Planning to visit the Greek islands in the summer? Read on!

Planning to visit the Greek islands in the summer? Read on!

420 420 Velvet

Midst the Cycladic complex lies a “Lady Charmer” the isle of Syros, rich in cultural heritage and astonishing architecture – a huge inspiration source. Last summer, I was lucky to spend five weeks in Hermoupolis, the main town after god Hermes, as a guest in a renovated house overlooking its ancient port and the Aegean Sea.  Syros is the perfect holiday destination for a “real Greek experience,” with courteous people, and plenty of cultural events to keep everyone busy.  Walking through its alleys I peeked through the windows or occasionally open doors and became fascinated by their home interiors – old hardwood flooring worn by the passage of time and high ceilings with a story to tell; today I’ll be sharing with you some of those awesome interiors with remarkable details that are not mentioned in travel guides.
View of the Vaporia Quarter of Hermoupolis including the church of Saint Nickolas.
Vaporia Quarter of Hermoupolis
Source
Old buildings at a main street that has become a pedestrian zone with a flourishing bougainvillea.
Image credit: Jack 56 Source
Image of stores on the pedestrian zone during the night
Source
Two different narrow stone paved alleys in the village of Ano Syros
Ano Syros
source of left imagesource right image

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 port of Hermoupolis with some sailing ships docked on the side
View of the port
Source
Looking at the town of Hermoupolis from the port where a big sailing ship has docked
Source

 

View of the neoclassical building the Town Hall, a building designer by Zieller located at the central square of Hermoupolis
The Town Hall with a huge marble square
Source
During 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.
 
Images of the exterior facade and entrance to the Hotel Ploes with a neoclassical design
Neoclassical mansion:  Hotel Palazzo Ploes
Source
On the left, a detail of a handcrafted steel balcony railing. On the right, a detail of a door knocker (a hand).
Left: Detail of balcony   Right: Detail of door knocker
Image credit for left image:  Konstantinos Koroneos   Source
Source of image on the right
Top image is a ceiling mural. Bottom image of wall murals of green foliage.
Atop:  Typical high ceiling decorated with floral paintings
Below: Wall mural
Source for both images
Both top and bottom images of beautiful ceiling murals
Two amazing examples of ceiling murals
Image credit:  Konstantinos Koroneos
Source
A very decorative and rich in color with figures ceiling mural in a mansion of Hermoupolis
Ceiling mural in the living room of a mansion
Image credit: Konstantinos Koroneos
Source
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 great to see how elements from different eras have fused into a wholesome well balanced synthesis.
Three images from the hotel Ploes in Syros. The top image is a view of the lobby. The other two images are views of the living room of one of the rooms with a brick accent walls and arch
Hotel Palazzo Ploes
The purple room with decorative beams and ceiling murals from hotel Ploes in Syros
Hotel Palazzo Ploes
Source
Apollo guesthouse
Source
However, Syros is moving on and catching up with other up-beat islands.  So, take a look at a fine specimen of contemporary Cycladic architecture by Block 722 (Project: Syros I).
Top image of a minimal bathroom with a concrete tub. Bottom image of the exterior white facade with a cactus in a clay planter by the greenish entrance door.
A minimal kitchen wooden cabinetry with shelving and an island
Source of Syros I images
Bon Voyage!

3 comments

Leave a Reply