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Nafplio, the capital of our hearts

Nafplio, the capital of our hearts

Πηγή Φωτογραφίας: Travelen

You can spend the rest of the day walking and cycling around Nafplio.

A bronze mirror with a figural handle carved in the form of a Caryatid, with her chiton, her hair and an indefinable animal by her side – probably a lion. I would buy it without thinking twice, no matter what the price, despite the fact that I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in it, since it has lost its reflective properties. However, this mirror dates back in the 3rd century BC, it was excavated in Ermioni and I am not in a shop, but in the Archaeological Museum of Nafplio. I feel the same way when looking at the jewelry made of amber and glass, but also the incredible wheeled figurines of the 12th century BC, which look as if they were made yesterday.

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Of course, everyone stands in awe before the showcase of the Armor of Dendra. It is the most important exhibit of the museum, since it’s the only one that’s been discovered in its entirety, it dates back to the 15th century BC, weighs 15 kilos and was found in the Mycenaean Cemetery of Dendra. Its helmet is adorned with 40 wild boar teeth – a display of strength with the same effect to our day, as is evident from everyone’s expressions.

“Another very important finding is that red-figure urn depicting Clytemnestra’s murder by Orestes”, the guard tells me, pointing to the oversized ceramic pot.

My rather uncultured eye finds it difficult to distinguish murder in this image, but can’t help making funny associations every time a visitor stands in front of the 7th century BC pig-shaped clay masks.

Many are the strange and wonderful things you can see in this amazing museum: the findings come from the great (and countless) archeological sites of Argolida, while even the building itself is a masterpiece, although the Venetians built it as a fleet depot. It is located in Syntagma Square, the famous square of Nafplio, and you are probably going to spend the whole morning here.

You can spend the rest of the day walking and cycling around Nafplio. There are municipal bicycles that you can rent; you will find them in Trion Navarchon Square. They are currently under maintenance, but they are expected to be available shortly – I hope they are going to have a more simplified electronic system, because as I have noticed in the past some visitors were having trouble figuring out how they work…

Wander around the alleys, go up the step-streets that lead to Ano Poli and to Psaromahalas Quarter, shop in adorable little shops and let the buildings around you narrate the history of Nafplio, since the ancient and the Venetian walls coexist with mosques and neoclassical buildings, marble lions and ottoman fountains in …Venetian style. The eye-catching buildings narrate stories of intrigues and political interests of the times when the Modern Greek state was first established – Nafplio being its first capital – and have been spectators of some of the most important events of the Modern Greek history.

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