The fortress of Palamidi, which is kept in excellent condition, is one of the greatest achievements of Venetian fortification architecture.
The hill of Palamidi, which owes its name to the Homeric war hero, Palamidis, appears to have systematically entrenched until the years of of the Second Venetian Domination. The construction of the fort was done the days of the Venetian General Intendant of the Fleet, Augustinos Sagredos, from 1711 until 1714, making the fortification of the fortress real achievement, both in terms of fortification and to speed of the construction. The engineers Ziaxich and Lassale drew a fortress which is based on a mutually supported ramparts, which are developed incrementally in the East-West axis and linked by walls. The total of eight bastions of the fortress are independent, so that if one of them was occupied, the defense maintained by others.
The main bastion of San Andreas, was the garrison headquarters and was the finest equipped. Here is the church of St. Andrea, originally dedicated to San Gerardo, the patron saint of the family of Sagredon. Note that the names of the bastions were changing depending on the holders of the fort. Apart from the bastion of San Andreas, the Venetians built the battlements of Leonidas and Miltiadis to the north, the northwest bastion Rober, Themistocles to the south and Achilles to the east. The bastion Epameinondas was completed during the Turkish Domination, while bastion Fokion constructed entirely by the Turks. Let us note that during Turkish Domination, Christians were not allowed to enter the fortress.
From Palamidi began the liberation of the city from the Turks, after a long siege. The night of 29th November 1822, a group of Greek warriors led by Staikos Staikopoulos conquered Palamidi by surprise. First, Demetrius Moschonisiotis set foot in the fort from the bastion Achilles.
The afternoon of 30th November, having cleared the debris from the ruined chapel of Venetians which was dedicated to San Gerardo, celebrated thanksgiving and the chapel was dedicated in memory of Apostle Andreas, beacuse is commemorated on 30th November, the day on which the city became Greek.
Since then and every year this day is celebrated the liberation of the city with praise in this historic church.
However, Palamidi despite being a great fort it was, also, place of grim prison. In 1833, during Regency, Theodoros Kolokotronis was imprisoned in the bastion of Miltiadis, probaly, with the alleged charges of treason.
Around 1840, Miltiadis bastion, which is the largest in size, became one of the toughest prisons, which operated there until 1926 or so. Another prison, was at the bastion of San Andreas, where prevailed better conditions.
Today access to the fort is possible, either through highway leading to the eastern gate or from the known scale located on the west side, east of Grimani bastion. This scale, that the tradition wanted to have 999 steps, because the 1000th was threw by Kolokotronis' horse, actually has fewer steps and constructed at the time of Otto by convicts who were imprisoned in Palamidi, under the supervision of the Bavarian army. From here there is an excellent view to the Castle of Akronafplia.
Above the fort one can now admire, including the imposing bastions, the historic church of St. Andreas and the impressive tanks which still collect the rain water of the hill.