Nafplio - Inauguration at Bourtzi, Friday, October 27th 2023

Μπούρτζι Ναυπλίου, Boutrzi of Nafplio

On Friday, October 27th 2023 in the afternoon, the inauguration of the now completed project "The Bourtzi Fortress in Nafplio - Restoration and Reuse (2014-2021)" will take place. The Ministry of Culture, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolis and the Hellenic Public Properties Co. (HPPC) invite us to the inauguration ceremony, which will be presided over by H.E. the Minister of Culture, Dr. Lina Mendoni.

As informed by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolis, due to the inauguration ceremony and the limited space, the Bourtzi Fortress will remain closed to the public on Friday, October 27th 2023, and will reopen on Saturday, October 28th 2023, with free admission for everyone.
The fortress, following its renovation, has been operational since August 5th 2023 and receives a large number of visitors daily. After the inauguration ceremony, the exhibition space will be open, with a periodic exhibition dedicated to the monument's history, as well as the Fund of the Archaeological Proceeds' gift shop. In the future, a café-restaurant will also be in operation.

The rennovation
The renovation project of the Ministry of Culture included extensive maintenance and restoration of all the original sections of the fortress. Additionally, repairs and reconstruction were carried out in all the functional areas of both the interior and exterior spaces of the fortress (floors, walls, stairs, windows, railings, color schemes, accent lighting), and a comprehensive overhaul of all networks (water supply, sewage, electrical installation, heating, cooling, and telecommunications).
The fortress has been declared a priority monument and, concurrently, designated as a Touristic Public Property. Its administration and management were initially entrusted to the Greek National Tourism Organization and today it has been transferred to the Hellenic Public Properties Co.
In the year 2010, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between the Hellenic Tourism Development Company and the Ministry of Culture and Sports (25th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities) for the restoration and reuse of the monument. Within the framework of the memorandum, a study was prepared for the documentation, stabilization, restoration, enhancement and reuse of the Fortress, which was approved in 2011. The implementation of the project was carried out by the services of the Ministry of Culture. The project was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund ERDF 2007-2013 & 2014-2020, Operational Program "Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation", with a budget of €2,784,899.54.
With the work carried out, a unique monument of Nafplio was restored, an intact work of a renowned Renaissance architect with all the characteristics of its time, making it one of the most notable examples of fortification architecture in the Greek territory. Bourtzi, inextricably linked to the collective memory of the residents, as well as the more recent historical period of the Greek Nation, is now attributed to the public with new uses, enhancing its role as a cultural monument.

Μπούρτζι Ναυπλίου ανακαίνιση, Boutrzi of Nafplio rennovation

Some history
The Bourtzi fortress is a monument of the utmost significance and one of the most important fortifications in the Greek region. It was constructed during the period of the First Venetian Rule in the late 15th century when Vittore Pasqualigo was the Provveditore of Nafplio. The project was entrusted to the architect Antonio Gambello, began in June 1471, and was completed a few years later.
During the Venetian Rule, it was known as the "Rock Fortress" or "Sea Fortress" (Castello dello scoglio or Castello a mare). Later, during the period of the Revolution, the names "seafortress" or "Kasteli" were used. The name "Bourtzi", with which it is still known today, was established during the Ottoman rule. Its purpose for construction was to protect the entrance of the port of the city of Nafplio.
The fortress served the city's defense for 350 years during which it underwent several repairs and modifications. During the Greek Revolution, it played a significant role in the liberation of Nafplio.
From 1833 to 1913, it was used as a residence for the executioner, who carried out executions by guillotine in Palamidi castle. When the executions ceased, the fortress was abandoned.
With the establishment of the Tourism Organization, the sea fortress was leased in the early 1930s to a local Nafplio entrepreneur for tourist exploitation and was transformed into a First Category tourist establishment in Greece, operating as a 14-room hotel and restaurant. It operated continuously for approximately 37 years until the end of the 1960s, when it ceased functioning, as it no longer met modern accommodation standards.
Later, with partial interventions by the Greek National Tourism Organization in the mid-1980s, it operated as a restaurant and cafe until around 1995 and it then remained closed.

Inauguration Ceremony
Friday, October 27th 2023, at 16:00.
The transfer of the guests by boat will take place between 15:00 and 15:30.

Reservation is required until Tuesday, October 24th 2023.


Did you know that?
During the operation of the hotel in the 1940s and 1950s, many well-known and important individuals passed through the premises of the fortress. People like Andreas Embirikos and Matshi Chatzilazarou, Margot Fonteyn with the painter John Craxton, Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor, and even Melina Mercouri were among them. The fortress also served as an ideal backdrop for Greek cinematic films in the 1950s and beyond, with one of the most notable being the movie "The man of the Train" filmed in 1958.
Getting to Bourtzi? Easy! Read about the boats to Bourtzi and the schedules...

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