Nafplion(Ναυλος = freight +
πλιο = ship) ( , Nafplio) or Nauplion ( ,
Naupliοn) is a seaport town in the Peloponnese in Greece that has
expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf.
- "Nauplia" redirects here; it can also mean the plural of
The town was the first
capital of modern Greece, from 1829 to 1834. Nafplion, with a
population of (13,822) is the capital of the prefecture of Argolis and the
province of Nafplion.
The name of the town in Greek
Ναύπλιο or in Ancient Greek
Ναύπλιον/Ναύπλιων (adding omega/nu, thus the transliteration
"Nafplion"). As is the case with many Greek names, there is more
than one possible Latin transliteration. Currently, the most
commonly used English spelling is "Nafplion" (or sometimes
"Nafplio" like the Modern Greek
Many sources, especially those dealing with the ancient city, refer
to it by its Latin
name of Nauplion.
languages it is known variously as Nauplia, Navplion, Nauplio,
Nafplion and Anapli; these names would have been current in English
during the periods of Venetian and Ottoman
Nafplion is known as Napoli di Romania, the last two words
referring to the ancient name ("Romania" or rather "Rhomania")
formerly used to define those territories occupied by the Byzantine
Empire or Empire of Rhomania
, and serving
to distinguish the town from the other Napoli (i.e. Naples) in Italy.
Turkish name of her is "Mora Yenişehri" is derived from Morea
. "Mora" was added to Yenişehir (=New City) due
to prevent confusing with Yenişehir
is situated on the Argolic Gulf in the
Most of the old town is on a peninsula
jutting into the gulf; this peninsula forms a naturally protected
bay that is enhanced by the addition of man-made moles
. Originally almost isolated by
marshes, deliberate landfill projects, primarily since the 1970s,
have nearly doubled the land area of the city.
The area surrounding Nafplion has been inhabited since ancient
times though little sign of this remains within the town. The town
has been a stronghold at several times in history. It seems to be
mentioned on an Egyptian funerary inscription of Amenophis III
Acronauplia has walls dating from pre-classical times.
Subsequently, Byzantines, Franks, Venetians, and Ottomans added to
the fortifications. Nafplion was taken in 1212 by the French
crusaders of the Principality of
Achaea, then in 1388 was sold to the Venetians.
During the subsequent 150 years, the lower
city was expanded and fortified, and new fortifications added to
Acronauplia. The city was surrendered to the Ottomans
in 1540. Ottomans renamed her as
"Mora Yenişehri" ("New City of Pelloponnes"). It was a sanjak
centre during Ottoman rule. At that period,
Nafplion looked very much like the 16th century image shown below
to the right. The Venetians retook Nafplion in 1685, and
strengthened the city by building the castle of Palamidi, which was
in fact the last major construction of the Venetian empire
However, only 80 soldiers were assigned to defend
the city and it was easily retaken by the Ottomans in 1715.
Palamidi is a castle constructed by Venetians during the 17th
century. It is located on a hill north of the old town. During the
Greek War of Independence it played a major role. It has been
captured by Staikos Staikopoulos (Στάικος Σταικόπουλος)on 31th
November of 1821
Greek War of Independence
During the Greek War of
, Nafplion was a major Ottoman stronghold and was
besieged for a year by Theodoros
. The Acronauplia, and then Palamidi, finally surrendered because of
After its capture, because of its strong
fortifications, it became the seat of the provisional governments
of Greece, and Kapodistrias made it the official capital of Greece
in 1829. After his assassination there in 1831 a period of anarchy
followed, until the arrival of King Otto
and the establishment of the new
Kingdom of Greece
. Nafplion remained the
capital of the kingdom until 1834, when King Otto decided to move
the capital to Athens.
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. He
was subsequently assassinated by local warlords on the steps of the
church of Saint Spyridon in Nafplio on 9 October 1831 .
Tourism emerged slowly in the 1960s, but not to the same degree as
around other areas of Greece; nevertheless, it tends to attact a
number of tourists from Germany and the Scandinavian countries in
particular. Nafplion enjoys a very sunny and mild climate, even by
Greek standards, and as a consequence has become a popular day- or
weekend road trip destination for Athenians in wintertime.
Nafplion is a port, with fishing and transport ongoing, although
the primary source of local employment currently is tourism, with
two beaches on the other side of the peninsula
from the main body of the town and a
large amount of local accommodation. There are frequent
bus services from/to Athens
Since 2003, the University of
has incorporated a new faculty, the School of Fine
Arts. In 2007, a single department exists; the Department
, offering four majors:
The building of the National Bank of Greece is probably the only
building in the world built in the Mycenaean Revival
- Diplomatarium Veneto-Levantinum.1966. ed. G. M.
Thomas. New York.
- Gerola, Giuseppe. “Le fortificazioni di Napoli di Romania,”
Annuario dell regia scuola archeologicca di Atene e delle
missioni italiane in oriente 22-24. (1930-31) 346-410.
- Greece, the Rough Guide. Mark Ellingham, Marc Dubin, Natania
Jansz and Joh Fisher, Published by Rough Guides 1995, ISBN
- Gregory, Timothy E. 1983. Nauplion. Athens.
- Karouzos, Semnēs. 1979. To Nauplio. Athens.
- Kolotronēs, Theodoros. 1969. Memoirs from the Greek War of
Independence, 1821-1833. E. M. Edmunds, trans. Originally
printed as Kolokotrones: The Klepht and the Warrior.
Sixty Years of Peril and Daring. An
Autobiography. London, 1892; reprint, Chicago.
- Lamprynides, Michael G. 1898. Ē Nauplia. Athens,
- Luttrell, Anthony. 1966. “The Latins of Argos and Nauplia:
1311-1394,” Papers of the British School at Rome 34:
- Schaefer, Wulf. 1961. "Neue Untersuchungen über die
Baugeschichte Nauplias im Mittelalter," Jahrbuch des Deutschen
Archäologischen Instituts 76: 156-214.
- Wright, Diana Gilliland. 1999. Bartolomeo Minio: Venetian
administration in 15th-Century Nauplion. Doctoral
dissertation, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC (