The history of a city, from antiquity to the 19th century
No need to read this document to understand the long history of the city. You can see it on the castles, in Akronafplia and Palamidi. The city speaks for itself about its past and for those who have passed through here, the Franks, the Venetians, the Turks, the conquerors and their benefactors.
The legend behind the name
The name reveals the man that established Nafplio: Nafplios, was the son of Poseidon and Amimoni. Nafplpios married Klymeni and had three children: Palamides, Oiakos and Nafsimedon. He fortified the city and built a castle named of his son Palamides - who was wise and inventor.
At first, there was the city
Traces of the polygonal walls of Akronafplia and the tombs on the north side of Palamidi testify that the city's history began around the 8th century.
Nafplio, although it was a small town, managed to fend off many invaders.
At the Messenian war alliance with the Spartans (who were enemies of Argos) and eventually conquered by Damokratida, king of Argos. He destroyed the city and used it only as a port of Argos.
It was much later when Nafplion began to acquire power and prestige.
With the establishment of the Byzantine Empire, the Byzantines recognized the city as a commercial center of the Eastern Peloponnese with great strategic significance.
In 1180 lord of Nafplio was Leo Sgouros, who conquered Argos and Korinthos.
In 1204, the Byzantine Empire gave Peloponnese to the Franks, who built Akronafplia.
The Venetians initiate projects
In 1390 Nafplio is dominated by the Venetians. They reinforce the fortification of the two fortresses of the city, and they construct a third, known as the "Five Brothers."
Bourtzi is fortified for the first time, a castle is built over it chains fortificate the castle to the harbor, until 1865 that Bourtzi is residence of the executioners.
The Venetians expand the city, fortified it with walls, built the church of St. George and other buildings.
The Turkish occupation
From 1540 to 1686 the city was dominated by the Turks. In 1686 the admiral Morosini (head of the Venetians) occupies the city and begins to fortify Palamidi. He didn’t complete thw work due to his sudden death.
The fortification of the famous castle continued Sagredos Augustinos. The small church of St Andrew inside Palamidi and the stone lion are his work.
The Venetians remained until 1715, and the Turks occupied all the Venetian possessions in the Mediterranean region.
In 1718 the Peloponnese officially delivered to the Turks, and the city of Nafplio, where mosques are built, suffers from problems and atrocities.
The Greeks started the revolution on March 25th 1821 and in November of 1822 the chieftains of the Peloponnese begin their struggle for the liberation of Nafplio, leaded by Theodoros Kolokotronis.
Staikos Staikopoulos together and his men, occupy Palamidi and the city acquires its independence.
In January 1823, Nafplio became the capital of the independent Greek state and in the beginning of 1828 the first governor of the Greek state, Ioannis Kapodistrias, is coming to town. Three years after he was murdered in front of the church of St. Spyridon.
The new King
In 1833 arrives in Nafplion, Othon of Bavaria, as king of Greece, and the following year the capital of Greece moved to Athens. In 1834 Theodoros Kolokotronis was imprisoned in Palamidi, and released after two years. Othon's reign lasts until 1862 .
Nafplio: A city for princes
After the transfer of the capital, Nafplio is still a very important Greek city, since it was a major military center, with recipes, the forts, the main arsenal of the army and central garage.
Still, it was judicial and administrative center, a secure export harbor and towards the end of the century is connected by railway.
In the city there are two neighborhoods, the old city and the suburb of Pronoia.
Through the 19th century Nafplion is developing an urban consciousness, groomed appearance of the city, demolished the walls, the city acquires lighting, more green and decent hotels that host princes and emperors.