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Nafplio, the (forgotten) beautiful greek capital

PHOTO: with the help of our Artificial Intelligence "artist", we transformed a picturesque street in Nafplio in the style of Van Gogh. Please CLICK HERE to explore more such artistic transformations.

According to wikipedia, Nafplio is a coastal city located in the Peloponnese in Greece that is the capital of the regional unit of Argolis. The city was the second capital of the First Hellenic Republic and of the Kingdom of Greece, from 1827 until 1834.

The area surrounding Nafplio has been inhabited since ancient times, but few signs of this, aside from the walls of the Acronauplia, remain visible. Nauplia was the port of Argos, in ancient Argolis. It was situated upon a rocky peninsula, connected with the mainland by a narrow isthmus. It was a very ancient place, and is said to have derived its name from Nauplius, the son of Poseidon and Amymone.

During the Greek War of Independence, Nafplio was a major Ottoman stronghold and was besieged for more than a year. The town finally surrendered on account of forced starvation. After its capture, because of its strong fortifications, it became the seat of the provisional government 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.

Nafplio became one of the first areas to develop mass tourism in the mainland. Nowadays it is one of the most popular destinations in Greece and attracts a large variety of tourists. Due to its architectural legacy, its proximity to the capital, Athens, and its mild and pleasant climate it attracts visitors all-year round, and it is the most popular destination for weekend or one-day excursions.

Apart from tourism agriculture is a very important sector and the city is also surrounded by a fertile irrigated plain and produces oranges, lemons, peaches, apricots, olives and almonds. The Port of Nafplio is used only for bulk cargo due to its insufficient depth and also hosts a great number of leisure ships during the tourist season. The city has not developed any industrial activity of note and all secondary activities are related to agriculture or the construction industry.

Acronauplia is the oldest part of the city though a modern hotel has been built on it. Until the thirteenth century, it was a town on its own. The arrival of the Venetians and the Franks transformed it into part of the town fortifications. Other fortifications of the city include the Palamidi and Bourtzi, which is located in the middle of the harbour.

Nafplio maintains its own distinct traditional architectural style with many colourful buildings around the old town, influenced by the Venetians, due of their domination between 1338–1540 and during the Kingdom of the Morea and by the Ottomans. Furthermore the city also contains a great number of eclecticist and neoclassical buildings and even a smaller number of modernist buildings.

It is one of the few Greek cities to have been spared the widespread destruction of traditional architecture during the process of "antiparochí", due to the efforts of the archaeologist Evangelia Protonotariou Deilaki, whose actions went against the prevailing trend of the post-war era.

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