* This name is listed on the World Heritage List. ª The region is classified by UNESCO.

Tiryns ( ancient Greek Τίρυνς in Modern Greek, Τίρυνθα Tyrintha ( f sg ) ) is an ancient city in the Peloponnese about 7 km southeast of Argos on the Gulf of Argolis. The city situated on an up to 30 -meter-high limestone rock which is about 300 meters long and 40-100 meters wide. Originally, the coast was nearer past this hill. The site was inhabited from the Neolithic (New Stone Age ). From the third millennium BC at Tiryns was one of the most important centers of the Bronze Age in Europe.

In the legend

Tiryns the legend was founded by of Proitos. The Greek hero Perseus is said to have ruled over the city. Likewise here to Heracles have served the King Eurystheus of Tiryns, where he completed his twelve feats. See also List of the Kings of Tiryns


Between 1876 and 1885, excavations were carried out by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. He was on the highest part of the rock, called the Upper Castle, expose a Mycenaean palace. The later excavations under the direction of Wilhelm Dörpfeld, Kurt Müller and Georg Karo, which were carried out in the years 1905-1929, gave further conclusions about the once great importance of the city in prehistoric times. Since 1976, Tiryns is again systematically explored by German archaeologists, and 1986 under the direction of Klaus Kilian, later under the direction of other researchers at the University of Heidelberg and the German Archaeological Institute. Currently Joseph Maran directs the research projects at Tiryns.

The castle

The elongated hill settlement is divided by gravity and natural features into three sections: the upper castle, Middle Castle and lower castle. The fact that there existed in the Early Bronze Age ( Frühhelladikum ) an important settlement has been found to prove the remains of an imposing circular building on the upper castle, around which other buildings from that period has been found. The finds date to the Frühhelladikum II, about 2500-2200 BC In Frühhelladikum III (FH III ) and the following Mittelhelladikum seems to have been settled Tiryns.

In the late Helladic ( Mycenaean ) period (ca. 1600-1050 BC) was one of Tiryns as Mycenae, Thebes, Pylos and Knossos to the main centers of the Cretan- Mycenaean culture. At that time there was also an extensive lower town, which surrounded the settlement mound. From the former splendor of the city, the well-preserved ruins of a royal residence testify to the upper castle, whose walls were decorated with precious frescoes and the remnants of cyclopean in construction ( cyclopean ) erected fortifications. The stones of the wall were up to three meters long and one meter thick and joined without mortar. The wall has several phases: initially (at least from the 14th century BC), only the upper castle was protected. Towards the middle of the 13th century BC, the entire middle and lower castle was included. Finally - around 1200 BC - and cisterns were integrated.

Despite these seemingly insurmountable border fortifications Tiryns BC was destroyed in the twelfth century by a fire disaster. The excavators take as the cause, however, instead of enemy action rather a severe earthquake at, which is also detected in other parts of Argolis for this time. The damage to the wall have been fixed in the sequence and built the upper town again. Even the palace on the upper castle was partially reused. A new building was built into the ruins of the old palace and inhabited by the leading nobles. The lower town seems to have been even more systematically developed after the disaster. This finding is in contrast to the partial depopulation in other Mycenaean centers in the twelfth century BC

To submykenischen and proto- geometrical period (1050-900 BC ), only a few isolated settlements on the lower castle and the town detectable. This image is also continued for Geometric period.

Based früharchaischer inscriptions and votive aufgefundener can be proven for the archaic and classical period, the worship of the gods Zeus and Athena.

Partly colonization of Tiryns can be even further in the Hellenistic period, the Roman period through to the Byzantine period ( 10th century - 14th AD) demonstrate.