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The fortress of Bourtzi in Nafplion: The small island of Bourtzi in Nafplion is popular for its strong, impressive fortress. Still known by its Turkish name Bourtzi, meaning the Tower, it attracts many visitors all year round. Antonio Gambello, an architect from Bergamo, built the castle in 1471 on this tiny islet in front of the port of Nafplion, although the construction was completed by the engineer Brancaleone. The design was made specifically to fit the narrow shape of the islet.
The entire city was fortified in 1473 by the Venetians, mainly to provide protection against pirates. The castle, with entrances to the north and south, has three floors connected by movable stairs.
A small harbor on the north-eastern side offered easy and safe access to the fortress. To get protected by their enemies, the Turks had laid the surrounding sea bed with a large barricade of stones that made it impossible for large ships to approach the island and the fort.
Later on, after the deliberation of the town in 1821, it was turned into the residence of the executioner for the convicts of the Palamidi castle. Between 1930 and 1970, after alterations by the German architect Wolf Schaeffer, the Bourtzi Castle was used as a hotel. Today the island hosts the Summer Music Festival, providing a perfectly stunning backdrop to the gala of music. It is easily accessible by boat from the port of Nafplion and it is a must for the visitors of this beautiful town.
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