Bourtzi, the famous fort that stands in a rock in the middle of the harbor of Nafplio, is to be restored and promoted following a study by the 25th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities that was recently approved by Greece’s Central Archaeological Council (KAS).
Attracting visitors all-year-round, the Bourtzi fortress castle was built in 1471 by Antonio Gambello, an architect from Bergamo, with construction completed by the engineer Brancaleone, and the entire city of Nafplion, including Bourtzi, was fortified in 1473 by the Venetians to provide protection against pirates and invaders from the sea.
The castle, with entrances to the north and south, has three floors connected by movable stairs.
Occupied by Turkey from 1715 to 1822, it was regained by Greece on June 18, 1822. It served as a fortress until 1865, and later served as the residence of the executioners of convicts from the castle of Palamidi. After alterations by the German architect Wolf Schaeffer, the Bourtzi Castle was used as a hotel from 1930 to 1970.
Mainly a tourist attraction today and just a five-minute boat ride from Nafplio, the castle hosts events of the Nafplio Summer Music Festival.
Under the Ephorate’s plans, an exhibition area and souvenir shop will be created at the castle, while its small restaurant will remain in operation.
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