NAFPLION IS AN OPEN MUSEUM
We visit Nafplion, Palamidi, Acronafplia as travelers, not as tourists
We visit Nafplion, 1st capital of modern Greece. Nafplio has 20,000 inhabitants and is divided into the old and the new town. The old town was built mainly in the days of the governor Ioannis Capodistrias, at the beginning of the 19th c, but buildings still exist from the Venetian era.
Nafplio has known tourism since the first decades of the century. It is a colorful town with culture and history and tallies entirely with the standards of the demanding modern visitor for accommodation, meals and entertainment.
Islet of Bourdgi. It was first fortified in 1471 by the Venetians to protect the harbor entrance and was reinforced early in the 18c, the chief defense is a strong polygonal tower topped by a gun platform. A small rock island fort at the entrance to the port 450m from land, completed in 1473 by the Venetians, on plans by Campbell , and connected to the fort at Acronauplia by heavy chain which prevented enemy shipping from entering the port and so it was known as PORTO CADENZA, meaning Porto of chains. After Independence War was used as a dwelling for the executioners of the condemned prisoners in Palamidi, among others. Nowadays small boats ferry you across to the Bourtzi
According to the myths, the founder of ancient Nafplia was Nafplios, son of Poseidon, and the city took part in the Argonauts' expedition. Better known, however, was to be another Nafplios, a great expert in naval arts and father of Palamedes, who was an inventor, doctor, astronomer, poet, mathematician and philosopher. Palamedes' misfortune was that during the Trojan war he clashed with Odysseus, who slandered him as collaborating with Priamos, resulting in Palamedes being put to death before the walls of Troy. To avenge his death, Nafplios seduced the wives of the Greek princes one by one, but failed in the case of Penelope, the wife of his great enemy.
The city developed until the 7th c. BC, when it was destroyed by the Argives. It was reestablished in the Hellenistic era. In Roman and Byzantine times, it suffered invasion by the Avars, Goths, Slavs and Albanians. It passed successively from the domination of the Franks (1212) into the hands of the Venetians (1389), who reinforced the walls of Acronafplia (1470) and fortified the little island in the entrance to the port, Bourdgi. The city was then adorned with grand buildings in the Renaissance style of the period, some still exist . In 1540, after e three-year siege, Nafplion fell to the Ottomans: in 1686 it returned to Venetian domination until, in 1715, the Ottoman Turks came back, to remain until 1822, when it was liberated by the Greeks. Some of its ancient treasures can be seen at the Archeological Museum. Housed in an 18th-century Venetian mansion on the west side of Platia Syntagmatos, the interesting collection includes a full suit of Mycenaean armor as well as series of reconstructed frescoes from Tyrins.
This city has lived for many millenniums and its continuous march through life has produced an unbreakable total, which the better you get to know the more it reveals about those that lived there and all that took place there. The monument that dominates the city with its shape and location is the Palamidi fortress which you can visit either by climbing up the 999 steps of the old entrance that leads from the end of Polizidhou Street on the way to Arvanitia or taking the road. The original structures were Venetian, so the Lion of St. Mark guards the gateways.
When the War of Independence began in 1821, the Greeks fleet, including the illustrious Bouboulina in command of a corvette, had been blockading the harbor since the previous year. On 30 November 1822 the Palamidi Fort and Nafplion was liberated from the Turks.
We visit all the sites as travelers and try to avoid the large buses tourist groups' usual hours. Our photos are a testament to this...
Nafplion 1st Capital of Greece / Greece Private Tours
On 7 January 1828 Ioannis Kapodistrias the first Governor of Greece, installed his government in Nafplion and the city became the capital of the newly established Greek state and the centre of political developments. In September 1831, in the forecourt of the church of Agios Spyridon, the first governor of the nation, Ioannis Kapodistrias, was assassinated. In January 1833 Nafplion welcomed the first king of Greece, Otto of Bavaria, with the three-member committee who were his guardians until he came of age. During his stay Kolokotronis, one of the chiefs of the Resistance, was condemned to death for disobedience to the established authority but the fierce soldier, the "old man of Morea", was reprieved and imprisoned only briefly in the Palamidi Fort. The city continued to play an important role in political developments until 1834 when the capital was transferred to Athens. In 1862 begins the Rebellion against the monarchy. A siege by the royal army follows.
The Archaeological Museum is accommodated in the imposing in size as well as strict in symmetry, stone-built Venetian structure which covers and encases the central, Syntagma Square on its west side. It was first built in 1713, during the second reign of the Venetians, to be used as the navy's depository, according to the marble inscription fitted on the building's frontage, written in Latin. It is widely acknowledged as one of the best well-preserved Venetian structures in the whole of Greece. The permanent exhibition spreads along two halls of the same facade, within the building's two floors and is then historically divided into several themes, from the remotest pre-historical exhibit to the period of antiquity, demonstrating the walk and the mark of every civilization setting foot in Argolida Prefecture. The museum's most exquisite piece of archaeological finds still remains to be the Bronze Suit Armor of Dendra region, exhibited in a specially designed area together with the rest of the breathtaking tools which were excavated such as, armor equipment belonging to the soldier dressed in that armor, bronze and clay jugs.
The nearest to Nafplio beach, behind the city center, on the south of Akronafplia Castle.
A beach with gravel and small rocks pleasantly situated between Palamidi and Acronafplia, in the south end of the town. The beach offers sun loungers / parasols, a cozy cafe, toilets, dressing rooms, etc in the summer season. It is also fun to dive and swim from the low cliffs nearby. The beach is quite steep.
The beach area was upgraded significantly in 2014
The water castle of Bourtzi is located in the middle of the harbor of Nafplio. The Venetians completed its fortification in 1473 to protect the city from pirates and invaders from the sea. The Greeks regained it from the Turks on June 18, 1822, from where they assisted in the siege of Nafplio. Until 1865 it served as a fortress. It was then transformed into residence of the executioners of convicts from the castle of Palamidi. From 1930 to 1970, it served as a hotel. Since then, it is mainly a tourist attraction hosting occasionally parts of the Summer Music Festival.