Ancient Nafplion is traditionally named after Nauplios, the Argonaut hero son of Poseidon. Argonauts were “the sailors from Argos“ who went to the Black Sea. In the truth, salesmen from Peloponnese constantly tried to find new markets and trade routes , but were obstacled by the wealthy town of Troy. This is why the Argives started the war, named after Troy, which eventually lead to the destruction of that town. Nafplion was one of the beleaguered Argive towns. When you visit this place, you can still see some cyclopic walls from those times, at the base of the walls of Acronauplia. Conquered by in the 6th century b.C. by Argos, Nafplion became the port of Argos, and lost importance as individual entity till theByzantine Period. At those times, power came from landowners, not from sea.Initially a byzantine fief, Nafplion was repeatedly attacked by theFrench Crusaders who had seized Costantinople and still were dividing the rest of the Byzantine Empire among themselves. This started from the year 1204 untill when, in the year 1209, Teodoro Dukas eventually nominally gave the keys of the town to Guillame de Villehardouin, who anyway didn’t enter the town. It was infact only in the year 1211 that Nafplion was definitly lost for the byzantine lord Leon Sguros after theeffective Villehardouin’s conquest. Venice managed to man the place only in the year 1394. Nafplion successfully as usual, drove back two tremenduous Turkish attacks: in 1460 by Mohamed II and in 1537 by Suleyman the Magnificent. The Turks used carnage as fighting technique: to send to die as many soldiers as possible. This was both a way to overcome problems caused by overpopulation, and to give them a prize for their sacrifice, for they believed that a death in battle trying to spread Islam was more honourable than anything else, and granted straight access to Paradise. Despite he couldn’t capture Nafplion, Suleyman the Magnificent demanded by diplomacy that Venice surrenders both fortresses of Nafplion and Malmsey as a condition to sign a peace treaty.
Costantino and Niccolò Cavazza, secretaries of the Council of Ten, knew that the Republic gave His excellence N.H. Alvise Badoer secret instructions for the peace treaty. According to the latter, he could renounce to Nauplia and to Malmsey if necessary. Badoer was loaded with 350.000 golden pieces in order to corrupt the Turkish ministries and he brought an offer of further 8000 golden pieces a year in order to keep the fortresses. The two Cavazza brothers revealed these secret plans to the French Ambassador Guillame de Pellicier, secretly in intelligence with the Turks, who later were in the position to demand Nauplia and Malmsey surrendering. On the 30th of April 1542 Nauplia was lost. The Turks as usual rid with mosques, minarets and fountains the town of Nafplion, and they expel part of the Greek population who is due to live out of the city walls. All the churches are turned into mosques.
On June 16th, 1684 Secretary of State N.H. Giovanni Capello, Bailo (=Ambassador) in Istanbul, declared war on the Turkish Empire on behalf of The Most Serene Republic of Venice. Two years later, in 1686, Koenigsmarck, general of the Venetian Army, enters Nauplia. The Venetians called the city “Napoli di Romania (Napoli of Romania)” and embellished and fortified it, a Dalmatian ingeneer, Giaxich, designed the plans for a star-like fortress, eventually rendered operational between the years 1711 and 1714 by a French, ingeneer Lassalle. Palamidi, this fortress, is made of 8 massive distinct bulwarks, each independent from the other, so that the structure would not surreder if only one bulwark would have been captured by the enemy. Unfortunately once again thanks to the trahison, palamidi fell in Turkish hands in 1715 without to be capable to defend itself. French ingeneer Lassalle, a traitor, rendered useless the cannons. The treaty of Passarowitz in 1718 seals the official renounce to Nafplion from Venice. In the 1768 Nafplion is no longer the capital of the Peloponnese, which moves to Tripolis, and becomes a mere garrison where rich warlords (Aga)exercize piracy, using as an excuse the war between Russia and the Osman Empire. In 1822 Greek patriots occupied Palamidi, and ever since Nafplion was the capital of Independent Greece. In 1836 king Otto von Bayern moved the capital to Athens, nothing more than a village, at those days. On February the First, 1862, Nafplion uprose against Otto. Only in March the royal army ends the siege to Nafplion and a large amnesty is given
During 2nd WW Nafplion was the base of evacuation of British troops getting out of Peloponnese (24-30th April 1941).
Freely taken from: http://www.nauplia.com/townmap.ht