Syros, also known as Syra, is a perfect blend of a Cycladic layout, medieval elements, neoclassical and contemporary architecture. The town of Hermoupolis has an atmospheric cosmopolitan ambiance. It has remarkable Venetian buildings, 19th century neoclassical mansions, marble squares, imposing splendid churches, both Greek Orthodox and Catholic, whitewashed houses ascending the hill, colorful doorways and countless marble stairs lining its narrow paths leading you all the way up to Ano Syros (built by Venetians during the 13th century). This is a walker’s paradise.
Partial view of the Miaouli Square from the Town HallDuring the 19th century neoclassicism flourished and two of its most notable examples were built, the Town Hall designed by the architect Ernst Ziller and the Apollo Municipal Theater, a miniature of the Scala Opera House. But, aside from these many mansions of wealthy families were built by the sea, setting a beautiful example of architectural brilliance at the most scenic quarter of Hermoupolis, known as Vaporia. These mansions have beautiful entrances, embellished marble balconies, hardwood flooring and high ceilings decorated with amazing paintings. Some of them even have wall murals acting as silent reminders of another era’s past glory.
Some of the surviving neoclassical mansions have been restored and a few of these have been converted into small eclectic hotels while preserving elements of their original architectural character. It is quite a treat to stay in any one of those small boutique hotels and see how elements from different eras have fused into a wholesome well balanced synthesis. Hope you enjoyed this visual journey…