The Archaeological Museum of Nafplio

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The building that today houses the Archaeological Museum is one of the most splendid of the Venetian buildings in the city, and marks the end of the ‘Megalos Dromos’ or ‘Great Road’. On the façade of the building there is a Latin inscription which informs us that the building was constructed in 1713, by the Venetian Superintendent of the Fleet, Agostino Sagredo, to be used as a warehouse for the fleet. It is a building on a monumental scale; it has three floors and the architectural style has a hint of the Baroque. The ground floor is in the form of an arched portico, supported by four pillars, while the wall behind the portico is a later, 19th century addition. Porous stone sticks out of the arches of the ground floor, the walls, and the windowsills, in the so-called rustic style, while the floors are divided using bands of the same stone. Generally, the building, with its highly stressed symmetry, exudes an air of austerity and simplicity, which, according to the archaeologist, Semni Karouzou, is probably due to the military nature of its purpose. The Venetian arsenal was later used as a barracks or ‘Stratonas’, which is where the square got its name of ‘Stratonas Square’; later it housed the interrogation centre of the German army during the German occupation. Today, the top two floors house the Archaeological Museum, while the ground floor houses the offices of the 4th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.