Mycenae inheritor of the Cretan empire looks out across the plane of Argos to the sea. It's elevated position afforded protection from surprise attacks by pirates, at the time of its power the population was grouped around the vast Central fortress, where the reigning family had its residence and burial place. The famous "gate of the lions" is in the northwest corner of the fortress (the design is Cretan); the passage beyond it leads to the royal graveyard where Schliemann discovered priceless treasures in 1876.
Outside the fortress proper lie impressive beehive tombs including the one ascribed to Agamemnon. The stone over the doorway alone is reckoned to weigh some 120 tons. After the burial of the head of the family, the entrance passage was completely filled with earth to prevent the plundering of the tomb.
The ancient town of a Epidavros near the east coast of the peloponnese, was famous as the most important center for the warship of Aesculapius the god of medicine. When a patient recovered after treatment by the doctor priests he would dedicate a replica of the part of his anatomy that had been affected and the museum there contains a remarkable collection of these fascinating offerings.
Within the sacred precincts were also included a stadium and the great theater. This latter, the work of Polycleitos the younger (late 4th century BC) is the best preserved of any of its kind. Its sitting capacity is approximately 15,000 and its acoustics are superb. A festival of ancient drama is performed there every summer by the royal theater company.
An aerial view of the Nafplion peninsula. the Acronafplion citadel which dominates the town from a height of 279 ft occupies the site of the ancient acropolis whose foundations serve as a base for the Venetian and Turkish ramparts. Parts of the Venetian fortress were later employed as a prison.