Nafplio from Palamidi
(click to enlarge!)
Nafplion is undoubtedly one of the most atmospheric and romantic cities. It is a unique place, full of natural beauties, historical monuments and rich cultural heritage. It was the first capital of the newly independent Greek state, where Ioannis Kapodistrias arrived in 1828 as first governor of Greece. Byzantines, Venetians and Turks left indelible marks in this magnificent city that manages to combine the nostalgic elements with modern. The attraction sites of the city are countless and its interesting morphology is ideal for long romantic walks and exploring trips. Nafplio is an ideal destination throughout the whole year due to its nice climate, as the winter is mild and the summer cool and relaxing.
Syntagma Square is an attraction due to the interesting architecture of the historic buildings that surround it, but also for its lively cafes and bars. On the square, which was built by the Venetians, is the first Greek Parliament, which was housed in an 18th century mosque, a mosque-Trianon (1730) which now houses the Municipal Theatre of Nafplion, the church of St. Anastasius and the Barracks or Armory, which now hosts the archaeological museum. On its façade features the lion- emblem of Saint Marc- and hosts many findings mainly from the Mycenaean era (for ticket information and opening hours tel. +30 27520 27502).
The churches of Saint George and Saint Spyridon
The church of St. George (Agios Georgios)- located very close to Grand Sarai Nafplio - was built during the First Venetian occupation and hosts the red throne of Otto-the first king of Greece, and a copy of the famous painting of Leonardo Da Vinci "Last Supper.Saint Spyridon [Agios Spyridonas] (1702), only a few meters from the hotel, is the point at which the first governor of the country was assassinated - the wall of the church is still marked by the bullet.
Bourtzi, which means tower, became the hallmark of the city of Nafplio. Initially there was a Byzantine church dedicated to St. Theodore. The Venetians built at the same point in 1473 a tower-fortress. Bourtzi functioned as a fortress until 1865, then it was inhabited by the executioners of Palamidi, while during the decade 1960-1970 it became a luxury hotel. Today it hosts many cultural events and visitors can reach it only during the summer months-by boats that depart every 20 minutes from the small harbor.
Palamidi is another hallmark of Nafplion. Especially during nighttime that is illuminated, it offers a spectacular image. It is built at a height of 216 meters and was completed in just 3 years. The view from Palamidi is disarming, while the tour very interesting. Within the castle there are eight ramparts, the church of St. Andrew, the cell that imprisoned Kolokotronis and numerous additional buildings. It is accessible either by car following the road to the beach of Karathona or by climbing the 999-according to tradition-stairs.
Armansperg House is one of the most important mansions of the Ottoman period in Nafplion, once there lived Count Joseph Ludwig Graf von Armansperg, who was certainly a controversial persona and was known as an authoritarian oligarch. The mansion was huge and there often were held banquets and dance.
Tour of Arvanitia
Tour of Arvanitia starts after the end of the long beach of Nafplio and ends in the Arvanitia square. The route, which is about one kilometer, is thefavorite promenade of locals and visitors and offers spectacular views of the rocks of Acronafplia, the Venetian church Santa Maria della Grotta, and the entire Gulf of Argolis. The tour ends on top of a 200 meters long beach with crystal clear waters. The path continues also after the square and ends after in about 3 km at the beach of Karathona..
Other important sites of Nafplio are:
- The first Greek gymnasium, built in 1833
- The town hall, a nice neoclassical building
- The Courthouse, donated by Syggros
- The Gate of the Land, where begins the ascent to Palamidi
- The first Greek hospital, which has been nicely renovated
- The Lion of Bavaria, in memory of those who died of typhus
- The picturesque neighborhood of Psaromahalas
- Kapodistrias Square, with the statue of the first governor of Greece
- The building of the Regency, dating from 1831
- The War Museum, housed in the building of the first Military Academy (more information tel. +30 27520 25591)