Lets Visit Mycenae, Greece

When you do trips like this – you should make sure you have good shoes. Mycenae was one of our stop on this day trip from Athens – I clocked in 15,000 steps which translated into 9.2km. My iPhone also recorded that I climbed over 28 floors. Yeah good, comfortable shoes – really important. It’s probably not that great for most people but for someone who just sits in the office in front of her laptop all day – it’s quite impressive.

Mycenae - The Legend

Mycenae is a Bronze age acropolis located on a small hill between two larger hills Profitis Ilias and Mount Sarat in Peloponnese, Greece.

There is no clear evidence of how Mycenae was founded – but there is a Greek legend around it (of course). It was said that Perseus, son of Zeus and Danae, daughter of Acricio, King of Argos (not the store, although the store is pretty cool), founded Mycenae. They also employed Cyclopes to build the walls of Mycenae with giant stones that no human can lift. The defensive walls were then called Cyclopean. Cyclopes are one-eyed giants (no – not X-men).

Mycenae became one of the richest and most powerful mainland centres of Bronze Age Greece due to its strategic location; it had control over trade activities between the Aegean and the mainland. There are also a few legends associated with Mycenae:-

The Twelve Labours of Hercules (or Heracles)

  • Hercules was given twelve ‘tasks’ by Eurystheus, the last Mycenaean ruler from the Perseid dynasty.
    It all started when the Oracle in Delphi told him he had to serve Eurystheus for 12 years, for killing his own wife and children (seems he went mad for a bit). But he was to get immortality at the end of it all, so 12 years of labour doesn’t sound too bad for a demi-God with extraordinary strength. The ‘Twelve Labours’ list is quite interesting (and varied) – one example is that he had to slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra (a serpent-like monster with many heads; they say if you cut off one head, two more would grow back in its place). Another one was he had to clean up King Augeas’ stables which were dirty and smelly in one day. And Augeas was super rich and owned more cattle than anyone in Greece. Yes – very ‘varied’ – You can tell that Eurystheus was not really fond of Hercules.

    Click here to learn more about the ‘list’

The expedition against Troy during the Trojan War by King Agamemnon of Mycenae.

  • Most people would have watched Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Achilles in the movie Troy. So King Agamemnon was the one with Achilles by his side when he attacked Troy (although there were times Achilles refused to fight because of Agamemnon arrogance). By the way – the Trojan War went on for over a period of nine years (not a few weeks like the Hollywood version). But one thing is true, the war did start because Paris, the second son of the King of Troy took Helen, the wife of Menelaus, the King of Sparta (basically the Queen of Sparta) back with him to Troy. Yes – nine years of war because of a woman. Amazing…

Highlights of the Archaeological Site

Sharing a few highlights of the site. I have to say that it may be worthwhile to join a tour to get a better understanding of what you’re looking at. There are of course descriptions at the site but it would be more helpful if there was a guide explaining what you’re looking at, the history behind each monument etc. It is a big site – and there are more things to look at just outside the citadel, that you can easily miss if you just follow the crowd.

The Lion Gate

Grave Circle A

Underground Cistern

The Treasury of Atreus

I got these pictures of before and after from Ancient Greece Monuments Past & Present book by Giorgio Bejor. Bought the souvenir book in Athens. Sometimes its useful to have these kind of illustrations…


Beautiful Day at Mycenae

We were very fortunate that it was such a beautiful day – not too hot and not too cold. Still a lot of walking needed but at least it was a pleasant walk. This really is a beautiful site, and I could easily spend many hours here.

Check out my other posts on our Greek adventure

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