There are several interesting facts about different places. Some countries go as far as preserving their rich histories by preserving certain buildings and monuments. Europe has some of the most fascinating sights that definitely attract tourists to visit. But did you know the oldest and continuously inhabited city is within Europe as well?
Argos in Greece is the oldest and continuously inhabited city in Europe. The city has been inhabited for at least 7,000 years and has gone through several invasions and cultures.
History of Argos, Greece
Argos is the second oldest city in Greece. It was founded by Phoroneus and named after his son. The ancient city is part of the prefecture of Argolis in the region of Peloponnese. The city has four main subdivisions: Kokla, Larissa, Akova, and Timenio. (Source: Global Travel Guide)
The city rose to prominence during the Mycenaean era, which was earlier than the classical era of Greece. By the time the classical era came about, Argos was already a well-established city-state. Historians believe that the city has been inhabited since the Neolithic period and was once the rival of Sparta. (Source: Greek Boston)
Homer’s Iliad mentions Argos as the city that sends men to fight in the Trojan War. He also describes the city being ruled by Diomedes, a vassal of King Agamemnon of Mycenae. Noting that the town was known for breeding good horses. Homer also mentions that the city was essential to the goddess Hera, to which an annual festival, the Panhellenic Heraia, was celebrated since the seventh BC.
Argos was known to have reached its most significant dominance by the seventh BC under King Pheidon. Ancient writers claimed that Pheidon created a standard system of measures and weights and military innovations like the Hoplite tactics and double grip shields. Pheidon was also credited as the first ruler to mint silver coins and the victory against Sparta, which he commemorated by celebrating the Olympic games. (Source: World History)
What Sites Can You Visit in Argos?
Rich in history, the city of Argos features many historical places. Should you find yourself there, here are a few places you might want to consider seeing.
The ancient agora is the trademark of the city. It has been the center of action throughout the centuries. The area includes the Odeon, a building for musical competition, the Palaestra, the ancient Greek wrestling school, and the Bouleuterion, the old parliament. The temples of Aphrodite and Lycean Apollo are found here.
Known to have been constructed in the late fifth century, the theater is considered the biggest architectural accomplishment in the city. A third of it is carved into the hill and can seat 20,000 people.
Folklore Museum in Kefalari
The Folklore Museum Kefalari exhibits objects which reflect and express the previous civilization. Its main objective is to educate visitors and younger generations on the rich culture and history of the city.
It is where the foundations of the temple of Athena Poliada and Zeus of Larisa were discovered. It was replaced by the medieval castle of Larissa, a court that played a big part in the Greek War of Independence in 1821.