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Nafplio PDF Print E-mail

NAFPLIO

Historical reference

Nafplio is the capital of Argolida prefecture and in the past was the first capital of the new established Greek country.

According to mythology, its name comes from Nafplio, son of God Poseidon and Amymone (King’s Danaos daughter), who was born in a coast in Evia and arrived by boat to the Argolic Bay.

Nafplios built the town on the place that his parents first met and fell in love.

Close to the sea and naturally protected due to the morphology of the area, Nafplio was a pole of attraction for many conquerors that left signs of their civization.

In 1212 Geoffrey of Villehardouin besieged Nafplio but it took him one year to occupy the town.

Frankish domination remained until 1389 and then Venetians arrived in 1540. In that year, Turks arrived for the first time and kept the town until 1686. Venetians fought against Turks, so in 1715 the achieved to be the dominators of Nafplio and of the whole area of Argolida.

Turks reoccupied Nafplio with the rest of Peloponnese until 1821 when the Greeks raised in revolt under the leadership of Staikos Staikopoulos and they succeeded on occupying Palamidi fortress.

In 1823 was nominated as the base of the temporary government of the Nation, where in 1828 disembarked Ioannis Kapodistrias that gave an end to the division of the Greeks.

In 1831, Ioannis Kapodistrias was assassinated in front of the church of Saint Spyridon.

King Othon – the first king of the new established country – arrived in Nafplio in 1833 and in 1834 the capital was transferred in Athens.

Nowadays Nafplio is a modern town, 150 kilometers away from Athens, with luxurious shops, high speed of development and with economical life based mostly on tourism, considering the fact that it’s situated on the road that joins the archaeological centers on Mycenae, Argos, Tiryns and Epidaure.

PALAMIDI

It’s a fortress from the Venetian period that was constructed for the town fortification.

Inside the castle, there are ruins of old buildings and the well known prison that Kolokotronis was sent.

You can have access either by climbing from the 999 steps or drive with direction to Karathona. Coming out of the castle, visitors can enjoy the wonderful view over the Argolic bay. 

BOURTZI

It’s a Venetian fortress, on the little island of Saint Theodori, built to protect Nafplio town of the pirates, so for that reason in the evenings a chain integrating Bourtzi with the town (5 brothers). So, Nafplio is also known as Porto Cadena. Later on, Bourtzi was the domicile of the executioners of Acronafplia. Nowadays, music concerts take place there. You can have access by a little boat from the port.

ACRONAFPLIA

This is the oldest acropolis in Nafplio. The conquerors used Acronafplia for fortification reasons or as a prison. It was abandoned to Greeks after Palamidi occupation. Later in the Greek history, the buildings in Acronafplia were used as a military hospital, army building and prisons.

Nowadays, in that point are built luxurious hotels. It was also named Arvanitia, because during the Turkish domination, thousands of Arvanites were assassinated by the Turks in the rocks, painting them red!!!