The antiquities of the once so famous Thebes are scarce and scattered throughout the modern city. In ancient times, Thebes played a major role especially in the Mycenaean period and in the classical and post-classical period as an ally/rival of Sparta and during the short-lived development of power under Epameinondas. Unfortunately, Alexander the Great found it necessary to level the city to the ground and sell the people into slavery. And although through the Macedonians soon rebuilt, the city would no longer be a shadow of its former self. In the time of Pausanias, only the Kadmeia was still inhabited and the suburb had been reduced to rubble. The modern visitor will only encounter few remains of the ancient city. The map (top right) therefore has the necessary question marks. Thebes plays a leading role in Greek mythology. For example, the city was founded by the heros Kadmos from Phenicia, who was looking for his sister Europe (kidnapped by Zeus). The demigods Amphion and Zethes have walled the lower town; the tragedies about Oedipous and Antigone, as well as the Seven against Thebes, take place here; Thebes was known as the city of Herakles; after all, Thebes is still known as the birthplace of the god Dionysos, etc.
The large archaeological museum is an absolute must for anyone interested in ancient times. It has a very wide collection of material from the city itself and the entire region of Boiotia.
Photos above: The Frankish tower of Thebes, the hill with the sanctuary of Apollo Ismenios and its sparse remains, under a huge Mykene chamber tomb and (from the air) remains of the Elektra gate (no. 1 on the map).