Which is the oldest city of Europe.? Photo: Wikipedia
Which is the oldest city of Europe.? Photo: Wikipedia

Which Is The Oldest City in Europe

Europe has a well-documented and studied history and many of itscities have been inhabited for thousands of years. This is true of all of the cities on this list, which have served as important economic, political, and cultural centers during various time periods. All of these cities are home to historical landmarks and remains left by their previous rulers and are some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Argos is theoldest city in Europe. Argos is a city and a former municipality in Argolis, Peloponnese, Greece. It has been continuously inhabited for the past 7,000 years, making it one of the oldest cities in Greece and Europe. At a strategic location on the fertile plain of Argolis, Argos was a major stronghold during the Mycenaean era. In classical times, Argos was a powerful rival of Sparta for dominance over the Peloponnese, but was eventually shunned by other Greek city-states after remaining neutral during the Greco-Persian wars.

Where is Argos - The First City in Europe

Árgos, city, seat of the dímos (municipality) of Argos-Mykínes in the northeastern portion of the periféreia (region) of Peloponnese (Modern Greek: Pelopónnisos), Greece. It lies just north of the head of the Gulf of Argolís (Argolikós Kólpos).

History of Argos - The Oldest City in Europe

Argos's rich history, can not be attributed to a few lines. But surely, it is worth learning few things about the history of the city, that claims the title of the oldest in Greece.

There is evidence of continuous settlement in the area starting with a village about 7000 years ago in the late Neolithic, located on the foot of Aspis (or Aspida) hill. Since that time, Argos has been continually inhabited at the same geographical location. Its creation is attributed to Phoroneus, with its first name having been Phoronicon Asty, or the city of Phoroneus.

The first king of Argos is considered to be Inachos, son of Oceanus and Tethys, who came from Egypt in 1876 BC. as the leader of a large group of fugitives. Homer has frequent references to his epics about the Argives. The Iliad-like lost epics named "Thebes" and "Epigones", perhaps written by Homer, mention the glory of ancient Argos.

Two of the greatest heroes of our mythology, Perseus and Hercules, come from Argos (see Euripides' tragedy "Hercules").

According to one version, Persia was named after Perseus from Argos. Legend has it that after the murder of Medusa, Perseus went to Ethiopia, where he killed the monster Ketos. The king of Ethiopia then gave him his daughter Andromeda, as his wife. There Persis was born, who reigned in the region of Persepolis.

Today, Árgos is a prosperous agricultural and commercial centre for vegetables and fruits grown in the plain and for food-processing industries based on them.

What to see in Argos, Greece

1. The ancient Theater of Argos

Photo: Comings and Goings
Photo: Comings and Goings

In the south-eastern foothill of Larissa it was founded during the Hellenistic period (300-250 BC) the Theatre. Theatre that could host up to 20.000 spectators constitutes one from the biggest ancient theatres in Greece. In its long-lasting use it entertained the musical and dramatic Nemean games, as well as games in honour of Hera. During the Roman era should be also established games in honour of the emperor.

Considered one of the largest ancient Greek theaters, the theater at Argos has a very long history. Evolving from a small archaic theater, at the base of a rocky slope in the ancient city's agora, to a monumental theater holding 20,000 spectators arranged on 83 rows; a pride of Hadrian. It is possible that this theater, and the Roman Odeon, were known by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes. With the Nafplio bay to the south, and the city of Argos as a backdrop, this theater has provided enormous insight on architectural theater developments. The mythological history of the city became a high interest for people to travel to visit Argos.

There is a theory the Argos Theater was developed to hold important and exclusive gatherings. However, it resulted to becoming a universal site to host festivals, meetings, and athletic competitions.

2. The Municipal Neoclassical Market

Photo: Iberia
Photo: Iberia

The Municipal Market is a historic symbol of Granada, and is catalogued as a building of significant heritage value. Its unusual Neoclassical architectural features, as well as its decorative elements, make it a top recommendation for tourists who want to enjoy the city's artistic tradition while sampling the local cuisine. The square is also used by over a thousand merchants who are celebrating its centenary, as the market was inaugurated in 1888. This local market offers affordable prices, and is used by citizens shopping for a variety of items and tasting the region's characteristic cuisine. Its authentic local character is the source of much of its charm for visitors, particularly those who want to discover the city's historic commercial hub. This intricate network allows you to observe the authentic way in which Granada's citizens live and eat.

3. The ancient Acropolis of Argos

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia

Larisa is the ancient and medieval acropolis of Argos, located on a high rocky hill, within the town's boundaries. According to Strabo, it is named for a group of Pelasgians. The summit is occupied by the ruins of a Byzantine-Venetian castle, below it, roughly midway down the slope of the mountain, is Panagia Katakekrymeni-Portokalousa monastery, and the Monastery of Agia Marina (Saint Margaret) at Argos, a nunnery. The site was fortified and in continuous use for nineteen centuries.

The Larissa castle, built during prehistoric time, which has undergone several repairs and expansions since antiquity and played a significant historical role during the Venetian domination of Greece and the Greek War of Independence. It is located on the highest spot of the city (289 m.), on the Larissa Hill. In ancient times, a castle was also found in the neighboring Aspida Hill. When connected with walls, these two castles fortified the city from enemy invasions.

4. The Barracks of Kapodistrias

 Photo: Βυζαντινό Μουσείο Αργολίδας
Photo: Βυζαντινό Μουσείο Αργολίδας

The Barracks of Kapodistrias, a preservable building with a long history. Built in the 1690s during the Venetian domination of Greece, they initially served as a hospital run by the Sisters of Mercy. During the Turkish occupation, they served as a market and a post office. Later, in 1829, significant damage caused during the Greek revolution was repaired by Governor Kapodistrias, who turned the building into a cavalry barrack, a school (1893-1894), an exhibition space (1899), a shelter for Greek refugees displaced during the population exchange between Greece and Turkey (since 1920) and an interrogation and torture space (during the German occupation of Greece). In 1955–68, it was used by the army for the last time. The building now accommodates the Byzantine Museum of Argos, local corporations and also serves as an exhibition space.

The most activity goes around the town centre, which is the two big squares of Saint Peter, with the church on it and Dimokratias, with the flea market every Wednesday and Saturday. Another known part of the centre is the pedestrian roads ("pezodromoi" as called in Greek), which are the streets of Eleftheriou Venizelou, Panagi Tsaldari and Mihail Stamou.

Most shops, cafes and restaurants are nearby the town centre. Around there are also the Archeological Museum of Argos (closed due to renovations as of March 2021) and the Byzantine Museum of Argolida within the Kapodistrias Barracks.

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