Romantic walks in the picturesque alleyways, wondering in beautiful shops, coffee with a view of Bourtzi, dining in nice taverns... What remains to ideally complete your getaway in the charming and historic Nafplio? Well, of course, a visit to its unique museums, a journey into the world of history, tradition, and art, that will make you see Nafplio in a different light.
The European Night of Museums is celebrated every year on the Saturday before May 18th, which is dedicated to the International Museum Day. May 18th is dedicated each year to a specific theme related to museums and the protection of cultural heritage. The theme for the celebration of International Museum Day 2023 was "Museums, Sustainability, and Quality of Life."
Wherever you are in Europe on this particular evening of May -obviously in Nafplio as well- seek out one of the museums in your city, with free admission that day. It will surely offer you a pleasant surprise...
The museum that bestows glamour and uniqueness to Syntagma Square, was built in 1713 by Augustine Sagredo, the Prefect of the Fleet, during the time of the second Venetian occupation. Initially, it functioned as a naval warehouse and later as a barracks. Here, you will have the opportunity to admire around 1,500 objects ranging from the prehistoric era to the Bronze Age, as well as rare findings from Tiryns, Asine, Midea, and the Franchthi Cave.
Do not miss:
*The emblem of the museum, the bronze armor from the 15th century BC, which belonged to a Mycenaean chieftain and was found in the ancient Dendra cemetery. The helmet of the armor is particularly impressive, adorned with approximately 40 boar's tusks!
*The mirror from the necropolis of ancient Hermione, discovered in 1994, which instead of a handle, features a Caryatid.
Info: Syntagma Square, Τ. +30 27520 27502
Basil Papantoniou Foundation (BPF) - Museum
In the picturesque Sofroni street, the -as of the year 2022- Basil Papantoniou Foundation (BPF) -ex Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation (PFF)- led by its founder, Ms. Ioanna Papantoniou, is a center of Greek culture and tradition. If you are fascinated by the history of folklore and costume, you will certainly be impressed by many of its exhibits, such as traditional costumes, embroideries, furniture pieces, tools, and you will spend hours admiring them. The museum has an exceptional collection of 45,000 objects and a library with almost 12,000 titles. Its continuous operation and research have distinguished PFF, and it has been awarded numerous times.
Do not miss:
*The costume established by Queen Olga for the ladies of honor, who were dressed in royal blue color, while the queen chose for herself the burgundy color for her attire.
Info: Sofroni & 1, Vassileos Alexandrou street, Τ. +30 27520 28379
Museum of Childhood "Stathmos"
If you love retro aesthetics, vintage items and children's toys, this museum in the OSE Park (old railway station) will steal your heart, whether you go alone or with your children. Created by the "Basil Papantoniou" Foundation-Museum, this small but magical museum houses collectible toys, handmade cloth dolls, the first Barbie dolls, christening dresses from wealthy families, handmade cribs, traditional playthings and spinning tops, old roller skates and so many more...
Do not miss:
*The dolls and little horses that children used to play with in ancient times.
*The collections from the childhood of two girls born in 1938 and 1948.
Info: OSE Park (old railway station), Τ. +30 27520 28947
How many times have you passed by this impressive three-story building while walking on Amalias Street? Perhaps you stopped to read that on this plot of land, the first School of Evzones operated in 1828, initiated by the Great Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias. Perhaps it is now time to enter the museum's interior, where precious treasures are preserved, exhibits from the Greek Revolution, the Macedonian Struggle, the Balkan Wars, and World War I...
Do not miss:
*The first flag raised in Nafplio after the Liberation. This flag belonged to Greek soldiers, who fought on the Albanian front and when the Greek army retreated in the spring of 1941, the soldiers kept it hidden within their clothes, to prevent it from falling into German hands. In Nafplio, where they gathered to board the ship to Crete, they tearfully handed over the flag to the Dariotis family, who had hosted them for one night.
Info: 22, Amalias Ave., Τ. +30 27520 25591
National Gallery - Annex of Nafplio
Surely you have noticed this magnificent preserved neoclassical building on Sidiras Merarchias Street, with the sculptural works in its large garden. Here, at the Annex of the National Gallery in Nafplio, you will be able to admire the permanent collection, based on themes of the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829). You will see unique paintings by artists, such as Nikiforos Lytras, Nikolaos Gyzis, Theodoros Vryzakis, Dionyssios Tsokos and many others, who artistically depicted the Greek Revolution.
Do not miss:
*The painting "The Burning of the Turkish Flagship by Kanaris" by Ivan Aivasovsky, a Russian-Armenian painter. The central theme of this significant work of art, is the burning ship, while the boat with Kanaris and the other fighters has moved away.
Info: 23, Sithiras Merarchias str., Τ. +30 27520 21915-35
Be sure to visit the first -and only one in the world- Komboloi Museum (Worry Beads Museum), established in Nafplio in April 1998 by Mr. Aris Evangelinos and Mrs. Rallou Gromitsari. They have been collecting and studying worry beads since 1968, starting from Alexandria, Egypt.
At the Museum, which operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture, you will find a unique collection of antique prayer beads and worry beads from around the world -Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, and Greeks- from the countries where Hellenism flourished (Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, etc.), dating from 1550 to 1950! On the first floor, where the Museum is housed, there are approximately 300 Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Catholic prayer beads, as well as about 700 Greek worry beads, made of rare materials such as amber, faturan, coral, ivory, and more. A truly remarkable experience!
Do not miss:
*In addition to the unique exhibits, also take note of this particular building from the second Ottoman period, one of the few preserved in Nafplio, owned by the family.
Info: 25, Staikopoulou str., T. +30 27520 21618