Nafplio in Greece, Former Capital of the First Hellenic Republic

Nafplio in Greece, Former Capital of the First Hellenic Republic

Nafplio is a small town in Peloponnese, Greece. The name is the remnant of the old venetian name Napoli di Romania, the name of the area during the late Byzantine times. Nafplio is a seaport town that has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. The town was the capital of the First Hellenic Republic.

A sovereign naval nation-city in ancient times, Nafplio was founded and named after – according to Greek mythology – by hero Nafplios, father of Palamidis. A target for Franks, Venetians and Ottomans, they all repeatedly tried, and succeeded quite a few times, to conquer it. In 1829, after the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire, Nafplio was chosen as the first capital of the new-founded state and democracy. His palace was on the square in front of today’s town hall. In 1833 the capital moved to Athens, the town remaining capital of the prefecture. It is a historical city due to its meaning to the Greek Revolution. It has a fantastic centre with small neoclassical historical houses, squares and churches.

Nowadays, when taking a walk in the picturesque alleys of the Old Town, visitors are drawn by the venetian balconies and the wonderful neoclassical buildings and mansions, images that bring feelings of sweet nostalgia. Relax at the numerous cafés on the port whilst viewing the sea, and visit Palamidi fortress for a scenic view of the Argolic gulf.

The town is built in two parts, the old, covering all the peninsula and the new, expanding to the north and the east. It is sometimes confusing to some that the hill overlooking the town is on the south of the town and the sea on the north. But once you notice it is easy to walk around the orderly shaped blocks.

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