Palamidi Fortress

sights / Military

Palamidi Fortress information

Location
Nafplio , Greece
Telephone
+30 27520 28036
Prices
admission €4
Opening hours
8am-7.30pm May–mid-Oct, to 3pm mid-Oct-Apr
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This vast and spectacular citadel stands on a 216m-high outcrop of rock with excellent views down onto the sea and surrounding land. It was built by the Venetians between 1711 and 1714, and is regarded as a masterpiece of military architecture. Within its walls stands a series of independent bastions, strategically located across the hill. The most important, and best preserved, is the western Agios Andreas Bastion , which stands at the top of the steps from town. It was the home of the garrison commander, and it is named after the tiny church in the interior courtyard. There are wonderful views over the Akronafplia and the old town from the bastion walls.

The Miltiades Bastion , to the northeast, is the largest of the bastions. It was used as a prison for condemned criminals from 1840 to 1920. War of Independence hero Theodoros Kolokotronis spent several years here after being condemned for treason.

There are two main approaches to the fortress. You can go via the road (taxis cost about €8 one way) or the energetic can tackle the seemingly endless steps that begin southeast of the bus station. The exact number of steps is an issue of much conjecture. Locals claim that there are 999 steps, which has prompted many travellers to conduct independent counts. Most report a considerably lower figure. Locals respond that the 999 steps are to the Church of Agios Andreas. Whatever the number, climb early and take water.