Reopening of Charming Greek Island After Five-Year Renovation

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A charming Greek island has once again welcomed tourists after a five-year hiatus for refurbishment. Nestled off the coast of a bustling seaside town renowned as an Athenian holiday haven, the Bourtzi Fortress reemerges as a cultural and recreational gem.

Visible from the shores of Nafplio in the Peloponnese, the fortress offers respite from urban life and stands as a sentinel in the sea—an hour and a half's drive from the capital city.

Recent announcements by the Greek culture ministry and the Hellenic Public Properties Co heralded the reopening of this island sanctuary. The Bourtzi Fortress, having undergone meticulous restoration and maintenance, is now accessible as a significant cultural landmark for both locals and tourists.

Originally constructed in 1471 by architect Antonio Gambello and completed by engineer Brancaleone, the Venetian castle was meticulously tailored to the islet's slender form. Initially serving as a small castle with grim purposes, it housed an executioner and functioned as a site of prisoner execution.

Today, Bourtzi stands as a beloved tourist attraction, its latest refurbishment enhancing accessibility for visitors with disabilities. The fort welcomed its first visitors on August 5, granting complimentary admission until August 17. Starting the day after, visitors can purchase tickets for entry.

Operating daily from Monday to Sunday, Bourtzi invites visitors to explore its historical richness between 9 am and 8 pm. The Venetian castle comes to life during the summer, hosting various musical and cultural events. A small exhibition area and a souvenir shop have been thoughtfully incorporated into the structure, while an existing restaurant and refreshment kiosk remain in place.

Previously serving as a centre for the Greek National Tourist Organization during the 1930s and as a luxurious hotel and restaurant from 1960 to 1970, Bourtzi's legacy has expanded through the ages. While overnight stays are no longer feasible, small boats transport guests from the dock to Bourtzi in a mere 10 minutes.

The culture ministry expressed, "The fortress is a popular tourist destination, and its restoration will make it even more accessible and enjoyable for visitors."

With hundreds of TripAdvisor reviews contributing to its overall score of 4/5, Bourtzi has captivated admirers. One reviewer hailed the Venetian fortress as a picturesque embodiment of Nafplio's beauty, while others praised its appeal to both tourists and locals. Visitors affirmed the historical significance of this site, dubbing it a must-see when in Nafplio.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024