Nafplio (Modern Greek: Ναύπλιο) is a seaport town in the Peloponnese in Greece that has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. The town was an important seaport held under a succession of royal houses in the Middle Ages as part of the lordship of Argos and Nauplia, held initially by the de la Roche following the Fourth Crusade before coming under the Republic of Venice and, lastly, the Ottoman Empire. The town was the capital of the First Hellenic Republic and of the Kingdom of Greece, from the start of the Greek Revolution in 1821 until 1834. Nafplio is now the capital of the regional unit of Argolis.
Palamidi (Greek: Παλαμήδι) is a fortress to the east of the Acronauplia in the town of Nafplio in the Peloponnese region of southern Greece. Nestled on the crest of a 216-metre high hill, the fortress was built by the Venetians during their second occupation of the area (1686–1715).
The fortress was a very large and ambitious project, but was finished within a relatively short period from 1711 until 1714. It is a typical baroque fortress based on the plans of the engineers Giaxich and Lasalle. In 1715 it was captured by the Turks and remained under their control until 1822, when it was captured by the Greeks.
The eight bastions of the fortress were originally named after the Venetian provveditori. However, when it fell to the Ottoman Empire, the bastions were given Turkish names. Lastly, when the Greeks overthrew the Turks the bastions were renamed after ancient Greek leaders and heroes (Epaminondas, Miltiades, Leonidas, Phocion, Achilles, Themistocles. The two remaining bastions were named after St. Andrew (Agios Andreas) and the French Philhellene Robert who died in battle on the Acropolis of Athens. The “Miltiades,” was used as a prison and among its walls was also held Theodoros Kolokotronis, hero of the Greek Revolution.
The fortress commands an impressive view over the Argolic Gulf, the city of Náfplio and the surrounding country. There are 913 steps in the winding stair from the town to the fortress. However, to reach the top of the fortress there are over one thousand. Locals in the town of Nafplion will say there are 999 steps to the top of the castle, and specials can be found on menus that incorporate this number to catch a tourist’s eye
The water castle of Bourtzi (Greek: Μπούρτζι, from Ottoman Turkish برج – burc meaning “tower”; formerly Καστέλι, Kasteli) is located in the middle of the harbour of Nafplio. The Venetians completed its fortification in 1473 to protect the city from pirates and invaders from the sea. The Greeks regained it from the Turks on June 18, 1822, from where they assisted in the siege of Nafplio. Until 1865 it served as a fortress. It was then transformed into residence of the executioners of convicts from the castle of Palamidi. From 1930 to 1970, it served as a hotel. Since then, it is mainly a tourist attraction hosting occasionally parts of the Summer Music Festival.
Suggested boat from Nafplio: