The fortress to the east of the Acronafplia in the picturesque harbour town of Nafplio in the eastern Peloponnese is nestled on the crest of a 216-meter high cliff.
Built by the Venetians during their second occupation of the area (1686-1715) it is very large and imposing structure. The baroque fortress was based on the plans of engineers Giaxich and Lasalle. In 1715 it was captured by the Ottomans and remained under their control until 1822, when it was captured by the Greeks during the War of Independence.
The eight bastions of the fortress were originally named after the Venetian provveditori. However, when it fell to the Ottomans, the bastions were given Turkish names.
Lastly, when the Greeks kicked out the Ottomans from the Peloponnese the bastions were renamed after ancient Greek leaders and heroes (Epaminondas, Miltiades, Leonidas, Phocion, Achilles, Themistocles. The two remaining bastions were named after St. Andrew (Aghios Andreas) and the French Philhellene Robert who died in battle on the Acropolis of Athens. The “Miltiades,” was used as a prison and among its walls was also held Theodoros Kolokotronis, hero of the Greek Revolution.
The fortress commands an impressive view of the Argosaronic Gulf, the town of Náfplio and the surrounding country. There are 913 steps in the winding path from the town to the fortress. However, to reach the top there more than 1,000. Locals in the town of Nafplion will say there are 999 steps to the top of the castle, and specials can be found on menus that incorporate this number to catch a tourist’s eye.