable water. Reaching the upper levels of the acropolis we come across the remains of the palaces, very well preserved till today. It is of great interest the fact that a sewage system used to run in the palace draining the water off the city. The findings of the implemented excavations, like amphora, swords, golden coins, wall paintings, etc, are of great significance providing us with important information about that period.

Concerning the monument of the current period the monastery of Agios Dimitrios Karakalas is the prevailing one. It is a women’s monastery located very close to the village of Agios Andrianos we met leaving Nea Tirintha. It is speculated to have been built during the 11th century, but it hasn’t been documented so. Within the monastery the nuns have create a kind of exhibition exhibiting their handmade embroideries. 

IMPORTANT DATES:
15th c. B.C. started the first walling works of Tirintha
750 B.C. the palace of Tirintha was destroyed by fire 
468 B.C. Tirintha was destroyed by Argioi
11th c. D.C. possible construction of the monastery of Agios Dimitrios Karakalas
9th May, 1824, major civil conflict
1884 official excavations initiated by Schliemann in Tirintha  

WORTH VISITING:

The impressive acropolis of Tirintha
The women’s monastery of Agios Dimitrios Karakalas

WHY IT IS FAMOUS ABOUT
The Mycenaean acropolis of Tirintha  

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