Nafplio was the first capital of the newly born Greek state between 1823 and 1834. According to mythology, the town was founded by Nafplios, the son of god Poseidon and the daughter of Danaus (Danaida) Anemone. The history of the town traces back to the prehistoric era when soldiers from Nafplio participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War.
The town declined during the Roman times and flourished again during the Byzantine times. Frankish, Venetian and Turkish conquerors left their mark in the town and strongly influenced its culture, architecture and traditions during the centuries. Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and Venetian or neoclassical buildings mesmerize the visitor with their unique architecture and beauty.
A special place, mysterious, blessed, full of natural beauty and culture, for centuries, continues to flourish and charms every visitor. The place is authentic and that is the magic of the search of every wayfarer who will visit Nafplion. In the very heart of the city stands the Italianate Syntagma Square where you can admire important historic buildings and monuments.
Two Turkish mosques, the first used to house the first “Mutual Learning” School and now operates as a cinema theater whereas the second was home to the first Greek Parliament, the Archaeological Museum with important artifacts from the Prehistoric and Mycenaean Era and the Municipal Gallery are among the buildings that stand out.
Very close to the modern city stand the church of Agios Spyridonas, in front of which Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias was assassinated, and the church of Agios Georgios boasting important murals such as a copy of the famous Leonardo Da Vinci work “The Last Supper”. The most photographed spot of Nafplio –and its point of reference as well–is Bourtzi, the Venetian small fortress standing on the rocky islet of Agioi Theodoroi.
During the Venetian rule it was connected to Akronafplia through a huge metal chain that secured the port against enemy ship attacks. At the beginning of 1860 the executioners of Palamidi prisoners used to live in Bourtzi. In the summer you can reach the fortress by boat departing regularly from the port. If you are lucky enough you may even be able to attend one of the fascinating festivals taking place on the islet!