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Bourdji Fortress

At first it was called by the seamen Saint Theodore's island. During the first Venetian rule (1389 - 1540), in 1473 to be particular, the Venetians built a tower with guns on it. It was called the Castelli or Bourdji and later Passage. New fortifications were added during the second venetian rule (a tower with a yard and a bastion). Morosini occupied it again in 1686.

From Bourdji to the waterfront across the sea at nights there used to hang a chain that blocked the harbour. That's the reason that Nauplion used to be called Porto Catena, the Chain port, during the venetian Empire. In the years of the Greek Revolution, it was called Kastelli or Thalassopyrgos (Seacastle). The first attempt to occupy Bourdji, planned by the French Philhellene Boutier, failed. Bourdji was handed over to the Greeks on June 18, 1822 during the siege of the city. From that time it played an important part in the siege, as its guns shot at the castles of Itch-Kale ( Akronafplia) and Palamidi. The Goνernment found refuge in Bourdji for a while in 1826 during the ciνil war. Bourdji was used as a fort until 1865.

Later it serνed at the residence of the people that operated the guillotine, that had been set up at Alonaki on Palamidi. The first executioner came from Marseilles where the guillotine had been made, but he was soon forced to leave on account of the strong dislike of the people. Andreas Karkaνitsas, in a beautiful short story of his written in 1892, describes Bourdji as the «Charming caνe» that hid three dragons: the three executioners. From 1930 to 1970 served as a hotel.

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Additional Photos by Ioannis Bahatouris (jjbach) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1861 W: 57 N: 1761] (9326)
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