One island, one city, one outdoor museum…
Syros is dominant in the heart of Aegean with the dynamic character and the cosmopolitan grace of an archontist. Syros dominant power based in Ermoupolis, capital of both the island and the complex of Cyclades, which retains and highlights the glamor of another era. Its history which is unfolded by the mazed backstreets, the traditional villages which combine the Medieval and Cycladic architecture, the Catholic and Orthodox churches, the laced shores, the light blue of the waters and the fairytale natural landscape.
Syros bloomed mostly after 1826, when refugees were settled in the island from Psarra, Chios, Crete and Mikra Asia. It was the nautical, engineering and cultural center of New Greece.
The name “Syros” stems from the first inhabitants of the island. The Phoeneces. Nowadays, there are two version of the origin of this name. According to the first one, the name stems from the name Usira, which in greek is translated as happy, and according to the second one, is originated from the word Syr, which is translated in greek as “rock”. Homer names it “Syriy”, whilst in the 17th century the island is referred as the Papa’s island: “L’isola de Papa”, due to the catholic belief of its inhabitants.
The position of Syros was the reason which contributed to the promotion of the island as one of the most significant harbors of the East Mediterranean Sea during the 19th century constituting the commercial, administrative and cultural center of Cyclades. Ermoupolis continues to look like an outdoor museum, an alive monument of neoclassical architecture with heirlooms and cultural treasures, which are worth of exploring.
From the medieval town at Ano Syros, the ancient monuments of first cycladic architecture at Kastri, the municipality of Syros – Ermoupolis, the Apollon theatre which constitutes a miniature of “Teatro alla Scala” in Milan, the coexistence of catholism and orthodox, but also the several small touches from Mikra Asia until the machinery at Neorio Syroy, which is active from 1861, Syros constitutes a unique place of silent historical and cultural inheritance.
For more information follow the website www.syrosisland.gr