Syros – Greece

Syros is very distinct from the other islands we visited.  While it is supposed to be the most populated it felt deserted. 

In addition, Ermoupolis or Hermoupolis is also the designated town for legal matters and the administrative centre of the entire Cyclades district.  Thus, residents of other islands may at one time or the other have to travel to Syros to have access to additional resources.

The infrastructure seems newer and shows the importance of the trading.

When we think about it, contrary to Santorini, Mykonos and Delos, Syros seems to have built a more diverse economy which do not rest solely on tourism.  Don’t get me wrong, as a visitor we were well welcomed. Hotels, restaurants, museum and activities are available.  But the accessibility to the open water ease the trading.

While we all know Syros is more than Ermoupolis, because our visit was only limited to this town, the information on this post is limited on this town.  Obviously other treasures surely reside in other part/region of Syros which surely goes beyond the main port of the island.

What has retain my attention are:

  • Miaouli Square
  • The City Hall
  • The Apollo theater
  • Custom buildings
  • The Industrial museum.
  • The port
  • The churches

Some memorials and art:

  • Statue of Victory
  • Horizons – art work
  • Kanaris monument
  • The Sacred Squadron
  • Garden in front of Agios Nikolaos
  • On the front grounds of the Municipal Library

PORT

When you disembark the ferry, you are right in the heart of Ermoupolis.  You do not need to take any taxi, cable car to reach the heart of the city and it is also easy for the cargo. Trucks line up to take their load to move to different locations.

Restaurants, taverns are facing the water and are an easy stroll distance. From there, you will have a nice view of the water, the custom building and if you are lucky some chic yacht aligned in the port.

Because to its accessibility to the main land, city center and the port, the commercial trading is facilitate when compared to some other island.  The Custom Building is a good illustration of the convenient location and easy access to the water. Management of importation, exportation and transportation logistics for and from the other island in the Cyclades is simplified. Ermoupolis was/is like a water distribution trade hub confirming its commercial role.

The port is embellished with art elements which includes the Statue of Victory, the Sacred Squadron, Kanaris Monument, the “Horizons”, the custom building.

STATUE OF VICTORY

The Statue of Victory (or Nike) in honor of the Greek Resistance of the period 1941-1944.  With its dominance and the background is surely offers nice photo opportunities.

HORIZONS – art work

The “Horizons” is a sculpture with visual effect that sits in the port d’Ermoupolis. The seven circles are aligned and the lower half are blurred that gives a special effect of water.

THE SACRED SQUADRON

A simple monument for a group of men that decided to make the difference and fight for the freedom of all.  This act of bravery goes beyond our imagination and show that everyone can do good things.

CUSTOM BUILDINGS – WAREHOUSE OFFICE

When you disembark the ferry, you are right in the heart of Ermoupolis.  Right next to the water, at the extreme of the harbour, a large low raise building serves as a custom warehouse and office. We can think inevitably that this port plays an important role in the Cyclades and in the international trading for years now.

It has a divergent old-fashioned style building with an important purpose.   It supported the strategic position of the city for trading.

When boats dock in the harbour, trucks line up to take their load to move to different locations. It looks simple in this place that manages the cargo and the passengers but it is a lot of coordination.

Nearby the Custom Building, you can find the Kanaris Monument.

KANARIS MONUMENT

Nearby the Custom Building, you can find the Kanaris Monument. A burst with four Greek flag to commemorate captain Konstantinos Kanaris who was a politician, a prime minister that also fought for freedom during the Greek war of Independence.

MIAOULI SQUARE

Miaouli Square is the main square of Ermoupolis. It has marble grounds, palm trees and it surrounded by the City Hall, which dominates the square, the Municipal Library and cafes for a nice relaxing atmosphere.

In the square, the statue of Andreas Miaoulis along with a round stand for presentations, I guess.

If you are in the port and you wonder how to get to the square, look for the Statue of Victory. Behind it, is the direct road to the square.

CITY HALL

Ermoupolis has been named the administrative center of the Cyclades and has the infrastructure to support this role.  No wonder why this City Hall is imposing and it is easily accessible from the port.

It is the major building on the marble ground Miaouli Square.   Also, around and close to the City Hall you can find cafes and restaurants.

It was unclear if we could or not visit the City Hall.  Since it was so quiet, we limited our visit to the main hall. Nice floors.

APOLLO THEATER

The Apollo Theater is close but not on the Miaouli Square. 

The two-story building has a simple exterior and the triple door section styling gives a trompe l’oeil effect on the deepness of the entrance area.   

Unfortunately, the 1864 theater was closed when we were in the area, on an afternoon stroll.  A quick peak from the window provided me with very little view of the interior and a statue.  I had the sensation that I was missing on a nice classical visit.

THE INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM

We were pleased with our visit to this museum. 

As its name says, the museum is meant to recollect and present the importance of the Industrial history of this island with equipment and tools used for the textile, food processing, printing, ship work and more.

The machinery has evolved with time and the exhibit presents the old fashion way that helped create the future. The old printing equipment is a good way to talk with the younger ones the evolution of the press.   

We spend minutes in front of the video about the work to retrieve a shipwreck found in the Cyclades. We really appreciated it since ship model, artifacts and actual items brought up to the surface are shown in this museum.

There is one element that will make you smile, the electric car.  Yes, how can this be “old” already, when we are just starting to put them on the road?  But as for the other items, industry involves and sometimes it takes years to develop an optimized version of what is available today. 

The museum is located within a short walking distance from the port and it is located in industrial buildings where it all started.

CHURCH OF AGIOS NIKOLAOS

There is two churches with the same name relatively close to each other.  This one is nickname the “rich” and it is the closest one to Miaouli Square.  Its construction was greatly supported by some wealthy ambassadors donations thus explaining exclusive valuable art work and architecture of this Greek Orthodox.

The garden in front is pretty with sculptures and busts.

CHURCH OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST THE SAVIOUR

Quiet neighbourhood leads to the incomparable mosaic pebble grounds with water fountain that cats seems to enjoy.

The beauty of this building and surrounding is attributed to refugees that settled in Syros. Their work resulted in this beautiful unique place which is celebrated with Saint.Thomas day.

CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION OF VIRGIN MARY

The access to the Church is unusual.  The main doors are not facing the street. 

There are so many nice churches in Greece and all have their charms. This one is no exception. The marble black and green columns, the rich golden pulpit and the chandeliers have catch my eyes.

You are in the same sector than the casino.

CASINO

If you are a player, close to the port, you can try your luck in this casino.  The exterior is very drab and is not worth a detour if you want just to see the exterior.  Sometimes the interior can be surprising, I have to admit that I did not visit the interior I’m travelling with underage teen for this activity.

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