Tiryns is a Mycenaean archaeological site in Argolis in the Peloponnese, and the location from which the mythical hero Heracles was said to have performed his Twelve Labours.

Tiryns was a hill fort with occupation ranging back seven thousand years, from before the beginning of the Bronze Age. It reached its height of importance between 1400 and 1200 BC, when it became one of the most important centers of the Mycenaean world, and in particular in Argolis. Its most notable features were its palace, its Cyclopean tunnels and especially its walls, which gave the city its Homeric epithet of 'mighty walled Tiryns'. Tiryns became associated with the myths surrounding Heracles, as the city was the residence of the hero during his labors, and some sources cite it as his birthplace.

The famous megaron of the palace of Tiryns has a large reception hall, the main room of which had a throne placed against the right wall and a central hearth bordered by four Minoan-style wooden columns that served as supports for the roof. Two of the three walls of the megaron were incorporated into an archaic temple of Hera. The site went into decline at the end of the Mycenaean period, and was completely deserted by the time Pausanias visited in the 2nd century AD.

In 1300 BC the citadel and lower town had a population of 10,000 people covering 20–25 hectares. Despite the destruction of the palace in 1200 BC, the city population continued to increase and by 1150 BC it had a population of 15,000 people.

Along with the nearby ruins of Mycenae, UNESCO designated Tiryns as a World Heritage Site in 1999 because of its outstanding architecture and testimony to the development of Ancient Greek civilization.

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Argos-Mykines, Greece
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Founded: 1400-1200 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jeanne Neylon Decker (Traveltawk) (3 months ago)
Fascinating ruins but definitely not for mobility impaired visitors. Very quiet, few people, good signage in Greek and English and interesting to see this ancient place. Be sure to visit the archeology museum in Nafplio to see extensive collections from the excavation. Get the combo ticket for 20 euro.
Alessio Lombardi (6 months ago)
Ticket is 4/2€ (summer/winter). This is probably the saddest archeological site I've ever seen. Despite its importance - a large Mycenean city of ~1500BCE, near Mycene itself - the sorry state of the site and its unappealing context do not make it worth a stop. The city is probably almost as big as Mycene, with amazing cyclopean walls, two entrances, and several specialised town areas. However, I counted a total of 3 information panels: 2 explained small restoration interventions happened probably a decade ago, and a single panel was a map with a layout plan view. No historical explanation, nothing is given you at the entrance. I'd gladly pay a bit more to get at least a small handout. The acropolis has an interesting example of 2-megaron palace - again, if you don't know this in advance, you won't notice nor appreciate this. There were excavation and repair works across the site, without any sign or explanation of what was going on. They didn't look good. Finally, the context. Unlike Mycene, this site is placed on a low hill and is surrounded by a plain with many constructions - including a prison, which ruins the view from the acropolis towards the seaside. Additionally, it's evidently close to a landfill, given the bad smell all around the site. Add also the noise from the trafficked road which makes its western edge. The personnel started closing the gate half an hour before the stated closure time, and the bathrooms were closed already at least an hour before closure, when we tried to use it. It's really sad to see such an important site in this state.
Paweł “Sambor” Samborski (10 months ago)
Well preserved Mycenaean citadel between Argos and Nauplion. Large parking area. Citadel itself could use some additional boards explaining various areas and findings. Visit Napflion Archaeological Museum beforehand to get some context.
Red Dree (11 months ago)
An amazing ancient site that brings you in touch with the civilization that existed thousands of years ago. It’s a unique chance to touch the ancient stones and imagine vividly the mythical ethos that we read in Greek texts.
Marcus Lodwick (12 months ago)
Come for the famous "well-built walls", stay for the sloping, monolithic stone floor of the palace's bathroom with peg-holes for the benches and walls, as well as the drain.
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