In the plains of the eastern Peloponnese in Greece, the ancient city of Argos boasts a rich and long history. Historians tell us that it is the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe.
I visited Larissa Castle, perched atop a towering hill west of the city of Argos. Within the castle’s walls traces of 3300 years of history are visible.
The oldest walls are tracable to Mycenean times (13th century BCE). During the Archaic period the area of the citadel was established as an Acropolis for the Argolites and furnished with sanctuaries. Traces of two temples can be found in the southwest part. The Byzantines added two gates, a church and more walls. The Franks built another church and a new two-storey building in the 12th or 13th century. Reinforcements of the fortification were carried out in the 15th century as a result of alternating Venetian and Ottoman rule of the castle. In 1821 the castle was captured by Demetrios Ypsilantis from the Ottomans in the Greek War of Independence. It played little to no role in subsequent military actions. A nunnery had been built on the slopes in the 18th century, followed by a male monastery (now a church) in the 19th century.