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History of Argolis

First capital of the liberated, from the Turks, Greece. The first primary school was also accomodated in Nafplio, under the auspices of Kapodistrias. Today, Nafplio is the capital and administrative center of the prefecture
of Argolida, but also an important touristic center. With its buildings, renowned castles and generally the whole layout of the city makes Nafplio one of the most beautiful places in Greece.  The fortress complex of Nafplio is extensive and imposing. The oldest fortress of all is Akronafplia, in the homonymous peninsula. On the opposite rocky hill rises the famous Palamidi. Bourtzi is found in front of the harbour, in the shallow waters, and was connected, during the old times, by chains with the land, which is also the reason it was called Porto Cadena. All three castles are remarkable not only for their arcaelogical importance but also for their incredible adjustment in the place's topography.  The city itself includes many praiseworthy monuments, such as the imposing Venetian arms depot - which is maintained intact and accomodates the Archaelogical museum -, the Mosque in Syntagmatos square, the church of Saint Spyridonas, famous because on the entrance of which Kapodistrias was murdered, the Bavarian lion, and other buildings along the mole which compose this rare architectural and urban plan whole making Nafplio distinguish as the best preserved example of a neoclassical city of the 19th century.
Mycenae is situated on a small hill, on the feet of mount Euboea, between two peaks of it and near the road leading to the Argolic gulf from North. The hill is inhabited since the Neolithic era but it enjoys its fame the later Copper era(1350 - 1200 B.C.). Huge Cyclopean walls surround the acropolis except for the south side where a steep ravine provides physical protection. The palace was built in top of the acropolis, with the room of the throne in the south-west side, along with the "Religion Center" and the central lion's gate. The findings from the First Grave Circle and the
royal chambers are excibited in the National Museum of Athens. In the south-east side of the hill, besides shops, a tunnel of Cyclopean walls was built, which led to an underground spring. Besides the walls there are also found residencies, the Second Grave Circle, as well as big arched graves. Mycenae was habitated till 468 B.C. when it comes to the hands of the Argives and the population is chased. The acropolis is reinhabited, for a while, during the 3rd B.C. century, but the area was abandonded long ago during the 2nd B.C. century when Pafsanias payed it a visit.
In 1841, Mr Pittakis cleaned the liongate, and in 1876, Eric Sliman started the excavation of five graves of the First grave Circle. At the same time from 1952 till 1955, Mr Milonas and Mr Papadimitriou, from the Archaelogical Service of Athens excavated the Second Grave Circle. In 1950 the Repair Service with Mr Orlandos and Mrs Stika restored the grave of Clytaemnestra.
Established by the Kares, conquered from the Ionians, lastly from Dorians, it became a commercial center with famous colonies - especially Aegina - and remained an ally of Sparti, enemy of Argos, enjoying its own power and glory. There existed temples of Asklipios with its own statue and her wife's Ipioni, church of Dionysos, grove of Artemis, sacred for the goddess Afrodite and towards the harbor a temple of Hera.
South of the peninsula is the ancient theatre of the 4th century to be found. It was discovered in 1971 by the archeologist Evangelia Deilaki and excavated by the Archaeological department of Nafplio the summer of 1972. It is made of marble, excellently preserved, with a capacity of 6000 seats - maybe even 9000 seats with the addition of wooden seats in the upper landings - and speaks of the prosperity and the culture of the town, which maintained its own theatre, although the big theatre of Asklipios was situated 20 km away. The acoustics of the theatre is so tremendous that the fall of a coin in the middle of its base can be heard even from the upper landing. One of the most famous ancient monuments in Greece, the area of the Sanctuary, as the preserved,for 25 centuries, by the locals name.
The temple as built in 300 B.C. by Theodotus and in the vestibule existed statue of gold and ivory of the god Aeskulapius. The sanctuary with its rare architectural variety was maintained since 87 B.C. until it was pilaged by Sylas and his soldiers. It continued operating, under the protection of the Romans.  In the temples of Aesculapius resorted, during the ancient times, the sick in order to request from the god to designate them a heal method. The ritual was the following : the clergy submitted the patients in special psychological preparation, to end up sleeping in special arcades, the Egimitiria, where Aesculapius would suggest them in a dream the appropriate treatment. The priests were responsible to interpretate the god's suggestions.
According to the excavatory findings (copper medical instruments) the suggestions didn't limit in pharmaceutical treatments(herbs) but there were also surgery operations taking place. It is believed that the medical knowledge of the priests of Aesculapius comprised a secret which passed on from one to another.  The worship of Aesculapius began in 420 B.C. and went on till the end of ancient times, the 5th century B.C. A basilica was established in the area of the temple, for the construction of which many architectural parts were used.

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