Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Land Gate

The Gate of land is located under the walls of Akronafplia and at the point where the stone staircase leads to Palamidi and across the courthouse. The statue of the chieftain, Staikos Stenopoulos, one of the educators of Nafplion, is also found here.

Porta di Terraferma, built by the French engineer Lasal in 1708, succeeded the former gate of the first Venetian domination. It was named because it was the only entrance of the city from the land. In front of the gate there was a sea trench that crossed the eastern walls of the city and reached as the inner port and at the same time the Nafplion Shipyard (the area where the city's swimming pool is today). In this trench the ships were stunned.

After the sunset, the movable wooden bridge, which was access to the gate, shut off, forcing anyone who was out of the walls until that time to spend the night outside the city and usually in the suburb of Providence. From the inside of the gate there was a military guard guarding the entrance and controlling those who came in and out of it.

The Gate of Land did not play an important role in the liberation of the city, since Palamidi was captured after the successful attack of Staikos Staikopulos and the city was handed over to Theodoros Kolokotronis. However, when King Otto arrived in the city, the gate of the Land was the official reception, where the authorities waited for him to hand over the keys to the city.

The Gate of the land began to be demolished gradually from 1894 to 1897, at which time the sea trench that surrounded it was occupied. In 1973, after the excavations, the foundations of the Gate came to light and its external appearance was reconstructed according to special architectural studies that were carried out in order to faithfully follow its original form without any differentiation. The restoration was carried out approximately in 1998 by a decision of the central archaeological council.

The gate is arched with two pilasters on either side of it, and its designation is made by an embossed lion of St. Mark, which is a symbol of the Republic of Venice. On the left portico there is a wall that mentions the liberation of the city of Nafplion in 1687 by the Venetian commander Francesco Morozini.

Excavations have left very few architectural elements of the monument, among them the stone lion (but of which the head, the wings and the tail are missing) as well as the plaque with the coat of arms of the Venetian commander Grimani with the date 1708.

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