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19/06/2008

Nafplio

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One of the most beautiful cities of Greece, was the capital of the Greek state after the revolution (1828-1834) and seat of the first king of the country (King Otto). Nafplio has a number of sights, although the main site is the city itself with the splendid mansions, the neighborhoods and the graphic harbour. In the harbour, on the small islet of St. Theodoroi lies Bourtzi, the Venetian fortress of the 15th century. Bourtzi in its rich history has been used for different purposes. Today, however, various cultural events are organised there each summer. Another characteristic place of the city is the castle of Palamidi, made by the Venetians at the beginnings of the 18th century. Its 8 ramparts are connected with a wall. The small church of Apostle Andreas is found in the castle. Initially, access to the castle was only possible though a vaulted closed road. Later a staircase was manufactured with 857 steps. Palamidi was ruled by the Venetians, then by the Ottomans and finally, in 1822, it was conquered by the revolution hero Staikos Staikopoulos. His statue is found in the city. Today, access is also possible from a new road. In Palamidi, the Nafplio music festival takes place every summer. Palamidi has been also used as a prison, in which Theodoros Kolokotronis was jailed. In Akronafplia, traces of human activity from prehistoric times as well as trNikitarasaces of fortification from the Hellenistic period have been found. At a later time, the Venetians built a fortress there that was also used by the Byzantines and the Ottomans. After the revolution the Akronafplia fortress was used as a hospital and a prison. Today the prisons have been demolished and on their former location a hotel has been built. The stone stairs that connected Akronafplia to the city, made by the Venetians in the 18th century, still remain.

The old city of Nafplio is very picturesque. There are old mansions and buildings of important historical value, such as the house of the revolution hero, Nikitaras, and the house of the first regent of the modern Greek state. Many historical buildings are used today as museums, such as the Archaeological Museum. The three-storey building of the museum was built by the Venetians at the first half of the 18th century. It is found in Syntagma Square and initially was used as barracks, military deposits and prisons. Today, an important archaeological collection from excavations from Peloponnese, especially prehistoric and Mycenaean objects, are on display. The museum is open daily, except Mondays (Tel. 27520 27502). In the Central Military School that was established by the governor of Greece, Kapodistrias, the visitor can admire today the collections of the War Museum. The War Museum is open daily, except Mondays. The Folklore Museum of Nafplio (Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation and Folk Art Museum “V. Papantoniou”) is considered one of the best in Greece, with international recognition. The collections are exceptionally rich and unique. They include traditional costumes, domestic utensils, types of traditional art, old maps, etc. The museum has also a very important editorial activity, with publications of scientific magazines and books. Traditional music is also recorded and music records are produced. In addition, the museum has an exceptional library (Tel. 27520 28947, 27520 2837). Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies, established in 2008, is a research Annex in Nafplio. The Annex offers full access to Harvard library’s on line resources and also constitutes an outpost in Europe for Harvard students and faculty. The Annex’s digital library is open to the public everyday from 10.00-13.00 and is housed in Nafplio’s former city hall (Iatrou building) (http://zeus.chsdc.org/nafplio/home). Finally in the old railway storehouses, the visitor can find the Children's Museum with collections of traditional toys and objects that were used by children. The museum is a part of the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation.

In the historical Syntagma Square lies Trianon. The building has been used for various purposes in the past, since it was a catholic church, an Ottoman mosque, a school, but also a cinema and a theatre later. Today, it is used as a theatre. The building of the first Greek Parliament was also initially a mosque. Similarly, the building of the city hall (19th century) used to be the first High School of the country.

There are many splendid churches in the city, such as the Venetian church of St. George. In the church, the throne of the first king of Greece, Otto, can be found. In the church’s yard, music events are organized every summer. Perhaps the most known church of the city is the church of St. Spyridon, outside of which the governor Kapodistrias was murdered. In the square of St. Spyridon are some old Turkish water fountains. The Catholic church of Metamorphosis is also worth a visit. In the region of the “Bavarian Tombs” the visitor can see a rock curved sculpture of the Lion of Bavaria, from 1836. King Otto’s father, Ludwig, asked for the construction of the monument in memory of the Bavarian soldiers that had lost their lives from a typhoid epidemic.

Nafplio is surrounded by beautiful beaches. The most known is the beach of Arvanitia, which is within walking distance from the city, under the castle of Palamidi. When in 1770 the Albanians did not obey the sultan, the Ottomans threw from Palamidi thousands of Albanians that lost their life falling in this beach. Thus, the beach took the name that it has today. Other known beach of the region is the beach of Karathonas that is found a few kilometers outside Nafplio.


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Municipality of Nafplio
Tourist guide of Nafplio


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