Greece is a unique crossroad of different cultures and civilizations from both East and West and stands out as the birthplace of democracy, philosophy, theater, citizenship, the Olympic games, and countless other legacies. These elements, combined with past and contemporary challenges and developments in the broader region, along with the fabled beauty of its landscape, make Greece as a choice destination for students, faculty, and researchers. Many members of the Harvard community, as well as other universities, want to spend part of their studies abroad, conduct research in different academic fields, and invest in a life-transforming international experience.
The historic town of Nafplio, tucked into the Argolic Gulf on the eastern coast of the Peloponnese, is the perfect home for CHS Greece. It sits within an easy drive of some of the most celebrated archaeological sites in Greece—Mycenae, Mystras, Epidaurus, and Olympia. Thousands of years ago, Nafplio was a major Mycenean seaport. Two centuries ago, it became the first capital of modern Greece after its liberation from the Ottoman Empire. It is a site of enduring historic and cultural significance, an architectural gem set in an exquisite stretch of Mediterranean coastline. With its proximity to Athens, Nafplio is the ideal venue for Harvard students abroad as well as visitors from Greece and across the globe.
Building and Facilities
In 2004, the Municipality of Nafplio decided to renovate the neoclassical Megaron Iatrou building and lease it to CHS. The Municipality, CHS US, Harvard University, the Department of Computer Science and Technology of the University of the Peloponnese, contractors, and architects, as well as other public and private participants all worked together on the renovation project, which was completed in the autumn of 2007. Thanks to the generous contributions by Captain Nikos Mazarakis and Captain Georgios Vernardakis, the CHS Greece headquarters is also home to the Nikos Mazarakis Family Lecture Hall and the Georgios D. Vernardakis Digital Library.
Now housed in the historic Megaron Iatrou, CHS Greece is the first international office of the University to be certified as a Green Office. The Iatrou building is a spacious four-storey mansion located in the Old Town of Nafplio. The ground floor opens on a vestibule and the Center’s Lecture Hall. This hall has been fully equipped for public events, lectures, seminars, and small conferences. The Center's equipment (videoconferencing system, multimedia station, video projector, wired and wireless microphones, Internet connectivity, laptops, and recording equipment) allows instant interactive audiovisual communication with both the CHS US and Harvard University as well as other institutions and organizations.
On the second floor there is a staff office and the Center’s Digital Library, which contains worktables and special client workstations with direct connections to Harvard’s extensive library system, providing visiting researchers access to text corpora, bibliographic databases, and online journals.
The third floor of the Iatrou building features the "Fellows Room," where workshops and seminars are held, as well as two additional staff offices. Lastly, the top floor provides a kitchenette, a small lounge, and access to a roof terrace that offers spectacular view of the Palamidi fortress, Acronafplia and the Bourtzi.
The Center has evolved during the past years, expanding its activities and presence throughout Greece and operates offices in Athens and Thessaloniki as well.