Mycenae is an archaeological site near Mykines in Argolis, north-eastern Peloponnese, Greece. In the second millennium BC, Mycenae was one of the major centres of Greek civilization, a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece, Crete, the Cyclades and parts of southwest Anatolia. The period of Greek history from about 1600 BC to about 1100 BC is called Mycenaean in reference to Mycenae. At its peak in 1350 BC, the citadel and lower town had a population of 30,000 and an area of 32 hectares.

In 1999, the archeological site of Mycenae was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, along with the nearby site of Tiryns, because of its historical importance as the center of the Mycenaean civilization, its outstanding architecture, and its testimony to the development of Ancient Greek civilization.


The stone architecture of Mycenae is unique in its kind, influenced by many civilizations like the Minoans in Crete. The archaeological excavations which began during the second half of the 19th century brought to light important architectural remains from the Mycenaean civilization including palaces, fortresses, settlements and burial monuments. The Mycenaean fortresses that lie on top of the rocks dominate the surrounding area, encircled by the strong walls. Of high interest are the palaces which are built in prominent locations and constitute building complexes and cobbled yards.

The characteristic Mycenaean tombs are also an important part of its architecture, the most famous being the tomb of Agamemnon (the Treasury of Atreus) which is in the form of a tholos. Nearby are other tombs, possibly Agamemnon ancestors. One of the distinctive features of the Mycenaean architecture is the very large stone blocks which characterize the brilliant fortification structures like the fortifying walls of the Acropolis, the Lion Gate and the Cyclopean walls (the myth says that they were constructed by the Cyclops).


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Argos-Mykines, Greece
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Founded: 1600-1100 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece


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User Reviews

Veronica Winters (2 months ago)
Thoroughly destroyed. but the view was really beautiful and peaceful. Fairly easy to climb up the mountain. There is a small museum next to the archeological site with ancient pots, jewelry, etc. I enjoyed it a lot.
Steve Butterfield (2 months ago)
A very interesting place. Lots of history. Not too much in the museum but the archaeological site is very cool. Be prepared to climb a lot.
Johan (2 months ago)
Must-visit site in Greece. Amazing location, ruins and history. Knowledge of Mycenaean mythology (Homer’s Illiad) is a plus. Consider a guide. Avoid the heat. Don’t miss the rich museum. I went four times so far …
Jeanne Neylon Decker (Traveltawk) (2 months ago)
Fantastic and extensive ruins with some parts dating back 5,000 years and a must see in the Nafplio area. Informative signage throughout in Greek and English make the visit much more interesting. Some parts of the site are accessible for mobility impaired but not all. Interesting trails below the citadel lead to beehive tombs-- don't miss these! The museum on the same grounds hold the collections taken from the excavations and gives context to the visit. Don't miss it. Be aware this is a stop on many tourist itineraries and it can be crowded with tour groups.
Dante Rossi (2 months ago)
A wondrous visit to Mycenae. Took a touch coach (all day). This was the third and last location. A wonderful walk and history. Well worth the visit. Make sure to listen to the stories from your tour guide.
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