One of the most well-known landmarks of the city of Nafplio is the main fortress in the city, the Palamidi Fortress. In the old times where there were not cars and gps people who wanted to reach Nafplio were using Palamidi as the point of direction in order to know how to reach the city. Built in the highest point of the city, on top of the 216m hill, Palamidi is visible even from many kilometers away.
So, Palamidi is the final important fortress that was built from Venetians’ outside of their own country. They started the construction in 1711 and by 1714 the massive fortress was already built. One year after the completion of the Fortress the Turks defeated and took control of the castle. During 1822, when Greeks won their independence, in one night they were able to take control of the city by controlling the Palamidi fortress.
The Palamidi, which takes its name by the Homeric hero Palamidis, was built based on the design of Giaxich and Lasalle and was based on a system of mutually supporting and mutually defending bastions, which are all connected each other and were built in different levels and with different directions in order to protect the city.
The Aghios Andreas bastion that was the best equipped was the headquarters. Each occupant of the fortress was changing the name of the bastion with heroes or important people form their nation. Nowadays the names of the bastions come from Geek people that are directly connected with the Greek history. To the North of the fortress there are the Leondias and Miltiadis bastions, to the North-West the Robert one, to the South the Themistocles and to the East side is the Achilles bastion. All the above bastions were constructed by the Venetians while the last one, the Epameinondas was completed during the Turkish occupations and the Fokion one was entirely built by the Turks.
In the 29th November of 1822, Staikos Staikopoulos lead a unit of Greek rebels and within one night was able to take control of the Palamdi fortress with a surprise attach that started from the bastion of Achilles.
Some of the bastions of Palamidi were used as a prison later on the history. In 1833, Theodoros Kolokotronis, one of the leaders of the revolution, was imprisoned in Palamidi, during the time of the regency, when King Otto was still a minor. The Miltiadis bastion was converted also as a prison from 1840 till around 1926.
There are two ways to reach the top of the Palamidi hill, either by car driving around the hill or by the staircases that are located at the West of the fortress and lead to downtown Nafpio. Locals still support that there are 999 steps and the last one was destroyed by Kolokotronis’ horse. Some support that this story was created by some people who wanted to emphasize how greedy was Theodoros Kolokotronis. Once you are in the Palamidi fortress you can see the impressive water tanks that are used even today to collect rainwater.