Nafplio (or Nafplion) is a port in the Peloponnese, in Greece and holds the title, as the first capital city of Greece between 1823 and 1834. It’s rich history can be seen all over the town, in the buildings, the sculptures, the castles, the churches and so many more. The Old Town of Nafplion filled with narrow streets and small balconies, obvious remnants of the Venetian occupation. The three forts, the Palamidi castle, the Acronauplia and Bourtzi fort in the towns port protect the city, and offer spectacular views. Attracting visitors from all around the world, it offers a variety of choices, take a walk and explore the town, relax at a cafe or bar alongside the harbour, visit archaeological sites and museums, or relax in one of the beaches, closeby.
Try the Hop On – Hop Off tour bus or ride the train and take a tour around Nafplion’s “highlights” such as the statues of Ioannis Kapodistrias and Theodoros Kolokotronis, the Bavarian Lion, the Town Hall and many other places of interest.
The centre of the old town is the Syntagma (constitution) square where the Archaeological Museum is located. Other famous parts of Nafplios’ old town are, the church of St. Spyridon where Ioannis Kapodistrias was assassinated, the church of St. George with its impressive murals, including a copy of Da Vincis'”Last Supper”. Discover all the little places in the little and narrow streets of the old town, indulge in the magestic atmosphere and enjoy a coffee or a drink between the alleys with the hanging balconies.
Beaches in Nafplion
Karathona is a beach just a couple of minutes away from the town centre, located in a small bay, is a golden, sandy beach offering a variety of beach cafe-bars, with sunbeds to relax, watersports are also available. Arvanitia is the other beach of Nafplio. Since it is closer to the town centre, about 15 minutes on foot, it’s the beach the townfolk often choose due to its location. A pebble beach, well organised, with sunbeds provided by the cafe-bar situated on the beach.
The castles of Nafplio are representative of its history, and decorate the towns hills and bay in a magnificent way.
The castle of Acronauplia is the oldest fort in Nafplio and was the walled settlement of the town until the late 15th century. Pre-historic findings have been discovered, as suggested by a polygonal section of fortification that has survived from the 4th century BC. Also there are parts of the walls that date back to Hellenistic and Byzantine periods.
Across Acronauplia and at a height of 216m above sea level, the Palamidi castle stands tall and proud above the city. A great feat of architecture by the Venetians. Theodoros Kolokotronis, was imprisoned here on the supposed charge of high treason and the fort was used as a prison for some time. The legend has it that there are 999 steps to reach the castle, for the ones that arent brave enough the fort can also be accessed by car.
The Bourtzi fort, situated in the middle of the harbour, was first built in 1473 and has been used as a prison, an executioners residence and has had many other uses since. At times of war or distress a chain was used to connect Bourtzi and Acronauplia to prevent unwanted ships to enter the harbour. In the present day it serves as a tourist attraction. You can visit the fort via a small boat, waiting in the harbour to take you there.
Historical Monuments in Nafplion
The first capital of the newly liberated Greece in 1822, Nafplion has much to offer in the way of monuments and architecture. Visit some of the following:
- Τhe Vouleftikon, the first parliament building of liberated Greece
- The churches of St George, (17th century), St Nikolaos, (18th century), the Frankoekklisia, the oldest church in the town, which still has traces of the old Catholic (Franc) Monastery
- Τhe old mosque (the Jami) close to Syntagma square, originally a mosque and now used as a theatre
- St Spyridon church, where the first governor of Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias was assasinated and the bullet hole is still evident
- Τhe Venetian Headquarters and arsenal, now the archeological museum in the square
Some other interesting buildings are:
- Τhe Alevras-Lambiris building (1830)
- Τhe old train station (1890)
- Τhe old Town Hall building
- Τhe First New Greek Gymnasium School (built 1833)
- Τhe house of the Viceroy
SITES IN NAFPLION
Many thanks for Up Drones Team for the video of Nafplion