Wednesday, September 12: After lunch we make a short stop for photos in the pretty town of Nafplio. Sitting beneath the Palamidi Fortress on the Argolic Gulf, this town of narrow streets, Venetian houses, and neoclassical mansions was the first capital of Greece after Independence (between 1833 and 1834). It had such a strategic position as a major port that it had three fortresses: the huge fortress of Palamidi, the smaller Akronafplia and the tiny Bourtzi on an islet west of the old town.
We only stop briefly near the tiny Bourtzi Fortress, which sits on an island near Nafplio’s port. The Venetians built most of the existing structure.
Looking toward the town, we can see quayside cafes and boutiques.
Marie-Claire and I take pictures of each other with a view over the Argolic Gulf.
Looking inland, we can see the Palamidi Fortress standing on a 216 meter-high rock. Built by the Venetians between 1711 and 1714, it’s regarded as a masterpiece of military architecture, according to Lonely Planet Greece. It’s a typical baroque fortress. In 1715 it was captured by the Turks and remained under their control until 1822, when it was captured by the Greeks.
According to Wikipedia, there are approximately 857 steps in the winding stairs from the town to the fortress. However, to reach the top of the fortress there are over one thousand. Locals in the town of Nafplio will say there are 999 steps to the top of the castle, and specials can be found on menus that incorporate this number to catch a tourist’s eye.
Sadly, we don’t have time to climb up the estimated 999 steps to the top, because we have to move on to Epidauros.