Vouleftiko, the first Parliament of the Greeks
Strolling downtown Nafplio, in Syntagma Square, you will find an imposing mosque. The well-kept building was built circa 1730, with a large hall and a massive dome typical of the late Ottoman architecture. From the autumn of 1825 until the spring of 1826 the mosque housed the first Hellenic Parliament.

According to local tradition, the mosque was built by the Ottoman Aga Pasha in an attempt to atone for a crime he had committed by killing two Venetian men who had come to Nafplio to discover the treasure their ancestor hid. With the treasure Aga Pasha discovered, he paid the erection of the mosque. He would not see it complete nonetheless, as he committed suicide jumping, full of remorse, from his balcony.

Vouleftiko has been used for a variety of purposes over time. In 1831 the Hellenic School operated for a short time, while its ground floor served as a prison. In 1834, during the Vice-royalty period, it took place the trial of two exemplary chieftains of the Greek Revolution, Theodoros Kolokotronis and Dimitrios Plapoutas.

Today, Vouleftiko has been restored by the Ministry of Culture and serves as a conference and cultural center. The Municipal Art Gallery of Nafplio was recently moved to the ground floor of the building, with an exquisite collection of paintings by modern artists.

photo credits:www.nafplio.gr/ethnikipinakothikiparatmenu.html
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