Ancient Asini

The headland of Ancient Asini
View of Tolo from Ancient Asini
Ancient Asini

The port of Mycenae in Ancient times

The acropolis of the ancient city of Asini occupies the headland at the end of Tolo beach and Kastraki cove.

The highest part of the headland is 52 metre above sea level and the views of Tolo, modern day Asini and Drepano's Plaka beach are breathtaking.

The earliest human occupation of this site dates back to the Neolithic period (5th millenium BC). According to Homer, Asini participated in Trojan War and, together with the other Mycenaean cities of Tiryns, Epidavros & Argos sent 80 ships from Asini harbour to Troy. Asini was destroyed by Argos in around 700 BC according to Pausanias and the inhabitants moved or were moved to Asine in Messenia (modern day Koroni).

Asini as a fortress or fortified settlement continued to exist many years after that. The circuit wall was constructed around 300 BC, probably by the Macedonian King Demetrios Poliorcetes. The main entrance lies in the north, with a side entrance in the east. The Great Bastion on the eastern side of the circuit wall, as well as two smaller towers on the acropolis, was built to resist catapults and other siege machines. The fortifications were added on to at least during the Byzantine (6th – 7th century A.D.) and the second Venetian (1686 – 1715) periods.

During the Italian occupation in World War Two (1941 – 1943) trenches and other defense works were constructed on the Acropolis. The archaeological finds from Asini can be found in Nafplion's Archaeological Museum.

In 1922 excavations of Barbouna Hill, just opposite Ancient Asini Acropolis, uncovered graves from the Helladic, Mycenaean, Geometric and Archaic periods and a Myceanaean Necropolis. On top of the hill remains of a temple dedicated to the Pythian Apollo was found and once again treasures are found in the Nafplion Archaeological museum.