In Homer's "Iliad", Tiryns with its cyclopean walls is called one of the mightiest of the Mycenaean cities that lined up against Troy. History tells us its strong walls dominated this region of Greece for centuries. I therefore expected to find an impressive fortress crowning a hill, somewhat like Mycenae. What surprised me most about Tiryns, when I finally visited it, was its location.
This supposedly-mighty ancient city is today merely a stretch of tumbled stones barely rising 30 feet above a flat field just off the main road outside Nafplio. It's no big fortress. It looks too small to even be called a palace. You could walk around it inside half an hour. Some of the stones are big, true, and it has a fairly expansive football field-sized flat area on topm where buildings once stood. But frankly, I was a little disappointed by 'Mighty Tiryns'. It doesn't look big enough to field an army, or even to fill its historical shoes. However, if you're in Nafplio, you should judge it yourself, since its just minutes out of town by car or bus. The bus to Argos passes the site just a few minutes outside Nafplio. You can also get a taxi from outside Nafplio's bus station. The taxi there and back, including a 30 minute wait at the site so you can look around, will cost you a flat fee of 30 Euros flat fee. Entry fee to the site is 3 Euros, which includes a free brochure about Tiryns, which is open 8AM to 8PM daily. Is it worth the trip? Well, only if it's on your wish list, and you don't mind being a little disappointed.
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