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The Barracks of Kapodistria

“The barracks of Kapodistria”, a building of exquisite interest for the city of Argos, were built between 1690-1700 by the Venetians and were initially used as a hospital. In the following years these buildings were used differently and suffered various damages.

In 1828-1829, I.Kapodistrias had the buildings rebuilt and brought the cavalry barracks into operation. Today, these buildings host the Municipal Theater, the town Philharmonic and the 1st Boy Scouts Association. In the west wing the new Byzantine Museum will be housed. Moreover, in this historic monument, the municipality organizes cultural activities and festivals.

Next to the Kapodistria Square stands a building of exquisite interest for the city of Argos, called “Kapodistria Barracks”. The barracks were first built during the 60’s by the Venetians and through the years suffered decay and construction transformations as they were used to fulfill various purposes.

Initially, the Vents hosted in these buildings the hospital of the Sisters of Mercy, and then during the Ottoman Occupation this place was used as a market (in Turkish:“bezesteni”), where a big bazaar took place every Sunday and as a post office (in Turkish: “Menji Hane”). During the Greek War of Independence, the bullets and the cannons brought tremendous disaster to the buildings, which were soon transformed into nothing else but ruins. The first Greek government in 1824, after a resolution, intended to use this property to found a university, but a few years later, the governor I. Kapodistrias restored the destroyed buildings and housed in them the barracks of the cavalry. In addition, in 1830 a new building, placed in the north side of the yard, was also added to the barracks, but unfortunately this building no longer exists. Nevertheless, the next years were bleak for the barracks. In 1845 a cunning “geometer” tried to sell these buildings to inhabitants of Argos and create plots in the area of the big yard, while five years later (1850) the army left the city. Within 1893-1894 the barracks hosted the Kapodistrian School, due to severe damages caused to its building. The coming decades, found the historic monument hosting the cavalry, refugees, the gendarmerie, the 6th Artillery Regiment, even interview rooms during the Occupation.

Ever since 1977 the barracks have been declared listed. Today, after the restoration, the Municipal Theater, the town Philharmonic and the 1st Association of boy scouts are now housed in the historic place and the west wing is currently being prepared to host the new Byzantine Museum. Furthermore, in this area (open- air space included) various cultural activities and festivals also take place.

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