Nafplio is a seaport town in the northeast Peloponnese that has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. The town was the first capital of modern Greece, from the start of the Greek Revolution in 1821 until 1834. Nafplio is now the capital of the peripheral unit of Argolis. Most of the old town is on a peninsula jutting into the gulf; this peninsula forms a naturally protected bay that is enhanced by the addition of man-made moles. Originally almost isolated by marshes, deliberate landfill projects, primarily since the 1970s, have nearly doubled the land area of the city.
The Acronauplia has walls dating from pre-classical times. Subsequently, Byzantines, Franks, Venetians, and Turks added to the fortifications. Nafplion was taken in 1212 by the French crusaders of the Principality of Achaea, then in 1388 was sold to the Republic of Venice. During the subsequent 150 years, the lower city was expanded and fortified, and new fortifications added to Acronauplia. The city was surrendered to the Ottomans in 1540, who renamed it Mora Yenişehri and established it as the seat of a sanjak.
The Venetians retook Nafplion in 1685 and strengthened the city by building the castle of Palamidi, which was in fact the last major construction of the Venetian empire overseas. However, only 80 soldiers were assigned to defend the city and it was easily retaken by the Ottomans in 1715. Palamidi is located on a hill north of the old town. During the Greek War of Independence, it played a major role. It was captured by Staikos Staikopoulos on 31 November 1821.
During the Greek War of Independence, Nafplion was a major Ottoman stronghold and was besieged for more than a year. The town finally surrendered because of starvation. After its capture, because of its strong fortifications, it became the seat of the provisional governments of Greece.
Count Ioannis Kapodistrias, first head of state of newly-liberated Greece, set foot on the Greek mainland for the first time in Nafplio on 7 January 1828 and made it the official capital of Greece in 1829. He was subsequently assassinated by members of the Mavromichalis family on the steps of the church of Saint Spyridon in Nafplio on 9 October 1831. After his assassination a period of anarchy followed, until the arrival of King Otto and the establishment of the new Kingdom of Greece. Nafplion remained the capital of the kingdom until 1834, when King Otto decided to move the capital to Athens.
Tourism emerged slowly in the 1960s, but not to the same degree as around other areas of Greece; nevertheless, it tends to attract a number of tourists from Germany and the Scandinavian countries in particular. Nafplion enjoys a very sunny and mild climate, even by Greek standards, and as a consequence has become a popular day- or weekend road trip destination for Athenians in wintertime.
Nafplion is a port, with fishing and transport ongoing, although the primary source of local employment currently is tourism, with two beaches on the other side of the peninsula from the main body of the town and a large amount of local accommodation. There are frequent bus services from/to Athens.
Accommodation in Nafplio:
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