The Palamidi fortress is located on the hill of Palamidi at a height of 216m, on the east side of the city, and it got its name from the son of Nafplios, the local hero Palamedes.
The fortress was constructed and fortified by the Venetians during the second Venetian rule(1686-1715), according to designs by Giaxich and Lasalle. It is a typical example of baroque fortification architecture and it consists of eight separate bastions. In 1715 the fortress was taken over by the Turks, but the Greeks occupied the castle once again in November 1822. After the liberation and approximately until 1925, the castle became a place of imprisonment, and there, in a small, sunless mine of the fortress Theodoros Kolokotronis was jailed too. In the fortress apart from Kolokotronis’ cell, there is also St. Andreas chapel and the relief Lion of St. Mark, emblem of Venice. The visitors can reach it by car but also through the famous steps.
“If all the castles are lost, if all are devastated
Beautiful Palamidi will be saved by God”
On the east side of the city of Nafplion and 2, 5 km away from the center stands proud on the hill of Palamidi at a height of 216m the castle of Palamidi, a typical example of Venetian fortification architecture, consisting of 8 separate bastions, that follow the natural line of the hill and fit harmoniously on it. Its name was inspired by the legendary local hero Palamedes, son of Nafplios, who participated in the Trojan War.
The castle of Palamidi was built in 1687 by the Venetians, after a battle with the Ottomans and the occupation of the hill. Morozinis started the fortification works, Corner and Grimani continued them and at last they were completed during the last years of the second Venetian rule by the Venetian general superintendent of the Fleet Agostino Sagredo (1711-1714).
The building constitutes a typical baroque fortress, designed by the engineers Giaxich and Lasalle, with 8 separate bastions built on three different levels. Each one can be used for both defense and attack. The central bastion was known with the name Saint Andreas, and due to its place was used as Garrison. The rest have taken their names from ancient Greek warriors, “Miltiades”, “Leonidas”, “Epaminondas”, “Achilles”, “Fokionas,” and “Robert” in a French philhellene’s honor, who fell during the Resistance.
In 1715 the fortress was occupied by the Turks and remained under Turkish occupation until 1822. However, the night of the 29th of November 1822 was meant to change the city’s modern history. Staikos Staikopoulos along with a group of Greek warriors took Turks by surprise and occupied the castle.
Apart from battles and fights the castle housed political detainees and criminals in its cells approximately until 1925, while in 1829 the governor Ioannis Kapodistrias turned the castle into a place of imprisonment. Theodoros Kolokotronis was jailed there, after charges of Regency for high treason. In the opening of “Alonaki”, just outside the castle was once the Guillotine. There is a chapel inside the castle at St. Andreas bastion, next to the sunless dungeon where Kolokotronis was jailed, built from the second Venetian rule. The Fall of Palamidi and the liberation of Anapli coincided with the feast of Saint Andreas, and so it was decided that the chapel inside the castle should be named St. Andreas as well. Wandering around the paths of the fortress, it is impossible not to notice “the lion of St. Mark”, coat of arms and emblem of Venice.
The fortress is accessible from the east side of the city by car, or by climbing the 999 steps on the northwest side, on the way to Acronafplia. The legend says that the steps were initially 1000 but Theodoros Kolokotronis’ horse broke the last of Palamidi’s steps, leaving intact 999 of them. Earlier the visitors could climb up to a specific part of the rock through the venetians tunnels, still preserved on the right side of the stairs. Either way, the magnificent view will be the most satisfying reward for every visitor.
Telephone: +30 27520 28036
Regular: 4 Euro
Reduced: 2 Euros (for non E.E. students and senior citizens of E.E. over 65)