A cycladic settlement
Amphitheatrically built, crowned by San George Catholic church, Ano Syros rises upon its hill facing the Aegean Sea. In contrast with the neoclassical Ermoupolis, this settlement is built in the Cycladic style and preserves a unique identity and character. It is cars-free, so you will often notice mules or donkeys carrying goods in the narrow alleys.
Ano Syros was founded in 1200 by the Venetians who introduced Catholicism. It resembles medieval settlements that develop around, or inside, a castle. The particular one had only three entrances: Kamara (or Lower End), the Upper End and Portara which was the main gate.
Enter Ano Syros from the Kamara, the main entrance, and follow Dionysiou Stefanou, also called Piatsa, which is the main alley of the settlement, featuring also cafes, ouzeris, taverns, museums and lovely small shops.
At Markos Vamvakaris square
After your descend from Saint George, search for the small square featuring the bust of Markos Vamvakaris, famous composer and musician, considered to be the founder of rebetiko folk music. From this spot you will enjoy a unique view to Ermoupolis. In a small house nearby is the homonymous museum featuring Markos’s personal belongings, clothes, photos, books, old gramophones etc.
ANO International Festival
Showcasing the pipe organ housed in St. George’s Cathedral and revive the medieval settlement, the Roman Catholic Bishopry of Syros has been organizing International Organ Festival since 2017. The program includes concerts, lectures, viewings of the pipe organ, and tours of the Ano Syros medieval settlement.
More sights to discover
In Ano Syros there are several religious monuments: The Episcopal Palace (1837). The Center for Historical Studies of the Catholic Diocese. Agios Ioannis (1635) belonging to the Capuchin monastery which was founded in 1633. The Jesuit monastery (1744), that operated until recently. Inside the premises is the church of Virgin Mary of Karmilos (1581), considered to be metropolis of the island until 1639. The church of Kioura (1686) near the small square of the Uper End features the bust of the ancient philosopher and poet Pherecydes, born in Syros during the 6th century B.C. He developed his own cosmological theory influenced by the Orphic ideas, the theory of Thales, the mythological Theogony of Hesiod and the beliefs of priests in ancient Egypt.
The Exhibition of Traditional Professions
It is located in Don Ioannou Stefanou Street in Ano Syros. It showcases objects used by locals in everyday life such as the barber’s scissors, the fisherman’s bench, the carpenter’s tools, the farmers’ agricultural tools, the beekeepers’ smokehouse and various household items. It is open from the beginning of June until the end of September. Open 11.00-14.00 and in the afternoon from 19.00-22.00. For more info call +3022813 60914.
Food and drinks
There are several ouzeris (tapas bars), taverns, cafés and cocktail bars -mainly in Piatsa, the main alley of the settlement. They feature small yards or balconies with a view.