Bourtzi is a small island and fortress in front of the city of Nafplio. It is visible almost from everywhere and dominates the landscape towards the sea, thus it is probably one of the most recognizable monuments of Nafplio.
When was built Boutzi of Nafplio?
The castle was built by the Venetians in 1473 as part of the defense of the city against pirates and conquerors. During the years they proceeded to further renovations and reinforcements and in 1698 built the famous castle that covers the whole island and stands until today.
The Venetians were referring to the structure as "Sea-Fortress" or "Kasteli" (castle), while its current name "Boutzi" adopted during the Ottoman occupation.
What was the role of Bourtzi during the Greek revolution against the Turkish occupation?
The structure played an important role during the Greek revolution against the Turks started in 1821. Already in 1822 Greek army under the command of a French Major managed to cancel the supply of food to the besieged Turks by an English ship. Later as a fort of the first Greek capital, provided shelter to the Greek government two times in 1824 and 1827.
Bourtzi of Nafplio as the home of executioners and a hotel!
The structure maintained its function as a fortress until 1865 when it was turned into a prison. Parallel to that its bad reputation became even worst when based on a command of the King George A' of Greece the castle became the house of the Guillotine executioners.
From 1930 until 1970 though it served as a hotel with 12 rooms after a series of alternations and renovations designed by the famous German architect Schaeffer.
Today the Bourtzi Castle of Nafplio is a famous attraction and an important landmark of the city which is sometimes used during music festivals and other events.