Kazarma

KAZARMA - Distance from Ermioni: 65 kms/1 hour

KAZARMA MYCENAEAN BRIDGE - The main Kazarma bridge, near the village of Arcadiko, is an ancient bridge at the side of the old country road between Epidavros and Nafplio.  There is a small lay-by on this country road where you can stop, and cross the road to walk about 20m over to the stone bridge.  Dating back to the Greek Bronze Age, it is one of the oldest arched bridges that still exits in use today.  From this lay-by you can also see the Acropolis of Kazarma on the crest of the hill, looking towards Epidavros.  The Kazarma Bridge is only one of three known Mycenaean corbel arched bridges near to the village of Arcadiko.  They all belonged to the same Bronze Age highway, which formed part of a military road network, between the two Mycenaean cities of Tiryns and Epidavros, and all are of similar age and design.  

One of these three Mycenaean bridges is the Petrogephyri bridge, which crosses the same stream 1 km to the West of the main Kazarma bridge.  Otherwise similar in size and appearance, the structure has a larger span and a little higher vault.  It too, is still used as a local track, although this bridge is set back from the main road (see the Picture Gallery below).  From the Petrogephyri bridge there is an ancient pathway, called the Mycenaean Route, that takes you along a well-beaten winding track towards the main central Kazarma bridge (above) and the Acropolis to the East.  This was part of the main Mycenaean highway linking Argos, Mycenae, Tiryns, Epidavros, Troezen and Hermione during the late Greek Bronze Age period, at the time of the Trojan War.  It is remarkable that the present modern country road is situated only metres away from the original Mycenaean highway, used by travellers over 3,500 years ago.  Today, all three Mycenaean bridges and the Mycenaean Route are clearly signed, however, please note that the Eastern bridge and the Western bridge are set back from the present main road. 

A further fourth well-preserved Mycenaean bridge is located in the region of Lykotroupi, where it was part of another Mycenaean main road.  This road still features kerbs, meant for guiding reasonably fast moving chariots.

ACROPOLIS OF KAZARMA  is located on the crest of the hill close to the main Mycenaean bridge at Kazarma.  Originally a Bronze Age fortress protecting Mycenaean travellers, the acropolis citadel was further fortified in the 4thC BC, and later occupied and developed by the Romans, Byzantines, Frankish Crusaders, Venetians and Ottoman Turks.  The acropolis citadel perimeter is multi-sided and originally included four circular towers (only part of three remain) with Mycenaean walls over 5m high and 2.5m thick.  The two remaining Eastern towers have been damaged either by warfare or earthquake.  The top tower (left) has had repairs carried out using much smaller stones and bricks, probably during the late Roman Byzantine period.  To the left of the top tower is a typical Mycenaean entrance gate, facing Epidavros.  The impresive Mycenaean defences were mostly built on the Eastern-Southern-Western side of the acropolis, as the Northern side is sheer rock-face with just a few stone blocks along the ridge.  The smaller postern gate entrance, on the Tiryns side of the acropolis, is similar in design to the much larger Lion(ess) Gate entrance at Mycenae, with a small bastion tower protecting the Western gate entrance, facing the Kazarma stone bridge, far below.     

A road sign shows the direction to the acropolis from the country road between Epidavros and Nafplio.  After turning off the country road, turn left onto a small dirt track after approximately 200 metres.  You will be able to drive about a third of the way up on a beaten dirt track, the second third continues over small rough stones, and the final third will have to be covered by foot over large rough stones.  Look for the plastic tape that marks the easiest route to the top.  On approaching the surrounding walls you will see the large Mycenaean stones that surround most of the acropolis, with later fortifications built by various occupiers over the ages. Inside the citadel, there are assorted ruins ranging from vaulted chambers, stairways and vaults to basic stone wells.  There were two entrance gates to the acropolis, from opposite sides of the citadel, but you can easily enter over the fallen section of the wall, to the left of the main Eastern entrance gate (above) facing Epidavros.  There are wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and hills from the crest of this hill-top citadel, including the Venetian Palamidi fortress of Nafplio in the distance.

THE THOLOS TOMB near Kazarma is a sectioned burial tomb, close to the small village of Arcadiko.  Tholos, or beehive, tombs are typical Mycenaean burial chambers and many can be seen intact around ancient Mycenae.  The many finds from this tomb near Kazarma, particularly ancient pottery urns, are now on display in the Archaeological Museum of the Peloponnese, in Nafplio.  The tomb is situated alongside the old country road between Epidavros and Nafplio. The Tholos tomb is set back approximately 15 metres from the road, and directly below the Kazarma Acropolis, which can be seen on the crest of the hill behind the Tholos. The area in front of the tomb is fenced off and the gate is usually locked, restricting direct access.  To view the Tholos Tomb, the Acropolis and the Mycenaean Bridge(s) you will have to take the old winding country road West from Ligourio towards Nafplio. 

Location

Kazarma Mycenaean Bridge
Greece
37° 35' 37.608" N, 22° 56' 15.234" E
Picture Gallery
The main Mycenaean bridge at Kazarma The Kazarma bridge is still used today by local villagers A small stream still flows through the bridge in winter Pathway leading down to the Eastern Mycenaean bridge Eastern Mycenaean bridge - nearest to Epidavros The Eastern Mycenaean bridge is not used today Pathway which leads up to the Western Mycenaean bridge Mycenaean bridge - to the West - nearest to Nafplio The Western bridge is also known as the Petrogephyri bridge Signs showing the Mycenaean route from Petrogephyri bridge Mycenaean route leading away from the Western bridge The Bronze age Mycenaean route leading East to Epidavros The Mycenaean route also heads towards Arcadiko Country road lay-by opposite the central Kazarma bridge View of the Acropolis of Kazarma from the West Mycenaean Tholos tomb near Kazarma The tomb is alongside the Epidavros-Nafplio country road Some of the Tholos tomb excavations are on display in the Nafplio museum Tholos tomb with the acropolis citadel on the crest of the hill Kazarma acropolis above the tholos tomb Acropolis approach from the car-parking area Main top tower of the Kazarma acropolis Part of the top tower has had to be repaired Main entrance gate to the acropolis citadel Inner top lintel of the main entrance gate Mycenaean walls below the main entrance gate The upper Southern section of the citadel wall Top tower from above the main entrance gate Lower Eastern section of the wall facing Epidavros Lower tower section of the Kazarma acropolis The lower Southern section of the citadel wall Western bastion tower at the postern gate entrance Western postern gate entrance facing Kazarma bridge Western tower or bastion of Kazarma Bastion view down to the central Mycenaean bridge Western view towards the Palamidi fortress at Nafplio Metochi village from the Kazarma acropolis Corbel vaulted chamber near the main entrance Sheer rock-face on the Northern side of the acropolis Top tower overlooking the valley