Symi Yialos

The harbour of Symi, Yialos, is an architecturally protected area since the early 1970s, conformed of wonderfully well preserved two and three storey mansions with facades painted in bright and vivid colors that reflect the island・s rich past; since Symi was once one of the richest islands with a tradition in sponge diving, ship building and wood carving.
The island・s two main settlements are Yialos and Chorio. Yialos settlement starts from the port and stretches on the outskirts of the surrounding hills.
On the other side of the port (behind the Clock Tower) you will find the island・s shipyard and the church :Panaghia tou Evangelismou; that stands above it. Following the road you will come upon NOS (one of the island・s most popular beaches) and right across it there is the islet of Nimos. The stroll ends at Nimborios, a seaside settlement where one can enjoy its crystal clear waters.
(Information from Internet Search and Symi Municipality Edition)

 

Symi in History

Kariki, Aigli, Metapontis. These are some of the ancient names of Symi where according to tradition is the birthplace of the three Graces. Symi, whose history goes back to ancient times, got its current name from the nymph Symi; who according to the myth, mated with Poseidon, the god of the seas, and brought to life Hthonios who became the leader of the island・s first inhabitants.

Symi, small and beautiful, associated its name to the nautical tradition from the very ancient years. Glaykos, who is considered the first inhabitant of the island, was a very good swimmer and sailor and taught his abilities to the island・s inhabitants. Also, in the Hommer・s :Iliad;, there is a reference to the participation of Symi・s first King Nireus who led 3 ships to the Troyan war. The Kares, Leleges, Rhodians, Argians, Lakedemoans and later on Romans and Byzantines passed by the island. In 1309 the island was conquered by the Knights of St. John while at the same time it began a time of prosperity for the island. The Symiots became known as sailors, fishermen and sponge divers and brought wealth and fame to their island. Symi was conquered by the Turks in 1522 but the Symiots gained the grand of many special privileges such as the freedom of religious expression and speech which allowed them to mark great progress in letters and crafts and build schools as the Aghia Marina Academy (1756-1821).

In 1912 Symi was occupied by Italy, this occupation was extremely harsh. The once prosperous island of Symi confronted poverty which lead to a great migration wave. The island・s population diminished from 30.000 inhabitants to about 3.000 inhabitants. In 1943 the Italian domination ended and on September 1944 the English took over the island for the third time. On that exact date the Castle and all the sorrounding region were heavily bombarded and destroyed.
On May the 8th 1945 the Germans signed in Symi the treaty of the Dodecanese surrender to the Allies and on March the 8th 1948 the Protocol of Integration of all the Dodecanese islands to the Greek state was signed again on the island of Symi.
(Information from the Symi Municipality Edition)


About Symi and Sorroundings

The main road that runs up from the waterfront to the high town is named the Kali Strata, it consists of 500 wide steps. Both sides of the road are lined with fine, old Neo-classical style houses, some with doorways leading to secluded flowered courtyards. There has been a great deal of building restoration done throughout the town to repair damage caused by the bombing and burning of the town during the second world war.
San Emilianos, with its whitewashed church, is a popular destination for beach barbeques. It is a small island connected to the main island by a narrow causeway.
Set in an enclosed bay on the southwest point of the island, sits Panormitis. This is the second most important monastery in the whole of the Dodecanese after the monastery of St John on the island of Patmos. Panormitis is dedicated to the Archangel Michael, the patron saint of seafarers, and so is a place of pilgrimage for Greek sailors.
A nave was built in 1783 on the remains of a Byzantine chapel, also dedicated to St Michael. Since those days the monastery has expanded enormously, so much so that its guesthouse can accommodate up to 500 people. The harbour is dominated by a highly decorated Baroque belltower that was built in 1905 and is a copy of the belltower of Agia Foteini at Izmir in Turkey.

Sites to Visit in Symi and Sorroundings
Ano Symi
E St. John・s Knight Castle
E The old pharmacy (old neoclassical building)
E Profitis Ilias (church of Prophet Eliah)
E :Pontikokastro; near the windmills

Yialos
E Clock Tower
E :Michalaki; statue of the famous Symiot sculptor C. Valsamis
E The shipyard
E Monument of the fallen soldier

Churches and Monasteries
E Monastery of Archangel Michael in Panormitis
E Monastery of Arhangel Michael Roukouniotis
E Church of St. John (island・s cathedral)
E Panaghia tou Kastrou
E Panaghia tou Evangelismou
E Church of St. Constantine and St. Helen (on the way to Panormitis)
E Monastery of Sotiris Megalos (on the way to Panormitis)
E Church of Stavros tou Polemou
E Kokimidis church
E Little chapel of St. Emilianos

Other
E Nimos islet
E Seskia islets
E Twelve Caves (Catacombs part of ancient Settlement) V Nimborios
E Byzantine stone wine presses (10th V 17th century).


 

Dodecanese

The Dodecanese is complex of over 163 islands and islets, of which only 26 are inhabited, situated at the most eastern part of Greece, at the borders of Europe. You will find here a wonderful blend of architectural styles of eastern and western cultures. Almost every island has its classical remains, its Crusaders・ Castle, and its traditional villages. The most important are: Rhodes,Kos, Astipalea, Kalimnos, Karpathos, Kassos, Kastelorizo, Leros, Nissiros, Patmos, Simi and Tilos.