Sights in Nafplio

Home > Sights in Nafplio

Sights. The splendid architectural gems of Nafplio!

Either in winter or in summer you can stroll through the quaint streets of Psaromachala, Syntagma Square which looks untouched by the years, but also strolls in Palamidi, Roloi (the Clock) and Akronafplia, Bourtzi, Trianon, Vouleftiko (Palia Vouli), the Lion of Bavarians! The sights of Nafplion are so many and so splendid that the visitor will simply return to continue the wonderful dream that Anapli offers through the narrow and broad streets, the old big and small new squares, the Ottoman fountains that adorn the Venetian, the neoclassical and the new buildings.

palamidi_1

Palamidi

This vast, spectacular citadel, reachable either by steep ascent on foot or a short drive, stands on a 216m-high outcrop of rock that gives all-encompassing views of Nafplio and the Argolic Gulf.

It was built by the Venetians between 1711 and 1714, and is regarded as a masterpiece of military architecture in spite of being successfully stormed in one night by Greek troops in 1822, causing the Turkish garrison within to surrender without a fight.

Within its walls stands a series of independent, strategically located bastions. The most important, and best preserved, is the western Agios Andreas Bastion , which stands at the top of the steps from town. The former home of the garrison commander, it is named after the tiny church in the interior courtyard.

Access:

There are two ways to access the castle of Palamidi:

The first way is by the famous 999 steps, which are less today, and offers spectacular views to those who choose to climb them up.

The second way is by car. After you take the 25th Martiou Street and go up to the road that goes to Karathona, turn right at Palamidi sign post.

Useful tips:

Those who have good physical condition an ideal choice would be to visit the castle on foot by taking the steps.

Taking the steps could be tiring, however, the view will surely compensate you.

At the entrance of the castle from the side of the road, there is a canteen with a few tables which serves coffee, cold drinks, and delicious ice creams offering you moments of relaxation and refreshment.

bourtzi_nafplio

Bourzti

The small island of Bourtzi in Nafplion is famous for its strong and impressive fortress. Still known by its Turkish name Bourtzi, meaning the Tower, it attracts many visitors all year round.

Antonio Gambello, an architect from Bergamo, built the castle in 1471 on this tiny islet in front of the port of Nafplion, although the construction was completed by the engineer Brancaleone. The design was made specifically to fit the narrow shape of the island.

The entire city was fortified in 1473 by the Venetians, mainly to provide protection against pirates. The castle, with entrances to the north and south, has three floors connected by movable stairs.

A small harbor on the north-eastern side offered easy and safe access between the sea and the fort. To get protected by their enemies, the Turks had laid the surrounding sea bed with a large barricade of stones that made it impossible for large ships to approach the island and the fort.

Access:

There is only one way to get to Bourtzi.

In the harbor of Nafplio, in front of the cafés, small boats depart every 10 minutes.

The duration of the sea route is about five minutes and the stay in Bourtzi lasts about twenty minutes.

The ticket costs €4 (return included)

Useful tips:

Ask the boatman to tell you his story and do not hesitate to ask him anything you need to know for the city of your vacation, Nafplio.

The captains are mainly local residents and know everything.

Select the morning hours, during the summer, to avoid getting burned from the hot sun.

The incredible view of the city of Nafplio from Bourtzi is worth seeing!

pylh_ksiras


Land Gate

The Land Gate was built in 1708, by the French engineer Lasal and succeeded the earlier gate dating from the first Venetian occupation.

It was the only entrance to the city by land and, in fact, the gate would be closed at sunset. Whoever remained outside after that time was obliged to spend the night outside the walls, usually at the suburb.

In front of the Gate there was a moat with seawater, which ran along the eastern wall of the city. Access was only possible via a wooden drawbridge. The gate was gradually demolished between 1894 and 1897. In around 1894 the moat was also filled in.

Only a few of the gate’s architectural structures have survived, such as the stone lion from the crown, which is missing the head, the wings and the tail. There is also the family crest of the commander Grimani, with the date 1708.

Access:

The Land Gate is located in the old city of Nafplio on the street of 25th MartiouThe buses that go to the villages of the municipality park in front of the Gate.

Wherever you are in the city, you can move around on foot.

Besides, the distances are not big and can be walked easily and pleasantly.

You can also reach the Land Gate with your car, which you have to park it in the surrounding area, where allowed.

Useful tips:

Do not forget to take your camera with you to either take a picture of the Land Gate or to be photographed in front of it.

akronafplia

Acronafplia

The castle is on the rocky penisula of Acronafplia which has been the walled town of Naflio from the classical period until the 15th century. Nafplio later expanded outside the rock, closer to the sea.

Originally built by the Romans and Byzantines, the fortifications were strengthened by a succession of conquerors, including the dukes de La Roche of Athens , the Venetians, the Turks and then again the Venetians.

There were two main castles, a French one and a Greek one. Over time several more bastions were added to the three levels of the Akronauplia. There was no wall on the south or west sides; none was needed as it was a sheer drop to the sea.

Already on a peninsula, the Acronauplia was further separated from the mainland and protected by a moat. The bridge across the moat was built of both stone and wood. The side furthest from the city was made of stone, while the side closest to the city was of wood. The wooden part could be removed at any time, taking away access to the city.

Access:

Access to the castle can be made either by car via the road that starts from Staikopoulos Park and reaches up to the top of the fortress, or on foot by the steps of the Catholic church that lead to the gate of the castle di Toro.

Whichever route you choose, the view and the images that you will see are captivating since on the one side lies the Gulf of Arvanitia and on the other the enchanting Old Town of Nafplio.

Useful tips:

Your stroll in Acronafplia is suitable at all times and is a very pleasant walk both for the local residents and the visitors.

This route is ideal for discussions, dating and is ideal for getting  photographed with your loved ones.

Follow the footpath of Arvanitia which surrounds the rock of Acronafplia, and take an idyllic stroll by having the sea beneath your feet.

roloi_nafplio

The Clock Tower

We will meet it in front of you, going up the road that passes through the Akronafplia. Here is where you can rest and admire the grandeur and beauty of the old city, which lies at your feet.

The clock was placed in Akronafplia by king Othona, when mayor of the city was doctor Epaminondas Kotsonopoulou (1866-1878 and 1883-1890). It was a donation of Othonas father Loudovikos A, from Bavaria.

Undoubtedly this is the most beautiful part of the city, to enjoy the sunset. Do not forget to have a camera with you.

Amazing is the poem written by Emmanuel Terzakis the day of its destruction and which was published in September of 1949 in the newspaper Constitution.

Access:

There are three ways to access the Clock.

The first way is on foot through the castles of Acronafplia.

The second is by car. After taking the uphill road towards the beach of Arvanitia turn right and then continue straight.

The third way is by the bicycles of the municipality if you choose the morning hours and the weather conditions are good.

Useful tips:

Here, you can rest and admire the grandeur and beauty of Nafplio, which stretches at your feet.

We bet you have not seen such beautiful sunset. It is recommended mainly for lovers and the right time to be there is when the sun sets.

square_nafplio

Syntagma Square

Located in the center of the Old Town, Syntagma Square is the most historically important square in Nafplion. It was known as the Platanos Square in the 19th century, mainly due to the plane tree, which occupied the central area. It is also believed that during the Turkish occupation around 1540 the Turkish commander of the Peloponnese, Mora-Pasha, had his seraglio here.

Many important historic monuments are located around the square, including the Archaeological Museum, the former mosque of Aga Pasha, the parliament as well the Trianon Old School. A famous event took place right at this square. In 1862, when the Greek rebellion was in great need for finances, Georgios Gennadios, also known as the teacher of Greece, gave an extremely powerful and moving speech under the plane tree.

The speech affected the locals so much that even the poorest woman, known as Psorokostaina, gave up her petty possessions for the cause of the revolution. Source: www.greeka.com

Access:

Syntagma Square is located at the center of the Old Town of Nafplio.

The well known to locals Grand Street (Megalos Dromos) ends at Syntagma Square, which is pedestrianized and passes in front of the town hall of Nafplio.

Access can be made on foot or by car, which you can park somewhere relatively close, where it is allowed.

Useful tips:

At Syntagma Square you can do a lot of things.

You can see the theater, enjoy various events of the municipality, visit the archaeological museum, drink a coffee, taste the finest ice cream and food and eat the most delicious donuts in the shops around.

trianon_nafplio

Trianon-The old Mosque

The municipal theater “Trianon” was the old Mosque of Nafplio during the Ottoman occupation. Beautiful and with a rich past, it hosts various plays and other events all year round.

It is the oldest mosque in the city, probably from the end of the 16th century.
In the years of the 2nd Venetian Occupation it was converted into a catholic church. From 1828 until 1833 it housed a school and later it was used as a theater and a cinema called “Trianon”. Today it houses the Municipal Theater of Nafplio.

Access:

Trianon is located at the one end of Syntagma Square and you can go on foot or by car, after parking it at a short distance from there and only where permitted by the municipal police.

Follow the pedestrian Grand Road (Megalos Dromos) that passes in front of the town hall of Nafplio and will lead you directly to Syntagma Square.

Useful tips:

Trianon during the winter and spring months operates as a theater and hosts splendid performances for children and adults. At times, several exhibitions are hosted and cultural events are performed.

Find out about the events agenda on the telephone numbers below

Contact the offices of the Municipal Organization of Sports, Culture, Tourism and Environment:

tel. :2752 0 26461 (9:00 – 13:00 p.m.) working days.

vouleytiko_nafplio

Vouleftiko of Nafplio

Vouleftikon, or Parliament, is the big, gray stone building pictured above, off Syntagma Square to the south. The Turks built it in 1730 as a mosque, but later it housed the first Greek People’s Assembly, which met here for the first time in 1825.

Right behind Vouleftikon is Medrese, a building that used to be a Turkish religious school in connection with the mosque.

The buildings was later used for, among other things, prison, but especially Vouleftikon is now carefully restored to its former glory. Vouleftikon is not usually open to the public, but once in a while you can catch a concert in the great hall, worth experiencing not only for the music!

Access:

Vouleftiko is located behind Syntagma Square on Staikopoulou Street and you can get there on foot.

Follow the Grand Road (Megalos Dromos), which takes you directly to Syntagma Square.

From there and towards a narrow street behind the square you will find the Vouleftiko of Nafplio.

Useful tips:

Along the street of Staikopoulou, there are small shops to eat, drink and to buy souvenirs.

Do not forget to pay them a visit.

Certainly you will discover a little hidden treasure in each of them.

leon_bavarian_nafplio

The lion of the Bavarians

The Lion of the Bavarians dates to about 1840. According to the inscription, it was ordered by King Ludwig of Bavaria, father of King Otto of Greece, in memory of the Bavarian soldiers, attendants of Otto, who died in the typhus epidemic in Nafplio.

Access:

The lion of the Bavarians is located on the site “Bavarian graves” at Pronia neighborhood.
You can reach the site either on foot or by car.
Pronia neighborhood lies on both sides of the 25th Martiou Street. Going up the road that leads to Karathona, turn left straight away.
Between the church of Agion Panton and the current cemetery of the city, you can locate it on Michael Iatrou Street.
Another way is to use the little train that drives you around Nafplio and passes in front of the specific site.

Useful tips:

Capture that moment with your camera and fill your photo album with the best photos from the huge lion that adorns the rock for years.
Then show them off to your loved ones and tell one of your own stories about the lion of the Bavarians.

akropoli_tirintha

The " mythical " Akropoli of Tiryns

Just 8 km from Nafplio, you will find the archaeological site of Ancient Tiryns. The Mycenaean acropolis with cyclopean walls, came to light progressively from 1876 and today is one of the World Heritage Sites, worth a visit. Tiryns has been inhabited since Neolithic times, until its destruction by the Argians in the first half of the 5th century. Famous are the “Cyclopean” walls, which, according to Homer, the built themselves Cyclops. The first mythical king of the city was the product, great grandson of Danaus, or Nafplio. The monument for many years was under the ground has a lot of damages. However, there have been several successful rehabilitation efforts and the site is now open to visitors.

Access:

The legendary Acropolis and the archaeological site are located on the 8th kilometer of the road Argos-Nafplio.
There are two ways to get there:
If you are staying in an accommodation in Nafplio you can move easily and quickly with your car. The distance you will travel is small, i.e. only 3 km.

Information on schedules :

Nafplio: 27520 27323

Argos: 27510 69323

Useful tips:

During summer, the excavating action is intense by archaeologists and it would be a very nice experience to watch their work up close if you happen to be there at that time.

panoplia_dendron

Mycenaean Cemetery of Dendra

Along the Mycenaean cemetery of Dendra extends to the south-western slope of a low hill, west of the Mycenaean Acropolis of Midea. The excavated part includes a vaulted and sixteen chambered tombs.
The excavations at the site began in the spring of 1926 by Swedish archaeologist Axel W. Persson. That summer, the vaulted tomb and next year three chambered were investigated. Two more graves spanning to the Northeast and outside the boundaries of current archaeological area were investigated by N. Burton, on the autumn of 1927. Persson excavated another chamber tomb in 1937 and five others in 1939.

In 1960, the famous “Tomb of Armor”, was investigated by N. Verdelis and two other chambered tombs were investigated by the Swedish archaeologist P. Åström. In 1977, two cambered tombs and mounds that surround them were excavated by E. Protonotariou – Deilaki. The chambered tombs were carved into the soft rock with a thick hillside. They consist of three parts: the street, the orifice and the chamber.

Access:
The archaeological site of Dendra is located in the homonymous settlement just 11 km away from Nafplio.
There are two ways to reach Dendra:
By car and by bus from Nafplion towards the municipality of Midea, or you can also use the bus line that you will find in the bus station (KTEL) in the center of Nafplio and take the direction towards Argos. When you get on the bus tell the driver to stop at the archaeological site of Tiryns.
The routes from Nafplio to Argos and Argos to Nafplio are very often about every half hour or every one hour. As such, you can return back to your city of residence.

Information regarding the routes:
Nafplion: 27520 27323
Argos: 27510 69323

Useful tips:

The archaeological site of Dendra is very well-cared and situated only a few meters from the central square.
Do not forget to enjoy a refreshing drink at the café you will find there during the summer period.
The locals are very hospitable and will welcome you with a warm smile.