The fort of the Palamidi, which has been preserved in excellent condition, is one of the greatest achievements of Venetian fortification architecture.
The construction of the fort was basically carried out during the time of Venetian General Superintendent of the Fleet, Agostino Sagredo, from 1711 to 1714. The total of eight bastions are self contained so that if one of them was breached, the rest could continue their defence. It should be noted that during the time of the Turkish occupation, Christians were not allowed to enter the fort. It was from the Palamidi that the liberation of the city from the Turks began, after a long siege.
Today, the fort can be accessed either by the road which terminates at the eastern gate or by the famous steps which are located on the western side to the east of the Grimani bastion. These steps are traditionally supposed to number 999, the thousandth having been destroyed by Kolokotronis' horse. However, in reality there are less and they were constructed during Otto's reign by prisoners who were held in the Palamidi.
The fort on the sea, which has remained known by its Turkish name 'Bourtzi', meaning tower, has become Nauplion's trademark. The Venetians, having understood the strategic importance of this site for the protection of the port, built a tower on the rock in 1473. The Italian architect, Antonio Gambello, who had undertaken the building of the Castello di Toro, designed the fort, which was then completed by the engineer Brancaleone.
The Turks surrounded the fort with the so-called 'porporella', in other words an undersea barricade of stones to make it impossible for large ships to approach.
In the 18th century the Venetians proceeded with additions to the Bourtzi. They raised the height of the central tower and almost the entire island was covered with defensive positions.
In 1935 it was turned into a hotel after alterations by the German architect Wulf Schaeffer. Today one can visit the Bourtzi by boat from the seafront.
The rocky peninsular of the Acronauplia comprised the walled settlement of Nauplion from ancient times until the end of the 15th century.
The Acronauplia walls bear witness to its rich history, which it must be confessed, is a little difficult to follow, due to its long uninterrupted inhabitation. The current form of the castle, although quite changed by modern intervention, basically crystallised during the Frankish and first Venetian occupations from the 13th to 16th centuries.
The Castello di Toro is still in good condition today and, after climbing the steps from the Catholic church, one can admire the imposing round tower with its crenellations, which protects the city gate; an excellent example of late renaissance style.
Today, one can visit The Acronauplia climbing east from Staikopoulos Park through Arvanitias Square, or climb the steps from the Catholic church through the Castello di Toro.
The Arvanitia Promenade
The Arvanitia Promenade, as it is characteristically known by local residents, is one of the most popular walks in Nauplion. It starts at the end of the shore and leads to Arvanitia Square, a total distance of about 1 kilometre.
The whole of the route is dominated by the rock of the Acronauplia with its impressive walls. About half way through the walk one comes across a small church perched on the rocks; a favourite place to visit for residents and visitors alike.
It is known locally as Panagitsa, Panaghia tis Spilias, or Santa Maria della Grotta to the Venetians. The view of the Gulf of Argolis from this spot is unique.
Syndagma Square, the most important and historic square in Nauplion, comprises the centre of the city. Today, one can see many important historic buildings in the square, such as the Venetian Warehouse of the Fleet, which today houses the Archaeological Museum; the parliament, former mosque of Aga-Pasha and finally the Allilodidaktiko School, which came to be known as the 'Trianon'.
The square was also once home to the residences of many of the great fighters of the Greek revolution, such as Nikitaras and Theodoros Kolokotronis. The episode known to modern Greek history as 'Psorokostaina' took place here. In 1826, when the rebellious Greek nation was in dire financial need, the man who became known as the teacher of the nation, Georgios Gennadios,delivered a moving speech from under the plane tree, encouraging the people of Nauplion to contribute to the appeal for the nation. His speech was so moving that the poorest woman in the city, known mockingly as 'Psorokostaina', gave all her possessions, which were nothing more than a silver ring and a gross.
The Parliament Building
The Parliament building, which is located in the south-west sector of Syntagma Square, holds a special place in Greek history, as it was here that the parliament of the rebellious Greeks met.
It dates from 1730, the time of the second Turkish occupation of the city, and was originally built as a mosque.
After the liberation of the city from the Turkish yoke the mosque was used to house the Greek Parliament, from the autumn of 1825 to the spring of 1826, after suitable remodelling by the architect Vallianos. This was its most important use, and the name of 'Vouleftiko' or 'Parliament' has remained in use to the present day.
The Bastion of "Pende Adelphia"
O προμαχώνας των «Πέντε Aδελφών» αποτελεί τον μοναδικό σωζόμενο προμαχώνα της κάτω πόλης που διέφυγε της κατεδάφισης. Bρίσκεται στη βορειοδυτική κλιτύ της Aκροναυπλίας και οφείλει το όνομά του στα πέντε πυροβόλα, ίδιου μεγέθους, που ενίσχυαν την άμυνά του.
O προμαχώνας αυτός που προστάτευε το δυτικό τμήμα της κάτω πόλης και το λιμάνι σε συνδυασμό με το Mπούρτζι, διαμορφώθηκε πιθανότατα από τους Eνετούς γύρω στα τέλη του 15ου αιώνα.
The Bastion of "Pende Adelphia", or Five Brothers, is the only bastion to escape demolition and survive to the present day. It is on the North West slope of the Acronauplia and owes its name to the five cannons, all the same size, that reinforced its defences.
This bastion protected the western section of the lower city and the harbour, in combination with the Bourtzi. It was probably constructed by the Venetians at around the end of the 15th century
The "Old" Town