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NAFPLION
PELOPONNESOS
GREECE


Nafplion, Peloponnesos, Greece
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The capital of the prefecture of Argolida, 148 km south west of Athens, with 10.000 inhabitants, Nafplion is built on the north side of a rocky peninsula jutting into the gulf of Argos.

Although there is very little known about ancient Nafplion - Paleolithic and Neolithic objects have been found near by - what impresses today is the recent history of this charming town.

The old town of Nafplion has seen generations of Byzantines, Franks, Turks and Greeks walk its narrow and winding streets through the centuries. The old city, today, with its neo classic houses, picturesque streets, wooden balconies with cascading flowers, Turkish fountains, Syntagma square with its fascinating mosques and outdoor cafe tables, is like a fairy land.

The Venetians have marked it with the impressive, mighty and for some, elegant, fortress of Palamidi, on the 700 ft hill top right above the town.
Built between 1711 and 1715 by the Venetians it fell in the hands of the Turks a year later in 1715 and remained so until the end of the Greek war of Independence at which time conquering Greeks used it as a prison. Kolokotronis, the revolutionary war hero was imprisoned here. You will see the sign leading to his cell when you arrive at the top after climbing - only - 857 steps to it. In case you are not feeling adventurous there is a modern road leading to the hill top.
During summer nights floodlights illuminating the fortress offer a spectacular sight.

After the Independence War Nafplion became the capital of the newly born Greek State. Ioannis Capodistrias, the first governor lived here and was later assassinated here in 1831 at the entrance of the basilica of Agios Spyridon. The church standing today at the Agios Spyridon square, bears the marks of the bullet at its doorway. The first pharmacy of modern Greece standing still today at the "Three Admirals" square was the placed used as a morgue to embalm his body.

Bourtzi, one more landmark of Nafplion stands in the harbour. A tiny island fortress built in 1471 by the Venetian Antonio Cambello has undergone changes that made it from an assault pad for the bombardment of the then Turkish Nafplion, to a hotel as it existed between 1930 and 1970. A visit is possible to this spot which illuminated in the summer nights offers one more attractive sight.

The Archaeological Museum of Nafplion in Syntagma square - the center of old Nafplion - is a superb Venetian building with arcades, used to be the warehouses of the Venetian navy. The museum is housing interesting items from Mycenae and Tiryns.

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