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

Midst the Cycladic complex lies a 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. 

Vaporia Quarter of Hermoupolis

image credit: Jack 56 source:


Ano Syros
source of left image:
source 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.

View of the port


The Town Hall with a huge marble square
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.

Neoclassical mansion:  Hotel Palazzo Ploes
Left: Detail of balcony   Right: Detail of door knocker
Image credit for left image:  Konstantinos Koroneos   Source:
Source of image on the right:

Atop:  Typical high ceiling decorated with floral paintings
Below: Wall mural
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Two amazing examples of ceiling murals
Image credit:  Konstantinos Koroneos

Ceiling mural in the living room of a mansion
Image credit: Konstantinos Koroneos

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.

Hotel Palazzo Ploes
Hotel Palazzo Ploes

Apollo guesthouse
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).

Source of Syros I images:

Bon Voyage!


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