If you know a bit of Greek history, you probably know that the seaside town of Nafplio was for a brief period the capital of the first Hellenic Republic following the Greek Revolution of 1821, up until 1934. Today, Nafplio is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, hosting a variety of quaint eateries, cafes, shops, historical structures, castles and museums to keep you busy all day!
First off, there is the two-floor Nafplio Archeological Museum in Syntagmatos Square. Housed in an imposing stone-built Venetian structure dating back to 1713, this museum is famed for its display of a 14th century bronze armor set found in the tomb of Dendron, as well as a number of important Mycenaean figurines.
Secondly, the War Museum of Nafplio presents the struggles and fight of the Greek Nation through a series or artifacts and war memorabilia highlighting the Greek War of Independence (1821-1897), the Macedonian War (1904-1908), the Balkan Wars (1912-1913), WWI, the Asia Minor Crusade (1919-1922), the Greek Italian War (1940-1941), the German Invasion and War in Crete of 1941, and more.
Third on the list is the Vasileios Papantoniou Folklore Museum, which houses a number of very interesting exhibits displaying intricate and original traditional attire, as well as elements and relics demonstrating life in Greece.
Next up, the Child Awareness Museum explores and celebrates the child and the cycle of the child age from antiquity to modern times. Then, the Ecclesiastical Museum of the Sacred Temple Evangelistria houses a rich collection of icons, sacred vessels, liturgical books, holy grails, and woven art. For car lovers, there’s the Automotive Museum which features a selection of vintage vehicles. There’s also the tiny Kompoloi Museum, featuring a unique collection of chaplets (kompologia) dating from 1700 to 1950, as well as the Karonis Distillery Museum which displays tools, machinery, and historical documents dating back to the 1880s.
As Greece’s first capital, Nafplio is host to a number of historical sites including enough museums to entertain you for days. If you’re up for it, why not visit them all? And if you’re a student, don’t forget to bring your student ID along for a discount!