•According to mythology, Nauplios, “The Navigator”, who was the son of the sea-god Poseidon and Amymone, King Danaos’ daughter, founded Nafplio.

          •People have lived in Nafplio since antiquity, but we know little about the city at that time

          •The city allied with Sparta in 685 BC but was destroyed by the king of Argos

          •Nafplio was the port city of Argos in ancient Greece

          •Important Byzantine city because of its strategic location

          •Frankish rule from about 1210

          •Venetian rule from 1388

          •Turkish rule from 1540, and they made Nafplio the capital of Peloponnese.

          •In 1686 the Venetians took over again, and built Palamidi to strengthen their sovereignty

          •The Turks are once again back in 1715, and apart from a brief period in 1770, when the city is on Russian hands, the Turks are here until 1822:

          •In 1822, the Greek general Kolokotronis and his army free Nafplio, one of the first places in Greece that once again is Greek

          •In 1828, Kapodistrias is appointed as Greece's first president, Nafplio becomes Greece's capital

          •In 1831, Kapodistrias is assassinated outside Ag. Spyridon Church (read more here)

          •This conflict leads to the decision that Greece is to become a monarchy, and in 1832 is Greece's first king, 17-year-old Otto of Bavaria, arrives in Nafplio. Two years later he moves the capital to Athens

A short history lesson about Nafplio

Greece's first code of laws was written in both Greek and German. (Exhibited in Karoni’s Distillery Museum)



What makes Nafplio particularly intriguing to the historically-minded traveller is the way in which the many layers of its past are preserved in juxtaposition-- modern next to ancient, Byzantine mixed with the traces of Frankish, Venetian, and Turkish conquerors-- one stratum of history built on to another.

Elisabeth Herschbach


Nafplio, out of all other Greek bays,

is the most picturesque, as well as the most glorious and much sought after by all conquerors coming from both the East and West.

Paul Morand, "Mediterranean,

sea of surprises"