Nafplio, the first capital of the modern Greece, is highly connected to the Greek history from the ancient world until the modern Greek history. The first pharmacy, the first hospital for the poor people, the first prime minister of Greece were all in Nafplio. Today the city is a destination for tourists from all over the word who visit Nafplio for its natural beauty, the walking paths, the fortresses. Families with kids, couples, summer, winter, the city has something different to offer to everyone who decides to visit it. Located only one-and-a-half-hour drive from Athens and ideally located in the East part of the Peloponnese region.
The best part of the city that deserves your attention is the part located in between the port, the Palamidi Fortress and the Acronafplia Fortress. On a radius of 350m around the main square of the old city, the Syntagma square, you will find some of the treasures of Nafplio and you will travel to a different era.
One of the oldest neighbourhoods in the old city of Nafplio is called “Psaromachalas”. It is the part of the old city underneath the Acronafplia hill to the street called Staikopoulou. Psaromachalas was a very popular area since the end of the Byzantine times, in 13th century. The name comes from the people who were living in this district that were fishermen and were using the west part of the port as a parking for their boats. The first component of the word Psaromachalas comes from the Greek word meaning fish.
The ground is inclined due to the Acrnafplia hill that allows almost all the houses having an amazing view to the Argolic gulf. Psaromachalas is a district full of paths with staircases, with some very old houses with different colors and small balconies.
In Psaromachalas district you can find the first hospital of the country, the Agia Sofia church and the first Greek parliament. Agia Sofia is the only Byzantine church in the old city of Nafplio. It was built aprox. In the 11th to 12th century AD. During the periods that Turks had control of the city they had converted the temple into a haystack. The church was renovated in 1825. In terms of its architecture, the church follows the pattern of the small tiled, octagonal dome-shaped basilica with an inscribed cross and has a west-facing two-storey façade. The sanctuary is semicircular with a double window.
The first Greek parliament is one of the oldest buildings from the Ottoman architecture. The parliament originally was a mosque that was built back in 1730 during the second Turkish occupation, the “Agha Pasha Mosque” that was built in order to atonement Agha’s soul after a cruel crime that he had committed, by killing to young men and stealing from them the treasure that they had found. In the same building during the years 1824-1825 and 1827-1828 it was operating the first Parliament of the modern Greece. Over time the Parliament was used for different purposes, such as Greek school and prison.
Today the historical building hosts the Municipal Gallery of Nafplio with a collection of paintings by Greek artists.
Another historical building connected with the history of Nafplio is the building located in the South East corner of the Syntagma Square called Trianon. The building had different uses over the time and originally was built from Turks during the Turkish occupation in the 16th century as the Grand Mosque in the city of Nafplio. The Trianon was a simple rectangular plan covered by an almost octagonal dome of provincial style. During the second period of the Venetian occupation in 1687, the building was converted into a Christian Roman Catholic church, dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, donated by the Venetian commander Francis Morosini to the Franciscan battalion.
In 1828 it was used by the Greeks as the first interdisciplinary school for males. In 1893, after the necessary repairs, it was transformed into a conservatory and a theater, and in 1937 it became the Trianon Municipal Cinema, a brand that is still known and maintained in very good condition. Since 1993 it has been the seat of the Nafplio Municipal Theater.