Nafplion is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Greece, which at the same time brings together unique memories of the country from different times such as Byzantine, Frankish, Venetian, Ottoman, and early years of liberation.Nafplion is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Greece, which at the same time brings together unique memories of the country from different times such as Byzantine, Frankish, Venetian, Ottoman, and early years of liberation.
The city, even today, carries all the traits of the capital of the Prefecture of Romania as "Napoli di Romania" at the time of Morozini (1687), as well as the capital of Viléeti in the Peloponnese until 1770 as "Anapli" The first capital of the free, newly-established Greek state - since it was considered the safest city to become the capital because of its good fortified position.
In these years, as a capital city, Nafplio has enjoyed great prosperity as it was the place where merchants, scientists, scholars and wealthy Greeks settled, with the result that the city's population was estimated to be about 30,000 inhabitants.
The city of Nafplio is built on a peninsula, which is borne by Argoliko and the Saronic Gulf and is separated by an isthmus from the Palamidi rock (220 m height).
This peninsula, the so-called Akronafplia, has the southern and western parts to penetrate steeply into the sea, the northern side of the peninsula to conquer the old city, while the rest of the city is formed on the slope of the rock.
Acronafplia has an average height of about 45 meters, 900 meters long and 400 meters wide from east to west.
The old town occupies an area of about 15 ha, it is from east to west 600 m and north to south 300 m.
In the northern part (the lower part of the old town) extends to Akronafplia and, naturally, the structure of the building gets some alterations in order to fit into the particular soil morphology.
Observing the topographical plan of the old city, it is easy to see that the east-west axes dominate, where some of them cross the area from one end to the other.
Three are the main roads of the city, which divide it into three main parts depending on its urban development from time to time.
The city of Nafplion, including all settlements in the municipality, has a population of about 16,885, according to the 2001 population census, of which 3,060 live in the old city at a density of 204 cd / ha.
The city of Nafplio has been inhabited since ancient times. Sometimes peacefully and sometimes with violent and destructive sieges for the state, Nafplion passes successively from one to the other.
The walls of the Castles are reinforced and reconstructed, according to the latest trends in fortification architecture, buildings are destroyed, demolished, rebuilt, altered, additions and interventions.
Orthodox temples are converted into mosques and universal temples and vice versa. Public and private buildings are constantly changing owners and uses. Everyone puts his personal stamp.
For this reason, the historical development of the city and the works left behind by the conquerors are necessary, until 1828, the year of the arrival of John Capodistrias as the first Governor of Free Greece, which is a point of reference for development Her.
John Kapodistrias holds a prominent position in Greek history. He was the one who undertook the difficult task of reconstructing the then ruined and demolished Greek state.
With his work of inestimable value, he set the goals and foundations of the later evolution of modern Greece. Of particular importance is his contribution to the planning and architectural design of Greece.
During the Capodistrian period, the plans of many cities of free Greece are realized. Kapodistrias, a forerunner of neoclassical architecture, built and repaired buildings according to the principles governing this new rhythm, eliminating all the different elements.
The city of Nafplio, being the first official capital of the newly established Greek state, has a great deal to do with the work of the first Governor, as it retains today the characteristics and the physiognomy that he gave it.
However, in the later years, the population of Nafplio began to grow, the northern walls were demolished and the city extended to the sea. The new extension is planted in straight streets, unlike the narrow narrow streets of the rest of the city.
In 1894-5 the eastern part of the city walls was demolished for the construction of a railway station and rails. A little later, the Gate of the Land is being demolished. The expansion of the city continues and in 1935 Bourtzi becomes a hotel by
W.Schaeffer. In 1962, a historic monument is designated as the area designated by the train station and the five siblings.
During the same period, the Palamidi fortress is being exploited by the EOT. As an archaeologist
The foundation of the city of Nafplion
The city of Nafplion, no doubt, is historical. By the historical term, we characterize the city, which does not exclusively project its monuments and its landmarks as part of its past, but which contains its history in its buildings, its streets and its structure.
After all, the story is the one that keeps a city alive and provides the necessary information about the stages of the city's evolution and lifestyle.
The area had been inhabited since prehistoric times, as evidenced by the Cyclopean walls in Akronafplia and some Mycenaean and Geometric tombs at the foot of Palamidi. Everything we know about this period, we owe it to geographer Strabo and the traveler Pausanias.
The role of Nafplion has been significant since ancient times. It was probably a harbor of prehistoric Tirintha and Akronafplia formed the basis for the fortification of the city in all historical periods.
In 1873 excavations were made by Prefect of Nauplia Kondakis on the northern foothills of Palamidi (see picture on the right), which brought to light dozens of tombs, whose finds belong to the late Mycenaean era. A few years later, in 1892, archaeologist Valerios Stais worked in the same area and excavated 31 tombs that are part of the same period.
In 1953 S. Haritonidis discovered tombs in the suburb of Pronia, east of the new hospital, dating back to the second half of the 8th century BC.
From the Doric conquest and until the 7th century BC, Nafplia was in acme as an independent state and founding member of Amphiction of Calabria. The development of the city of Nafplion is interrupted in the 7th century BC. From the dominant power of Argos when King Damokratis destroyed it (600 BC).
Nafplion was the port of the dominant Argos. Over the years there has been a fortified settlement, which at the end of the 4th century BC is particularly remarkable. In this period the fortification of Akronafplia is made with polygonal walls.
The Medieval Times
The form of the Nafplion Peninsula until the Frankish era was very different from today. The sea reached the edge of the hill, while the city and its fortification occupied the highest point of the peninsula.
In the 2nd century AC the traveler Pausanias visits the city and describes it in a state of disrepair. As for the raids of the peoples in the following centuries, there is no mention of Nafplion. Only in 589 AC it is reported that those who guard the city managed to drive the Avars, which testifies that there was already a small settlement in Palamidi Castle.
The creation of Byzantine Nafplio dates back to the end of the 6th century AC and is directly linked to the population movements of the central Peloponnese to the fortified coastline of the eastern section to escape the Slavic raids. From the 9th century AC Nafplio gathers the interest of the Byzantines, thanks to its great strategic position.
In 1032 the Byzantines designate Nikephoros Karantinos as the general of Nafplion, the city is fortified and is now an administrative and commercial center. In the 12th century AD The Byzantines carry out the systematic axle of Akronafplia, which defines and protects the city.
In 1210 Nafplion is besieged by the Franks and eventually comes into the Frankish domination. Akronafplia is divided into two castles, the Romanesque and the Franco. The city begins to expand beyond the walls, towards the sea, with the construction of shops and warehouses.
The period of the First Venetian occupation (1389 - 1540)
On Venetian domination, the present historical center of Nafplion is being built, which starts from the hill to reach today's Syntagma Square. The area's curvature follows the natural curves of the terrain and gives it picturesqueness.
The rest of the workers' settlement settled in the northeastern side of Palamidi, where Stamatis Voulgaris later planned the Providence.
During this period, the Venetians strengthen the existing fortifications of the Franks and Greeks in Akronafplia and extend the fortification to the east with a third castle, the Toronto.
The castle of Toron was formed in 1470 and is the lowest of the other two of Its-kale, Romeico and Franco.
Also, for the protection of the harbor, the small island is fortified with a castle, the hill located at its entrance, called Scoglio di S. Theodoro and later "Kastello" or "Bourtzi".
They create an inner harbor by building a small arm from land to Bourtzi for loading and unloading small ships.
They also narrow the passage of the harbor with a similar configuration of the bottom to control the entry and exit of the ships. It is said that Bourtzi was linked to the land by a chain that placed it at night.
That is why it was named the port of Porto Cadena. During the Venetian domination, the Turks often tried to occupy Nafplion, but without success.
The first conquest by the Turks (1540 - 1686)
In 1540 the Venetians gave the Turks two strongholds in Moria, Nafplio and Monemvasia. At this time, Nafplion became the capital of Sanjaki of Morea and the seat of the General Governor, Mora - Valisis.
There are no fortifications in the city, but the oriental element becomes intense in building activity.
To the Turks there are many fountains and baths, the Mora-Pasha Mansion, located in Platanos Square, which was demolished in 1828. At the same place is the mosque.
Having an immediate knowledge of the strategic and commercial value of Nafplion, the Venetians decide to turn to rebuilding.
The return of the Venetians (1686-1715)
At that time, Nafplio is the capital of the Morelas kingdom, a seat of general foresight, the seat of the chief commander of the East, capital of the province of Romania, and is called "Napoli di Romania". The Venetians were the first to think of fortification Palamidi, applying a perfect synchronized fortification system.
Buchon and Lambrinidis' views that the mountain was formerly fortified are unfounded. With the emergence of Palamidi, Its-kale ceases to be the main Acropolis.
Particular importance was given to the fortification of the eastern part of the city, which was the only entrance from the land. In the second Venetian domination, the city was expanded, since artificial deposits were made into the sea, creating the Lower City.
This period shaped the second residential area, north of Syntagma Square. As for building activity, temples and many public buildings are being constructed and a monumental architecture is created for the first time.
The period of the Second Turkish Rule (1715 - 1822)
In 1715 the Turks occupy Nafplion again, but with Pasarovic the Turkish domination is enshrined in 1718. The city is in a period of decline.
On the one hand, all the great families migrate to the West or the rest of Greece, and on the other, the Turks define Tripoli as the capital of the Peloponnese.
During this period, the city assembles only a few military and port activities. Many baths, mosques and residences are built, with an oriental element with the Sachenia (exotics).
The basic type of residence consists of a series of rooms around a closed courtyard where communication is through a gallery.
Nafplion during the Revolution
On November 29, 1822, the Greeks led by Staikos Staikopoulos occupied Palamidi and four days later the Turks delivered the city to Theodoros Kolokotronis.
Nafplion becomes the capital of the free section of the Peloponnese. The population of the city is growing rapidly and in 1827 it is declared the official capital of the Greek state. In January 1828 Ioannis Kapodistrias comes as governor of the country.
The formation of the city was not only done by the government but also by private initiative. The designer of the third residential area on the beach is assigned to the Greek scholars Voulgari and Valliano. The "hippodamous system" of roads is applied, since the ground is flat and the building blocks are made in the shape of oblong rectangular parallels.
The area northwest of Palamidi is also traversed, and roads and squares are set up at the "Provosta" settlement, founded by Capodistrias, to be inhabited by refugees. The great works stop with the assassination of Kapodistrias in 1831 and Othon's rule is assumed in 1832.
This period of Kapodistrias' rule (1828 - 1831) is one of the most important until the rebuilding of Nafplion. Together with the Othoniki, which followed, they gave the historical center of the city its present form.
Most of the buildings of the historic center of the city are built or repaired between 1822 and 1862, so it is sometimes difficult to identify whether a building is Turkish or Venetian converted or later Turkish.
Kapodistrias, on his arrival in Nafplion, besides other problems, had to deal with the miserable health condition of the city, which had worsened after the occupation of the city by the Greeks due to war disasters, epidemics, etc.
Foreign travelers who visited Nafplio describe her nasty condition, such as the Italian crown leader Guiseppe Pecchio and the Englishman James Emerson. Within a very short space of time he had to turn Nafplion into a European city.
So in collaboration with engineers, Voulgaris and I. Valliano and the House of Fortress and Architects proceeded to design the third residential area on the beach (see the above photos).So in collaboration with engineers, Voulgaris and I. Valliano and the House of Fortress and Architects proceeded to design the third residential area on the beach (see the above photos).
The demolition and demolition of all the "domestic homes" is carried out, all the Turkish buildings that drank the city (shelters, balconies, sachnisia etc.) are removed to facilitate the circulation of the air (to prevent odor and humidity) , Begins work of sewer obstruction and repair of Aria aqueduct.
The roads and the waterfront - where a fish shop was built - were cleared - and the slaughter of animals in the city was banned. At the same time, it is taking care to remove from its city the activities that could have an impact on the hygiene of the inhabitants.
During this period, other engineers and architects worked in Nafplion, among them D. Stavridis, Isaiah, Pasquale Ipoliti, Kleanthis, Schaubert, et al.
The formation of the city was not only done by the government but also by private initiative, as the Government gave to anyone who sought permission to build or on the foundations of older buildings or on free plots, "but according to the design and the level of the granted Architect of the city ". However, the transfer of the capital to Athens in December 1834 significantly reduced construction activity.
In 1894-5 the eastern part of the city walls was demolished for the construction of a railway station and rails. A little later, the Gate of the Land is being demolished. The expansion of the city continues and in 1935 Bourtzi becomes a hotel by W.Schaeffer. In 1962, a historic monument is designated as the area designated by the train station and the five siblings.
During the same period, the Palamidi fortress is being exploited by the EOT. As an archaeological site, demolishing, of course, all the Capodistrian and Ottoman military buildings. The construction terms of the historical center of Nafplion were established in 1969, while in 1973 the construction of the two Xenia hotels of the Greek National Tourist Organization began. In Akronafplia. Around 1995, due to some works by the municipality, the base of the Gate of the Land was revealed.
More than 50% of the houses of "OLD TOWN" are built or repaired in the period 1821-1862, so it is sometimes difficult to recognize whether a building is Turkish or Venetian converted or later with Venetian or Turkish elements .
The period from 1838-1862 is a new period of acupuncture and reconstruction for Nafplio. Many buildings are being built and repaired and the coastal zone is rebuilt following special orders. This period also includes the old city plan of Nafplion, which is preserved in the archives of the National Archaeological Museum (probably a copy of Voulgari's plan). The Maritime Revolution and the transfer of the capital to Athens mean the beginning of the decline of the city.
Nafplio belongs to the Nafplio municipality municipality and appears under the name Nafplio and according to the 2011 census it has 14,203 inhabitants.