Nafplio, the first capital of Greece
After Greece's liberation from the Turks (1830), Nafplio became the first capital of the new state. As a result, the city played a primary role in many important events; institutions were created, buildings were constructed. Walking in the old town of Nafplio is like walking with history, from the antiquity until the newest years and you can easily sense all the important moments that this place lived.
The first National Printing-Office
The National Printing-Office was created in 1821, since the need for printed forms of decisions, orders and decrees was very high. In his reign, Otto converted it to a state Printing-Office in 1833, with the title "Royal Printing-Office".
The national printing-office was moved to Athens in 1834.
The first Greek Parliament
From autumn 1825 until spring 1826, the mosque, which had been constructed meanwhile by architect Vallianos, housed the First Greek Parliament. Hence the name of "Vouleftiko" (parliamentary building), by which the mosque is known to this day.
Today, it serves as a conference hall, while on the ground floor the Municipal Gallery operates.
The first theatrical performances
The first "theatrical performance" was held in 1826, in the living-rooms of the politicians and chieftains of the time. The play was a simple narration of the tragic events in Messolonghi (siege etc.) by Mrs. Evanthia Kairis. It was the first performance (drama) that took shape. Then, the first theatrical performances in the "Trianon" timidly began.
The first "Evelpidon" School (Military School of Cadets)
It was founded in Nafplio on July 1st 1828, by decree of the Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias, with the original name "The Company of Trainers" and later on "Military School of Cadets". The government's goal was for the school to train civil engineers, who would undertake state-of-the-art governmental engineering and then state's fortification projects.
Students from the age of 12 could be admitted to the school and the duration of education was initially 3 years, while in 1834 it was increased to 8 years.
The first eight Artillery Sublieutenants graduated in 1831, on whom Capodistrias himself placed the epaulets and he first named them "Evelpids" (Cadets).
Today, the building houses the War Museum.
The first High School
The renovated building at the Three Admirals' Square, which currently houses the Town Hall, has a long and interesting history. It was built in 1857, to house the High School of Nafplio. The High School was originally a single storey building and in 1893 a second floor was added, for the Greek School to also be housed there. Then the High School moved to the first and second floors, while the Greek School was housed on the ground floor. In 1953 the High School moved to a new building on "Amalia" street (where it operates ever since) and the building was abandoned.
Today, it houses the Town Hall.
The first Pharmacy
Located in Three Admirals' Square, however unfortunately only a sign today attests its status of the past. Here, Ioannis Kapodistrias' pile was embalmed by the owner of the pharmacy Mr. Bonifacio Bonafin, Italian philhellene.
In the previous years, a shop was housed where the pharmacy operated, but the Municipality of Nafplio is considering using it to create a copy of the pharmacy at the time.
The first fireworks
History says, that the first French soldiers threw firecrackers on the anniversary of the Julian Revolution, which of course was something that caused the admiration of the locals.
The first Christmas Tree
The first tree was adorned during the reign of Otto, impressed the locals and this practice was immediately adopted. Also, at that time the first New Year's Eve gathering event (and dance) took place.
The first introduction of potato
The introduction of potato's cultivation is attributed to Governor Kapodistrias. The curious thing is in the way that he found to make them acceptable. At first, he imported a cargo of potatoes and offered them to the public. But no one was interested. Knowing the Greek ways, he therefore ordered the whole cargo of potatoes to be disposed of the ship at the Nafplio docks in public display, but to be kept strongly guarded. Soon, rumors started spreading around about potatoes that, since they were so well guarded, they should be of great importance. And of course, some people tried to steal them. The guards had been ordered to "turn a blind eye" and effectively allow the stealing. In a few days, all the cargo potatoes had been stolen and Kapodistrias' plan to introduce them into Greece had succeeded.