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Cycladic Minimalism, Medieval Charm and Aristocratic Romanticism


The beautiful duchess with the two worlds and the mysterious atmosphere is unfolding in front of your eyes in order to challenge you to travel with her. An irresistible combination of disparate elements of Cycladic minimalism, medieval charm and neoclassical romanticism blend at the heart of the Cyclades. Syros would definitely be characterized as the noble island as evident from her impressive architecture, her cultural wealth and the perfect coexistence of two Christian denominations. Infused with a long maritime tradition, Hermoupolis is a magnificent specimen of aristocratism and neoclassicism crowned as the capital of Cyclades. As her elegance is majestic, one could say that Syros could be a woman. From the first moment, you will understand that Syros is not affected from narcissism. Although her beauty is stately, it does not represent the diva, as she prefers to live madly and passionately in the neoclassical streets of Hermoupolis, the medieval alleys of Ano Syros and the smelling tar of the shipyards. Always a mistress, wayward, and always disarming and essential.


Even if you visit her for the first time, you will create lasting memories of nostalgia. And even if she has weaknesses, you can forgive her because she is the duchess of the Cyclades. Even if you have visited all the islands of the Aegean, Hermoupolis will definitely impress you, as the splendors of hers are not concealed. Behind every corner of the colorful city, another mysterious surprise is hiding with flowery balconies, colorful doors and hidden stairways. You might even feel that you are the protagonist of a movie setting. Despite the proud history of Syros, the island has adopted an anonymity preserving the genuineness of her heritage.


Wander around the majestic square of Miaouli to witness one of the most beautiful town halls of Greece, made from Ernst Ziller, the theatre of Apollo, the miniature of the Scala di Milano, and Vaporia, the aristocratic quarter of the city with the best preserved mansions of the bourgeois families, ascend to the authentic medieval village of Ano Syros and the imposing church of San George, the cathedral of the Catholics that rises like castle on the hilltop, visit the noble settlement of Dellagracia to admire the imposing mansions with the spacious gardens and the beautiful mosaics, relax in the villages of Kini and Gallisas under the astonishing colours of the sunset and taste the traditional flavors of loukoumi flavored with mastic, rose, bergamot and rose water.



Hermoupolis is one of the most beautiful cities in Greece, crowned as the capital of the Cyclades. An irresistible combination of disparate elements of Cycladic minimalism, medieval charm and neoclassical romanticism will travel you to the golden era of Syros.


Established in the 19th century, the city of Hermoupolis is a magnificent city that spreads amphitheatrically around the hill of Anastasi. Its nobility and its grandeur are those unique elements that characterize her, a city that could be found on any grand European metropolises; undoubtedly, nobody could expect to find this marvel in the middle of the Aegean Sea.

The capital of Syros was founded from refugees, the sole city in Greece that was constructed after the Greek Revolution of 1821. Those people were so ambitious and full of dreams that managed to transform Hermoupolis into the most important commercial harbor in Greece and one of the main trading centers of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. To honor her, they named her after Hermes, the God of trade! As Eleftherios Venizelos said “Greece was reborn in Syros”.


Safeguarded from the war, the harbor of Syros became the safest shelter for refugees in the Aegean. Following the Greek Revolution of 1821, the first refugees arrived in Syros from Asia Minor. The inhabitants provided them with accommodation in houses and churches of Ano Syros.


Following the Chios Massacre in 1822, refugees from Chios and the nearby islands, Kasos and Psara, who were mainly traders and sailors, found shelter on Syros, an island protected from France and untouched from the war. The primary reason that Chiots chose Syros was its freedom of trade and its security. Aspiring Chiot merchants re-organized their trade networks to develop the future of Syros in trading. Between 1823 and 1824, the suppression of the Cretan revolt, the occupation of Kasos and the massacre of Psara brought more refugees on Syros Island. By then, Syros was included in the new Aegean administrative division that was established from the authorities in liberated Greece.


As the island became overpopulated, refugees made wooden huts to live, as they believed that they wouldn’t stay long in Syros. After the construction of the church of the Transfiguration in 1824, stone-built structures began to appear by the shore and wealthy islanders began to build the first houses on the seafront. It is quite interesting that refugees formed neighborhoods around Hermoupolis, naming them after their origin including Psariana (refugees from Psara Island), Idraika (refugees from Hydra island), and Vrontado (refugees from Chios).


At that time, when Greece was in the middle of a war, Syros thrived, and became the first trading harbor of Greece and commercial traffic grew rapidly. Since Hermoupolis urged a great need for buildings at that time, the refugees constructed the great Dock, the customs house as well as the storing warehouses. Moreover, the first flour company was founded along with textile industries.


The growth of trade was based on shipments of wheat to supply the belligerents as well as dealing war materials. The great development of Hermoupolis in trading is owed to the establishment of “Hellenic Steamers” in 1856 and the great shipyards of Syros. According to historical data, more than two thousand boats were built in the shipyards in the middle of the 19th century, while the first Hellenic steamer made of iron was constructed from the shipbuilding experts of Syros.


The first census of the population in 1828 recorded 13,800 inhabitants in Hermoupolis, of which one third were Chians, one fifth was from Smyrna and Ayvalik and 200 had a foreign origin.

By 1830, the port of Syros became the center of trading in the entire Eastern Mediterranean. Merchants started dealing and selling food, cloth, silk, leather, cotton and hardware. Trading in Hermoupolis was so dominant, that a powerful local banking and credit system was established. The large refugees wave helped the city to develop other sectors than trade including shipping and shipbuilding. When the War of Independence was over, the majority of the Greek merchant fleet was wrecked at the shipyards of Hermoupolis, and manufacturing became the longer-living and most important industry of Syros.


At that time, Hermoupolis reached its peak. Economic growth was evident throughout the city, while the population reached 20,000 inhabitants in 1850 with migrants from all over Greece.

The educational and intellectual sector of Syros was also developed alongside with its economy. It was then that the first high school of Greece was founded as well as the great “Apollo Theater”, a miniature of the Teatro alla Scala di Milano. What’s more, Syrians established publishing businesses and printing offices, known throughout Greece.


A major turning point, though, for Syros that affected the island was the growth of Piraeus port as the main commercial center in the Eastern Mediterranean, the international developments in navigation and trade as well as the political upheals that deprived Syros in the markets of the East. As a result, many companies shut down and the population declined. However, Hermoupolis continued to be an important market for textiles due to its business relationship with Manchester, UK. Nonetheless, the traditional manufacturing enterprises could not compete with the European industry, and the majority of craftsmen moved elsewhere by 1879.


In the end of the 19th century, the industrial face of Hermoupolis rose again in cotton and textile manufacturing as well as a coaling station for new steamships.


One hundred years after the foundation of Hermoupolis, the catastrophe of Smyrna brought the last wave of refugees to Syros, of which one third set up a new home on the island. By that time, most of the factories moved in Athens and Piraeus, due to the restrictions of trade policy introduced by the Greek government.


The ultimate downfall to the economic life of Hermoupolis was the Italian domination and the German occupation following the Second World War.


Today, Hermoupolis remains one of the most aristocratic cities in the Aegean.


Source: Ermoupolis Syros – A Historical Route


Apollo Theater, La Picolla Scala


Apollo Theater is an emblem of Hermoupolis directly connected with the city’s history. The rapid development of Hermoupolis’ economic growth created a need for the development of the artistic and cultural life of the residents.


The theater was designed from Pietro Sambó, who was influenced from four Italian theaters including the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the refurbished San Carlo theater in Naples, the Academic Theater Castelfranco and the Teatro della Pergola in Florence.


It is really impressive that the construction of theater was completed in just two years (1862 – 1864).


Apollo Theater was inaugurated on April 20, 1864 with the presence of his inspirer, Mike Salvagou, and the performance of Verdi’s opera “Rigoletto” as well as parallel performances of “Favorita” from Donizetti, “Traviata” and “Ballo in machera” from Verdi.


The theater experienced great prosperity, hosting distinguished artists from Greece and abroad, with a variety of repertoire and an emphasis on the lyrical theater. It continued to attract artistic interest of well-known theatrical troupes, even when Hermoupolis experienced economic decline, from the beginning of the 20th century until the interwar period.


During the occupation, Apollo Theater was used from the Italians and the Germans for cinematic screenings. Following the liberation, it continued to function as a cinema, while it sporadically hosted theatrical performances. One of the most thrilling ones was “Shadow” from Dario Nikodemi starring Marika Kotopouli, in the last performance of her life (1953). Soon after, Apollo Theater shut down, as it considered dangerous and unsuitable for hosting artists and audiences. Due to a lack of resources, the first refurbishment attempt failed. Though, the official restoration of the theater took place in the 1990s based on the architectural team led by Petros Pikionis, and was completed in 2000. The exceptional ceiling paintings were made from the painter Dimitris Fortsas.


Today, the theater hosts artistic events, international festivals and theatrical performances throughout the year.


On the third floor, a small but really interesting exhibition is showcased with memorabilia from the golden age of Apollo Theater. Exhibits include posters, photographs and objects from the theater’s long history.


Vaporia, The Aristocratic District Of Hermoupolis

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Undeniably, the region of Vaporia is the most aristocratic district of Hermoupolis. Colorful neoclassical mansions of the 19th century rising like castles by the sea, with wooden floors, amazing paintings, high ceilings and marble balconies will leave you speechless.


This is the prestigious neighborhood of the captains, as its name attests since “vaporia” derives from the Greek word meaning “ships”. Those elegant houses belonged to rich ship owners and captains, and it was the richest region of Syros. Following the revolution, refugees from Chios, Crete, Kasos and Psara found shelter on that part of Syros. During the 19th century, the golden age of Hermoupolis, Vaporia district was the most important trading quarter of Syros, since the majority of trading deals took place in the shops that existed in Vaporia, and products were loaded on the ships to be exported.


Below this amazing district, travellers will have the opportunity to discover one of the most beautiful “beaches” of Syros, namely Vaporia. Literally, it’s not a beach, rather than a platform. Nonetheless, can you imagine swimming in turquoise waters while admiring those aristocratic mansions? The feeling is priceless!


Miaouli Square, the Meeting Point of Hermoupolis

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Situated in the center of Hermoupolis, the square of Miaouli is the historic square of Syros. Resembling a square of a European metropolis, Miaouli square is surrounded from architectural masterpieces of the 19th century including the Town Hall designed from Ernst Ziller and the Ladopoulos Mansion that houses the Historical Archives of Syros.


The square was designed from the Bavarian architect Willhelm von Weiler in the beginning of the 19th century. The first name of the square was Othonos Square in honor of King Otto, the First King of Greece. Following the dethronement of Otto in 1862, the square was re-named as Leotsakos Square to honor Nikolaos Leotsakos who, as head of the military garrison of Hermoupolis, attempted to liberate political prisoners on Kythnos, and was killed along with officer Moraitinis and student Skarvelis.


In April of 1889, the square took its current name, Miaouli Square, after a statue of Andreas Miaoulis, a hero of the Greek War of Independence, unveiled there. It was funded from Stamatios K. Proios Bequest, and created from the sculptor Georgios Bonanos.


Miaouli Square is the meeting point of Hermoupolis, an ideal destination for an evening stroll.


Unquestionably, Miaouli Square is one of the most beautiful squares in Greece, if not Europe, a genuine marvel of architecture.


Syros City Hall, a Marvel designed from Ernst Ziller

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A true marvel of classical Ancient Greece combined with neoclassic nobility of the Renaissance architecture.


Designed from the philhellene German architect Ernst Ziller, a man who became a Greek national and beautified Greece, the Town Hall of Hermoupolis is considered as one of his most beautiful inspirations that has been listed as a “masterpiece” by ministerial decree.


The town hall was constructed in 1876 under the supervision of Ernst Ziller, it was completed in 1876, and its cost reached 1,300,000 drachmas. It has three floors; however, due to the altitude difference, two floors are seen on the street behind.


A mix of three architectural styles showcase the uniqueness of the building; three and two storey façades, towers, overhangs, outstanding details and vertical windows showcase its splendor.


The first floor of the town hall is designed through the Tuscan style with a monumental marble staircase of 15.5 meters wide while the Ionic style is dominant on the second floor. The towers, through, are of Corinthian style. The central part of the town hall is entirely built in marble, and is crowned with a pediment of Dimitrios Vafiadakis, known as the ‘Lod of Hermoupolis’, who was mayor at the time of the construction. Both sides of the town hall have two wards with five vertical axis windows. Other impressive elements include the glass roof, its symmetrical windows, its geometrical tiles, the wooden frames on the apertures of the ground-flour rooms, the protruding end sections and the glass ceiling.


It is really interesting that the Council Chamber in the first floor showcases oil paintings of King George I and Queen Olga from the Greek painter Syros Prosalentis, a series of portraits of former mayors as well as a model of a ship’s hull by M. Koufoudakis, a shipbuilder from Hermoupolis and prize-winner at the International Maritime Exhibition held at Bordeaux in 1907. Ernst Ziller ornamented the left-hand part of the ground floor with ceiling paintings, using plant motifs in an art nouveau style.


The Town Hall of Hermoupolis houses the Land Registry, the Court of Law, the Public Archives, the Municipal Services, other government services as well as the Archaeological Museum.

The Assumption of the Virgin Monastery, decorated with El Greco’s Masterpiece


Built in 1828, the monastery of the Assumption of Virgin Mary is the second oldest church of Syros.


It is an Orthodox three-aisled basilica with astonishing architectural elements and exemplary interior decoration.


What makes this monastery so unique is the authentic Icon of the Assumption (1562) painted from Dominikos Theotocopoulos, worldwide known as El Greco. The icon was discovered from a Greek archaeologist on April of 1983. At the time, a Byzantine expert, George Mastoropoulos, said that “… It is the earliest undisputed work of El Greco that we know because it bears his full signature, Domenicos Theotocopoulos…” (, 1983)


The icon shows the dormition of the Virgin Mary, and it is considered as one of the most admiring artworks of El Greco. It is a typical work of the post-Byzantine Cretan school with Venetian influences. According to the archaeologist, the icon must have come from the Moanstery of the Dormition on Psara Island, and was taken to Syros when the islanders fled the Ottomans during the War of Independence.


Neorion Shipyard, the Longer-Living Industry in Syros


Intertwined with Syros’ rich maritime history, the Neorion Shipyard was developed in the middle of the 19th century at the harbor of the island. As Greece always had a competitive advantage in shipping owing to its strategic geographic location between Asia, Europe and Africa, the country had an exemplary development in shipyards. To that extend, Syros was one of the main freight traffic harbors while it was also used as a ship repair unit.


The shipyard of Neorion was founded in 1861, and it is the oldest shipyard of modern Greece and the largest remaining industry in the Aegean. The original factory is located at the center of Neorio yard in Hermoupolis, where the old foundry still exists, which was designed from Pietro Sampo.


The shipyard has gone through various phases of prosperity and decline. It was originally founded from Hellenic Steamships SA in 1860, and managed from Ilias Kehayas. Some of the most important residents of Hermoupolis had shares in the company, and were in the Board of Directors. However, the company was bankrupt in 1893, and it was bought from Neorio and Syros Machines, owned from Ladopoulos, Tsiropinas, Petrokokkinos and Vafiadakis families. In 1925, the control of the company was passed to the ship-owners Minas Diakakis from Kasos while Nikolaos Rethymnis was the next avid owner in 1968. One of the major benefactors of Neorion were the Goulandris brothers, of Andros, who made a major investment in 1969. Through their efforts, Neorion became the third largest shipyards in Greece. Afterwards, the yard came under the control of the banks and the state, managed by the British company Appledore. In 1994, the company was bought from its current owners, New Neorio SA. In the Neorion Shipyards, the first iron steamship was built in 1892 to the plans of the local naval architect, Alexandros Krystallis.

Tarsanas of Syros, the Art of Shipbuilding


Situated by the harbor of Hermoupolis, the Tarsanas of Syros is one of the most historical sights of the island. For more than two centuries, the artisans of traditional art wooden shipbuilding have been working on this site.


According to historical data, the workers of Tarsanas along with the tanners of Syros organized the strike of 1879, which is considered to be the first organized labor strike in Greek history.


When the first refugees from Chios arrived on the island, following the Chios Massacre in 1823, and after the destruction of Psara in 1924, they created the region of Tarsanas that exists up until today. Fine artisans in wooden shipbuilding constructed wooden boats, the traditional Greek “caiques”, and their expertise travelled through the world.



In 1870, the shipbuilders transferred the operations in the region of Tarsanas. Although demand has declined due to the advent of iron and plastic, the artisans of shipbuilding continue to built traditional caciques with the same passion and love.



The shipbuilding tradition of Syros is unequalled in the Mediterranean with the craft being carried down from generation to generation. Undeniably, the shipyards of Syros are an integral part of the historical heritage of the island.




It is definitely worth a visit to the traditional shipyard of Nerio, where travellers will have the opportunity to observe the expertise of the local artisans in shipbuilding, the longer-lasting industry of Syros Island.




Customs Office & Transit Warehouses, Two Historic Monuments


Standing at the edge of Hermoupolis, the Customs Office is a true marvel of architecture. The imposing building was designed from Alexandros Yeorgantas, and was built between 1859-1861. The building was constructed in marble masonry with marble details, while it also features vaulted stone blocks with an arcade. It is quite remarkable that the design of the building is reminiscent of the construction of S. Kleanthis, the designer of the first urban plan of Athens, who created it in collaboration with the Bavarian architect E. Schaubert on behalf of the Duchess of Plakentia in Penteli.


Although the Customs Office building suffered from damages during the bombings of the Second World War, it was re-built according to the original plans. Up until today, ships that require customs control moor at the quay that was constructed in the post-War period.


Just next to the building stands the Customs House Square with the Monument of the Unsung Sailor, created from the sculptor Yannis Papas. It was erected in 1974, and paid from the Goulandris Brothers.


Between 1834-1839, the Transit Warehouses were built along pier. The warehouses were designed from I.B. Erlacher, under the supervision of Willhelm von Weiler. The massive construction of this building has a total length of 122 meters, with two symmetrical wings, of which each has seven warehouses. There used to be a portico with large arched openings, which are now closed. At the time when Syros was the center of trading in the entire Eastern Mediterranean, the barges used to anchor besides the building by the sea, and the cargo was unloaded directly in the portico!


Since the interwar period, the warehouses had ceased their operations and some of them are utilized for public services such as the Port Authority. In 1994, four warehouses on the southward were taken to house the Cyclades Art Gallery.


Unquestionably, it is a must to visit the Customs Office and the Warehouses of Syros, especially during the sunset where one can enjoy the astonishing views to Gaidaros isle with its impressive lighthouse. It is one of the favorite promenades for the locals, who tend to refer to the isle as “Nissaki”!


Lazaretto, the Pesthouse of Syros


Although it is an abandoned stone building, the quarantine hospital of Syros, else known as Lazaretto, dominates the southern part of the harbor, and adds a sparkle to the city, especially during the night, when it is illuminated from the lights!


Designed from William von Weiler, the Lazaretto was utilized as a quarantine space for visitors of Syros, in order to protect the locals from outbreaks of infectious diseases such as cholera. Since the 19th century, the building served as a prison and an asylum for the mentally ill, as well as a shelter for the Cretan Refugees.


Saint George Mausoleum, Astonishing Marble Artworks


The Orthodox Cemetery of Saint George was erected in 1834, and was divided in two categories of tombs, simple and monumental. It reflects to the culture and history of Syros Island, as it is decorated with impressive tombstones and astonishing mausoleums, some of which belong to important personalities including Benakis, Mavrokordatos and Rodokanakis.


The prestige of the decoration indicates the power of the families’ origin. Some of the monuments were created from famous Greek and Italian sculptors including Spanos, Canessa, Vitalis and Fytalis. Among the monuments there are various architectural designs and decorations including Doric and Ionic monuments, shrines, headstones, chapels and sculptured angel figures.


The monuments of the Mausoleum of Saint George are an exemplary set of architectural and sculptural works, following the principles of classicism.


Cultural Centre of Hermoupolis, A Neoclassical Marvel


Constructed in 1863, the Cultural Center of Hermoupolis was designed from the Italian architect Pietro Sampo, and it is considered as one of the most iconic buildings in Hermoupolis.

Unquestionably, it is a fine sample of neoclassical architecture.


Its aristocratic appearance distinguishes for its marble details, its Tuscany-style columns, its exceptional marble parapet, its balcony, its cornices and its stone masonry. The interior of the building, though, is likewise impressive; the wall paintings were meticulously repaired from Anna Vassilaki.


Although the building suffered damages during the Italian domination, it was restored by 1970. By then, it housed the headquarters of the “Hellas” Club while later it became the venue for cultural events organized from the municipality, and housed the Cultural Center of Hermoupolis. The building was fully renovated in 1998 in order to house the convention center. The garden of the Cultural Center is decorated with marble busts of famous Syrian artists and intellectuals.


Saint Nicholas Church, the Emblem of Vaporia


Characterized as the guard of Vaporia district, the church of Saint Nicholas of the “rich”, the patron saint of Hermoupolis and the protector of the seamen, is an impressive Byzantine church that was constructed between 1848-1870 to the designs of architect Giorgios Metaxas.


The church distinguishes for its astonishing architectural design, its wondrous interiors, the icon of Saint Nicholas, which was silver-plated in Moscow, the despotic marble throne and its marble iconostasis designed from Georgios Vitalis, a native sculptor from Tinos Island.


What’s more, the church has impressive marble towers and a monumental marble staircase with Ionic columns, sculptured motifs and marble propylaeums.


The icons that decorate the interior of the church were curated from some of the most talented hagiographers of the time.


Resurrection of the Savior Church, the Jewel of Anastasi Hill


Situated on the hill of Anastasi, the church of the Resurrection of the Savior is one of the most beautiful Orthodox churches in Syros. Its position appears to offset the Catholic Saint George on the opposite hill of Ano Syros.


The church was built in 1874 from the Syrian architect Dimitris Eleftheriadis, and it was inaugurated in 1908. The Ressurection of Christ was dedicated to the “Resurrection of the Nation”.


The church is a three-aisled basilica of Byzantine style with impressive bell towers, neoclassical characteristics and a dome. The bells were built in 1915 from Sotirios and Theodoros Pangalos, two of the greatest benefactors of Syros.


Syros High School, The First School of the Greek Nation


The High School of Syros served as the cornerstone for further development in education, as it was the first-established school of the Greek Nation.


In 1829, a vision for better education was born from Neophytos Vamvas, a Greek cleric and educator of the 19th century, and the school began to operate in 1934. Important personalities of the arts and sciences were students in the model high school of Syros including Eleftherios Venizelos, one of the most important Prime Ministers in Greece, Andreas Syngros, a Greek banker from Constantinople and a philanthropist, Giannoulis Halepas, one of the most famous sculptors from Tinos island, and Konstantinos Volanakis, a Greek painter who was known as the “father of Greek seascape painting”.


194 years later, the High School of Syros continues to operate in its new premises!


Merchant Marine Academy, A Model School for Merchants


Interwoven with the rich maritime history of the island, the Merchant Marine Academy of Syros was founded in 1961 as a public school for merchant marine captains.


Throughout its existence, the Academy revives the historic role of Syros in the development of Greek shipping significantly. The degree has been recognized from the industry as an important asset for seafarers on a worldwide scale.


The neoclassical marble building that houses the Merchant Marine Academy is situated at the edge of the harbor of Syros, and is of great historical importance. Its position, namely “Kymata” (aka Waves), has a symbolic importance for those who will travel into the endless blue of the sea.


Cine Pallas, Movies under the Stars of the Aegean


Set at the iconic square of Miaouli, the open air Cine Pallas (0030.22810.82313, Hermoupolis) in Hermoupolis showcases the splendor of Syros. Constructed between 1855-1866, the cinema was originally the municipal grocery store and it was transformed to a cinema in 1951.


It is worth noting that various film locations of the Syros International Film Festival take place in the premises of Cine Pallas!


With outstanding views of the impressive neoclassical buildings of Hermoupolis, Cine Pallas is definitely one of the most beautiful open-air cinemas in Greece!


Industrial Museum of Syros, A Walk in the Past


Founded in 2000, the Industrial Museum of Hermoupolis(A: 11, G. Papandreou Street, T: +30.22810.84762, W: ) is a must visit. The museum is housed in four renovated industrial buildings of the 19th century including the Kornilakis-Dendrinos Tannery, the Anerousis Lead Shot Factory (1889), the Velissaropoulos Textile Factory (early 20th century), and the Katsimanis Dyeworks (1888).


The main objective of the museum is to showcase the glorious industrial heritage of Syros.



The Industrial Museum of Hermoupolis showcases a vast collection from the Golden Industrial Era of Syros. The curation and conservation of tools began in 1985, and the collection restoration project started off in 1998.



Its collection exhibits more than three hundred exhibits of old machinery and equipment used for textiles, shipbuilding, textiles, loukoumi-making, book printing and food packaging as ell as visual archives, maps, plans and three-dimensional designs of industrial buildings..


Some of the most admiring exhibits include the original plans of the Town Hall by Ernst Ziller, the first legendary electric car Enfield 800 that was constructed in Greece, the artifacts from the wreck of the “PATRIS”, one of the first Greek steamships, that was sunk next to Kea Island in 1868, the first label-packages of loukoumi, the maps from the 17th century, prototypes urban drawings from the creation of neoclassic Hermoupolis, effigies of boats, and the digital file of oral testimonies from workers and craftsmen.




Rising like a castle above the city of Hermoupolis, Ano Syros is the medieval settlement and the catholic district of the island, which has been declared as a protected historic settlement from the Ministry of Culture.


Ano Syros was founded from the Venetians in 1200 and has been continuously inhabited ever since by maintaining its Catholic spirit and medieval characteristics. The villages used to be the capital of Syros until the establishment of Hermoupolis. The settlement was constructed amphitheatrically over the hill in order to protect the residents from attacks. It is really interesting that the exterior walls of the houses formed a natural defensive fortress to keep the locals safe from raids. For this reason, they constructed wooden doors on the main entrances (Portara, Skalakia, Sabastias, Epano and Kato Terma) to seal Ano Syros from any invasion.


Home to the great philosopher Pherecydes, Ano Syros is one of the most beautiful villages in the Cyclades; it offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity to walk in the past. Charming chapels, narrow alleys, stonewalls, wooden balconies, countless steps and picturesque houses and arches at the edge of the hill unveil a whole world of contrasting sceneries. Monuments of great importance showcase the settlements’ course of history. From the Catholic Cathedral of Saint George, the historical archive of Ano Syros, the Museum of Markos Vamvakaris, the “Patriarch” of rebetiko music genre, and the Town Hall of Ano Syros to the the Jesuits and Capuchins monasteries, the spring of Agios Athanasios, which was used as the prime water for the manufacturing of loukoumi, and the exhibition of the traditional professions, it is definite that you will fall in love with this picture-perfect settlement.


The entry is easy through Kamara Gate or the main Portara Gate. The settlement is characterized from cobbled alleys and roofed “stegadia” (passageways), “portopoules” (balconies without terrace), and the “piazza” (the central square). From the piazza, one can enjoy the most admiring view of the entire city of Hermoupolis.


The unique combination of the medieval elements with the distinctive Cycladic architecture will charm travellers instantly. A maze of cobblestone streets will guide you through the aristocratic splendor of Ano Syros.


Saint George’s Cathedral, The Catholic Metropolis


Built on the highest spot of Ano Syros’ hill, the Cathedral of Saint George is the Catholic metropolis of Syros. It was constructed in 1200, and has undergone several reconstructions through the course of time. In 1617, the church was completely ruined from the Ottomans and was restored according to the plaans of the Tinian architect Chatzisimos in 1834.


The cathedral is a three-aisled basilica with marble columns that consists of the church, the baptistery, the bell tower, the historical archive building, the Episcopal palace and the sacristy. The entrance of the cathedral is dominated from statutes of saints crafted from Italian sculptors of the 18th century. One of the most impressive parts of the cathedral is the marble floor made from the Tinian sculptor. In its interior, there are various precious icons including the images of Our Lady of Hope, and the portrait of Bishop Andrew Kargas.


Markos Mamvakaris Museum, The Life of the “Patriarch of Rebetiko”


Music has always been an integral part of Syros’ culture since the first decades of the 20th century in the musical events of the island. Rembetiko, else known as the Greek blues, is one of the most renowned Greek music styles that was spread through Greek refugees coming from Asia Minor who settled in the city of Thessaloniki and the district of Pireaus in Athens. Rempetiko spread after the destruction of Smyrna from the Turks by refugees who used this type of songs to express their poverty, hunger, pain and betrayal. These were Greeks who had lost everything and have never lived in Greece expressing their feelings through a music style with Byzantine and Smyrna influences.


The famous Syrian artist Markos Vamvakaris – known to many as Markos – a talented composer of popular music in Greece, who was considered the “patriarch of the rebetiko” played a vital role as a leader of the rembetiko.


The museum of Markos Vamvakaris was founded from the people of Syros to honor the life and work of the exceptional songwriter in a traditional home in the center of Ano Syros. Exhibits include his personal belongings, his manuscripts, his clothes and a documentary showcasing his life.


The museum is open on Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 to 18:30.


Traditional Professions Exhibition, A Journey through Time

The exhibition of the traditional professions showcases objects used from local people in their everyday lives. It is located in a building of the city-center in Ano Syros.



From agricultural equipment, carpenters’ tools, and beekeepers apparatus to the counter of fishermen, barbers’ scissors and other household objects, a visit to the museum will guide visitors to the daily life of a bygone period. Don’t miss it!


The museum is open to visitors from early June to late September between 10:00-14:00 and 18:00-22:00.




What genuine travellers seek for on every destination is the unknown part. This is Epano Meria for Syros. Stretching over the mountainous landscape of the northern part of the island, where peacefulness and harmony are the “sole residents”, explorers will have the opportunity to explore the unexplored face of Syros.


Barren, rocky and mountainous, Epano Meria is exactly what every explorer desires; un-trodden land. An area of exceptional beauty with few inhabitants that coexist harmoniously with nature. The culture of the Aegean was born at the plateau of Chalandriani and its neighboring Kastri hill, where remains of a cemetery and two settlements of the Early Bronze Age can be witnessed. Tiny settlements invite travellers to see the unforeseen – an unexplored land.

Grammata beach ©

Magnificent views to the infinite blue of the Aegean, spectacular sunsets from San Michalis, a ride with Nikos Printezis from Kini to the deserted beaches of the northwest part, such as Varvaroussa, Aetos, Marmari, Grammata and Tou Amerikanou, wondrous rides with fantastic views, Mytakas with its white houses on high mountain ridges, endless “xerolithies” (stonewalls) ideal for hiking enthusiasts that start of at Kampos, the northernmost settlement where the road ends, Chalandriani with its prehistoric settlement from the 3rd millennium BC, the oldest Cycladic settlement, the agricultural settlement of Kyperoussa, the cave of the philosopher Ferecydes, teacher of great Pythagoras, at Rihopos settlement, vineyards and farms, the experiences of Epano Meria will fill up your mind with the best-of memories of your Syros experience.

Kastri, Source:

Undeniably, Epano Meria invites discovers to travel through the mysterious part of the duchess of the Cyclades.




Crowned with some of the most beautiful settlements of the island, the southern part of Syros will travel you to picturesque villages and crystal-clear beaches.


Starting from Hermoupolis, first stop at Azolimnos, a seaside settlement with an organized beach with sunbeds and umbrellas and shallow waters ideal for families with kids. Fokiotripa” Cape is just a 15-minute walk from the settlement, and distinguishes for its reach marine life. Travellers might even observe seagulls, seals and cormorants! A few kilometers away, Fabrica” beach invites explorers to enjoy its serene atmosphere;, a quiet beach with crystalline waters while Achladi beach is close by. A quiet cove with a hippie beach bar with poofs on the sand and chill music.


Next on the list is Megas Gyalos. It is one of the most popular summer resorts with a long sandy beach ideal for families with kids. One of the best secrets, though, is Abela” beach, one of the most beautiful beaches of the southern part that distinguishes for its turquoise waters and its rocky scenery. Up on the hill, there is a romantic chapel with astonishing views to the Aegean.

Abela Beach ©

Continuing towards Posidonia, the most romantic settlement of Syros, which is formerly known as Della Grazia from the Catholic Church of Madonna de la Gratzia, is a settlement you can’t afford to miss! The current name was taked after ancient Posidonia, which was dedicated to God Poseidon, and it is considered as the aristocratic resort of Syros. Fertile and green, Posidonia invites travellers to explore its natural beauty and its emerald beaches that act as a pole of attention every year.


Tsiropina Mansion ©

Stately mansions and neoclassical houses of the 19th century decorate the entire settlement. The majority of them were constructed between 1850 and 1880. Some of the mansions really stand out including the Tsiropina Villa, which has been declared as a historical monument and hosts various events.

Komito beach ©

Those who want to enjoy dives in crystalline waters should visit Agathopes” beach, a sandy beach with a nice beach bar, as well as Komito” beach that distinguishes for its serene atmosphere with an outstanding view to two Cycladic isles. If you want to enjoy coffee, though, in a cozy place, look for Kyvernio!



Finikas is the next settlement, a windless harbor ideal for yachts and sailboats that seek for a safe anchorage. Stop by “Ntanos” bakery to buy pastries and head to Kokkina beach. This is such a beauty! A natural cove with emerald waters and trees reaching the sea. Utmost serenity is the spirit.


Your next option is Galissas, a lovely beach with shallow waters ideal for families. Close by, lies one of the best mysteries; the cave and Catholic church of Agios Stefanos, a sunset spot like no other. Built in a cave above the sea, this white chapel is of striking beauty. According to tradition, the church was constructed from fisherman Stefanos who was threatened from a huge octopus. He made a vow to Agios Stefanos to save him, and so he did. In return, he built this amazing chapel! This spot is accessible through a 15-minute path from the main beach. Nobody said we didn’t have another. “Armeos” beach is one of the best beaches, dominated from the whitewashed chapel of Agia Pakou. A beach with turquoise waters offering the shade of the trees will offer to travellers moments of utmost tranquility.


Last stop at Kini, a marvelous summer resort. Lined up with beach bars and restaurants, Kini is one of the most popular seaside villages. Nearby, there are two beautiful beaches including Delfini, an ideal choice for those who wish to avoid the winds and relax on sun loungers, as well as Lotos, a sheltered bay with emerald waters. Those craving for fish, head to Allou Yallou, one of the best fish restaurants on Syros.




The nobility of Syros is inexhaustible.


A walk through Chroussa village unveils the most serene face of the island. A picturesque village full in greenery with quaint chapels, stately mansions, Orthodox and Catholic churches, and lovely footpaths ideal for those who want to explore the magnificent forest. Chroussa is a settlement of utmost tranquility worth discovering.


Piskopio or Episkopio. The first metropolis of Syros built on an evergreen hill. The place where the first mansions of the wealthy people of the island were built. No wonder why it is considered one of the most imposing resorts of Syros. Situated five kilometers away from Hermoupolis, Episkopio offers stunning views to the Aegean Sea. Don’t miss the church of Prophet Elias on the hill and the Red House, the inspiration of the great novel “Chimera” written by Karagatsis.


Discover Alithini. No reason to miss it. The reason? It has the most stunning view of Syros through the entire town of Hermoupolis and Ano Syros and, weather permitted, you will be able to observe Tinos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Antiparos, and Andros!

Stop by at Agios Dimitrios Church. A massive stone church of Byzantine style with astonishing views to the Aegean.