With its marble pavements, looming castles and remarkable homogeneous architecture, Nauplion (Náfplio) is the most elegant town in mainland Greece. Defended to the south by the Akronafplía and Palamídi fortresses and to the north by Bourtzi castle, the town occupies the northern side of a peninsula at the head of the Argolic Gulf. It emerged from obscurity in the 13th century and endured many sieges during the struggles between Venice and Turkey for the ports of the Peloponnese. From 1829 until 1834, the town was the first capital of liberated Greece.

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Shepherd and flockShepherd and flock seen on the way from Tiryns to Nauplion. NauplionView of Nauplion from our hotel window. AkronafplíaAkronafplía, a.k.a. Its Kale ("Inner Castle" in Turkish) was the site of the Byzantine and early medieval town and contains four castles built in sequence from west to east. The most interesting site is the Venetian Lion of St. Mark relief over the 15th century gate.
Clock towerThe westernmost castle of the  Akronafplía, the "Caste of the Greeks", was Nauplion's ancient acropolis and is now home to the clock tower, a major landmark. Isle of BourtziThe fortified isle of Bourtzi, located northwest of Nauplion harbor. It defended the only navigable passage in the bay. The channel could be closed off by a chain extending from the fortress to the town. Isle of BourtziIsle of Bourtzi. This island fortress acquired its appearance during the second Venetian occupation and, until 1930, had the dubious distinction of being the local executioner's residence.
Palamídi fortessPalamídi Fortress is a huge Venetian citadel built between 1711 and 1714. Palamídi fortessPalamídi Fortress. Palamídi fortessPalamídi Fortress, the largest such complex in Greece, consists of a single curtain wall enclosing seven self-sufficient forts, now named after Greek heroes.
Bay of NauplionBay of Nauplion. GoatsOne of the many goat herds that we saw while driving around Greece. This one was seen on the way from Nauplion to Olympia. All of that feta cheese has to come from somewhere... Greek mountain townOne of the many small towns nestled amongst the mountains that we passed on the road from Nauplion to Olympia.

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© All pictures are Copyright 2000 Grisel Gonzalez and Jeff Prosise