Argos - The most ancient city of Greece
Argos is the largest city near Nafplio. Just 12 kilometers of a pleasant, ten minutes' journey and you arrived in the city that perhaps is the most ancient of Greece.
Argos's rich history, can not be attributed to a few lines. But surely, it is worth learning few things about the history of the city, that claims the title of the oldest in Greece.
There is evidence of continuous settlement in the area starting with a village about 7000 years ago in the late Neolithic, located on the foot of Aspida hill. Since that time, Argos has been continually inhabited at the same geographical location. Its creation is attributed to Phoroneus, with its first name having been Phoronicon Asty, or the city of Phoroneus.
The first king of Argos is considered to be Inachos, son of Oceanus and Tethys, who came from Egypt in 1876 BC. as the leader of a large group of fugitives. Homer has frequent references to his epics about the Argives. The Iliad-like lost epics named "Thebes" and "Epigones", perhaps written by Homer, mention the glory of ancient Argos.
Two of the greatest heroes of our mythology, Perseus and Hercules, come from Argos (see Euripides' tragedy "Hercules").
According to one version, Persia was named after Perseus from Argos. Legend has it that after the murder of Medusa, Perseus went to Ethiopia, where he killed the monster Ketos. The king of Ethiopia then gave him his daughter Andromeda, as his wife. There Persis was born, who reigned in the region of Persepolis.
You must visit
-The ancient Theater of Argos. Built in the 3rd century B.C with a capacity of 20,000 spectators, replaced an older neighboring theater of the 5th century BC and communicated with the Ancient Agora. The theater is unique because a large part of it is carved into the rock. At summer it hosts performances, like the ones hosting the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus.
-The Ancient "Agora" (market). Adjacent to the Ancient Theater, it was developed in the 6th century B.C. Excavations in the area have uncovered a "bouleuterion", built in 460 B.C., when Argos adopted the democratic regime, a Sanctuary of Apollo Lyceus and a palaestra.
-The Municipal Neoclassical Market. Today, in the modern city center, if you find yourself on a Wednesday or Saturday, it is worth doing your morning stroll on the traditional Greek folk open air market, that is taking place there.
-The ancient Acropolis of Argos. The Larissa castle, built during prehistoric time, which has undergone several repairs and expansions since antiquity and played a significant historical role during the Venetian domination of Greece and the Greek War of Independence. It is located on the highest spot of the city (289 m.), on the Larissa Hill. In ancient times, a castle was also found in the neighboring Aspida Hill. When connected with walls, these two castles fortified the city from enemy invasions.
-The Barracks of Kapodistrias, a preservable building with a long history. Built in the 1690s during the Venetian domination of Greece, they initially served as a hospital run by the Sisters of Mercy. During the Turkish occupation, they served as a market and a post office. Later, in 1829, significant damage caused during the Greek revolution was repaired by Governor Kapodistrias, who turned the building into a cavalry barrack, a school (1893-1894), an exhibition space (1899), a shelter for Greek refugees displaced during the population exchange between Greece and Turkey (since 1920) and an interrogation and torture space (during the German occupation of Greece). In 1955–68, it was used by the army for the last time. The building now accommodates the Byzantine Museum of Argos, local corporations and also serves as an exhibition space.
-The Archaeological Museum of Argos which hosts many archeological findings, dating from the prehistoric period.
-The Church of St. Peter is located in the center of the city, where the bones of the Saint are kept. He is the patron saint of the city and his memory is solemnly celebrated on May 3rd each year.
-The monastery of Panagia (Katakekrimmeni). It is located below "Larissa" castle. It is one of the oldest monasteries of the city built into a rock, also hosted a secret school (during the Turkish occupation). If you feel like, you can go up there walking up the comfortable stairs, otherwise you can follow the easy way, by car.
Did you know that?
The oldest traces of habitation of the city are located on the hill of Prophet Elias, the so-called "Aspis" hill (shield), at the end of the Neolithic period, around 4000–3500 BC.
The new town is literally built on the old, so it is advisable to have a map, if you want to move more easily.
Perhaps it is one of the few cities with the more one-way streets.
How to go
Distance from Nafplio: 12Km
Road: Very Good
Tolls: No Tolls
Estimated Time: Almost 15 minutes
You have 2 options:
You follow the coastal road of Nafplio towards Mili village. Reaching the village of Nea Kios, turn right to the provincial road of Argos - Nea Kios, which ends up in Argos.
From Asklipiou Avenue, in the center of the modern city of Nafplio, you turn onto the main "Argous" street, which after 12 kilometers ends at the city of Argos.
You can see bus routes here