The fort on the sea, which has remained known by its Turkish name ‘Bourtzi’, meaning tower, has become Nauplion’s trademark.On this small island, which is in the middle of the city’s harbour, there was once a Byzantine church consecrated to Aghios Theodoros.The Venetians, having understood the strategic importance of this site for the protection of the port, built a tower on the rock in 1473. The Italian architect, Antonio Gambello, who had undertaken the building of the Castello di Toro, designed the fort, which was then completed by the engineer Brancaleone.During the time of the Greek revolution, the Bourtzi was known as Casteli or Thalassopyrgos, sea tower. It was here for a short while in 1826 that the Greek government sought shelter, when the rebellious nation fell into civil strife.The Bourtzi was active as a fort until 1865. It then became the place of residence for the executioners who carried out the death sentences on the prisoners in the Palamidi.
In 1935 it was turned into a hotel after alterations by the German architect Wulf Schaeffer. Today one can visit the Bourtzi by boat from the seafront.