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Nafplio was the second capital of newly formed Greece after Misologgi until the capital eventually became Athens. It is an historical city due to its meaning to the Greek Revolution. It has a fantastic centre with small neoclassical historical houses, squares and churches. It is the capital of the prefecture of Argolida.
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.
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. Travelers mix: Many Greeks come here for weekends from Athens.
The town is built in two parts, the old, covering all the peninsula and the new, expanding to the north and the east. Upon your arrival you will probably drop off at the central bus station, which is at the east end of the old town, or at the port, hosting a large parking area, at the north seaside of the town. 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.
The major reference point of the old town is Syntagma sq., a very large square, where the Venetians held their headquarters at old times. Just two blocks north and west is the Philelinnon sq., by the sea and at the end of the seaside part of the road. Here lies also the old Customs building. The reference point for the whole town, new and old, is the conjunction of the road coming from athens (Argous str) and the one going east to Epidavros and Porto Heli (Asklepeou str). It is named “endekate”, meaning eleventh, after the bus-stop numbering system of old times. It is from here that a large park starts, covering the old train route, leading to the beginning of the old town.