Nafplio & the Castle of Palamidi
Nafplio or Anapli is the capital of Argolida Regional Unity and the main port of the eastern Peloponnese. It is one of the most picturesque cities in the country and was the capital of the Greek state during the period 1828 – 1833. The historical center of Nafplio has been characterized as a traditional settlement.
According to Greek mythology, the city owes its name to its settler Nafplion, the son of god Neptune and Amymonis, who at the site of today’s city founded Nauplia. In fact, archaeological findings prove the existence of the city since the Mycenaean years.
Nafplio is a favorite destination for the inhabitants of Attica and Peloponnese through-out the winter-summer season. Points of reference include the famous Bourtzi, Nafplio Castle (Palamidi)and Akronafplia, while the most beautiful buildings of the city include the Armsberg Palace and the Archaeological Museum in Syntagma Square.
Other destinations in Argolis worth visiting are: Epidavros, Mycenae, Porto Heli, Ermioni and Tolo.
The fortress of Nafplio- Nafplio Castle “Palamidi”
Palamidi is one of the most beautiful castles in Greece and the largest and best preserved fortress complex of Venetian domination.
The castle was designed by Giaxich and built by the french LaSalle. Its construction was completed in 1714 and its aim was to serve the military and naval operations of the Venetians.
The castle is situated on the homonymous hill of Palamidi, 216 meters high, overlooking the city of Nafplio and controlling the Argolic Gulf. The plan of the fortress is based on a system of mutually supportive bastions that grow stepwise on the axis of the West-East and are connected with walls. The eight bastions of the castle are self-contained, so if one of them is conquered, the defense continues from the rest.
Palamidi is preserved in excellent condition and is one of the most important achievements of Venetian fortification architecture.
The 999 steps of the myth
The Palamidi fortress is connected to the city of Nafplio with a stepped uphill reinforced with small loopholes that leads to its northwestern side. It is the ladder that according to the Greek folk tradition consisted of 999 stairs as the 1000th broke by the leg of the horse of Th. Kolokotronis- a hero of the Greek revolution. In fact, the scale has fewer stairs (857) and was constructed at the time of Otto.
The liberation of Nafplio Castle- Palamidi fortress
From Palamidi fortress began the liberation of the Nafplio city from the Turks. After a long siege, on the night of 29 November 1822, a group of 350 lads led by Staiko Staikopoulos regained Palamidi by surprise. First, Dimitrios Moschonisiotis stepped his foot to the fortress, from the Achilleas Bastion, the same bastion, from which the Turks came in, when they took the castle from the Venetians.
The next day, at noon, after the ruined Venetian chapel of Agios Gerardos was cleaned up, the church was consecrated to the memory of Apostle Andrea.
Since then, every year on that day, the last Sunday of November, Nafplio celebrates the liberation of the city. Part of the celebrations for the liberation of the city is also the Event of the Nafplio Castle Run.
Castle Run awaits to welcome you in beautiful Nafplio and the historic “Palamidi” Castle!