During the second millennium BC, Mycenae was one of the largest centers of Greek civilization, forming a strong military fortress that dominated most of southern Greece. The period of Greek history between 1600 BC until around 1100 BC. is called “Mycenaean”, referring to Mycenae. At the height of their glory, in 1350 BC, the castle and the lower city had 30,000 inhabitants and vovered an area of 32 hectares. Homer first reports the city describing it as “golden”.
The tradition states that Perseus, the son of Zeus and Danae, the daughter of Akrisios, the king of Argos, descendant of Danaus, is the founder of Mycenae. Pausanias reports that Perseus named the new city of Mycenae either because his sword fell, or because there was a source with plenty of water, the Persian source, under the root of a “fungus”, a mushroom. According to the myth, the descendants of Perseus reigned in Mycenae for three generations, lastly Eurystheus, who was killed without leaving offspring, and so the inhabitants of Mycenae selected as their king Atreas, the son of Pelops and father of Agamemnon and Menelaus.
Of the surviving today remains the two burial royal enclosures A and B that were part of the extensive prehistoric cemetery west of the palace hill, of which the largest volume of the amazing discoveries (most of which are gold and is characterized by their marvelous art), the treasure of Athena (vaulted tomb), the vaulted tomb of Clytemnestra, the Gate of the Lions, the Royal Palace, the temple, the North Gate as well as the Underground Tank. Much of the findings brought to light by the archaeological excavation at Mycenae are exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens as well as in the new, modern Museum of Mycenae.
From Mycenae we take the road to Ancient Nemeathrough the Ancient Cleones. We must stop for ten minutes and pay tribute to the initiator of our journey, to the Temple of Hercules, unique in Greece, abandoned in a rural area though.
At short distance there is Ancient Nemea. Before entering the Ancient Stadium and the Archaeological site, we will stop at the Adrastos Fountain, where the Argean General Adrastos stopped to drink water on the way to Thebes during the famous Seven on Thebes campaign. At this point the snake stung infant Ofeltis (or Archemoros), son of the King of NemeaLykourgos, and died, as Pythia had predicted. According to the oracle the infant should not have stepped on the earth before learning to walk. But his nanny, the Princess of Limnos Ypsipyli, was forgotten when Adrastos and his other generals asked her some information and she troubled leaving the toddler on a layer of wild celery.
Amphiaraos, one of the Seven, considered it as a bad omen for the campaign and named the infant Archemoros (the beginning of misfortunes). In the memory of the infant, the Seven established the Nemea Games. The tomb of Ofeltis still existed in the years of the traveler Pausanias (2nd century AD).
With this epic 10day journey you come in contact with classical Greece, with the legendary Peloponnese, with the glorious cities of Macedonia where Alexander the Great lived before the long and glorious campaign to the East and with the wonderful geological formations of the Meteora of Thessaly that in the late Byzantine period were changed to Christian monastic enclaves.
Get ready for an amazing 10-day / 9-night, high-end Culture Route program that combines astonishingly the private tour of the impressive Greek Mythology of seven of the twelve tribes of Heracles in the Peloponnese.