At a glance
Huge blue and yellow “arthropods”, the cranes of the Neorio shipyard, spread out on the edge of the Ermoupolis port-town.
Industrial sounds mix with the everyday life of the neoclassical settlement, along with the sirens of the ships, the gnawing of the seagulls, the honking of the cars, the splash of the waves in Nisaki and Vaporia.
The colorful 19th-century city of Ermoupolis doesn’t feel like a typical Cycladid settlement. Yet it forms a dazzling postcard to take inspiration from.
You walk around.
Civil servants, lawyers, merchants and businessmen rush past you, along with visitors and locals.
This capital is reminiscent of a metropolitan life style, and hosts festivals of dance, digital art, film, classical music, jazz and rembetiko (the Greek blues) popularized by local musician Markos Vamvakaris.
The heart of the city
…Hunted by children playing around, pigeons frequent the main Miaoulis square, the heart of Ermoupolis. It features the emblematic neoclassical Town Hall designed by Bavarian architect Ernst Ziller (1889). Everything you see around you has been gifted with the aura of the city’s glorious past and wealth: The building of the Historical Archive, the marble mansion of the Cultural Center – the Hellas club of 1862 -, the famous Apollon Theater (the so-called miniature of La Scala in Milan built in 1862-4), the old school of Christos Evaggelidis and later “hotel of France”. Αnd, the 1861 clock. It is forever stopped at 12.30, as if time is playing games with the Syrians: It pushes them forward, and then returns them to the past …
Fashion shops. From Eleftheriou Venizelou turn to the right to wander around the pedestrian road called Protopapadaki, full of shops and a few cafes. Shops are also situated along Stamatiou Proiou. Among them you will find the Kovaios pharmacy operating since 1837, and the Kritsinis alcohol shop, opened in 1917, preserving old bottles of brandy, liqueurs, ouzo, mastic made by the owner’s grandfather.
Excellent fashion and gift shops are located at Melinas Merkouri street.
From Vaporia to the coastline
WALKING AROUND THE DISTRICT
To fall in love with Vaporia neighborhood is to get lost in its alleys! Three generations of rich shipowners, bankers, merchants lived in these elaborate multi- colored mansions, facing the sea. Buildings were abandoned, then renovated, changed ownership and transformed. Nevertheless, Vaporia remain the legacy of Ermoupolis. In Tsiropinas square you will make a stop to admire the Tsiropinas mansion of 1883 which houses the Prefecture of the Aegean Islands. At the early 20th century, its grandiose halls hosted the dancing nights of the high society. The house of Zygomalas of 1880 is now the headquarters of PPC. The interior of the Tabakis mansion -current headquarters of the Metropolis-, features exceptional ornate ceilings.
The Boatyards or Τarsanas, adjacent to the Neorio shipyards. The Limokathartirio, an abandoned complex at the southern end of the port in the Lazaretto district. It dates back to 1834 and was used for temporary quarantine for new arrivals. From the late 19th century was a prison and asylum, while during the Cretan revolt (1866) it housed Cretan refugees.
The blue-domed church of Agios Nikolaos, built in 1870, dominates the neighborhood. Entering, you will feel pure awe.
The exceptional lighting and the crystal chandeliers from Trieste highlight the masterpiece hagiographies and frescoes, the famous marble Iconostasis with images of 1909, the despotic throne made by the Tinian marble sculptor G. Vitalis, the pulpit, the Russian icon and the epitaph.
The church choir sings its hymns in Agios Nikolaos from 1920 until today.
Follow the popular coastal promenade, lined with laid-back cafes, all day restaurants, taverns. It leads to the impressive Customs Office Transit Warehouse. A monumental two-story marble building designed by A. Georgandas in 1860. The building also houses the Picture Gallery of the Cyclades. Next to the customs office are the Transit Warehouses designed by the Bavarian architect Erlacher and built in 1834. Next to the Customs, Nisaki features impressive views to the Vaporia.
Archaeological Museum. Housed in the Town Hall since 1899 (you will enter from a separate door on the left).
It showcases archaeological findings from Halandriani including exhibits such as the Amfikypellon, a tubular cup from the end of the 3rd millennium, a vase from the second half of the 3rd millennium, a marble statuette of a female figure 35 from 730 BC and other artefacts, sculptures and inscriptions from the early Cycladic and Byzantine period. (Open from 09:00 – 16:00, closed on Tuesday and Thursday).
Τhe Kyveli house. An urban house built in 1870, highlighting historical material related to the Greek and European theater of the 20th century, through the life and work of the great protagonist Kyveli and her family. (Tel. +30 22810 85730, visit only by appointment).
Hermoupolis Heritage facility. A must-visit multipurpose facility, housed in the old Zisimatos textile factory.
It re-opened its doors in 2021. There is a guided tour in the impressive factory where you will see the old machines and learn a lot about the industrial past of the city. (Tel. +30 6932 327703, tour only by appointment).
Cycladic Art Replicas Exhibition, is housed in the cultural center of Hermoupolis in an impressive two-floored neoclassical building designed in 1862 by architect Pietro Sampo. It takes visitors to bygone eras featuring replicas of significant items of the Cycladic civilization during the 3rd millennium BC. (Monday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday: 08.00-16.00, Saturday: 09.00-17.00, Sunday-Tuesday: closed).
The traditional food market is at Chiou pedestrian road. Here, and at the coastal road, there are shops selling the famous loukoumia and chalvadopites.
The Industrial museum
An excellent museum worth seeing. It is housed in 4 industrial buildings of the 19th century, the Kornilakis Tannery, the Anairousi Scaffolding Factory, the Velissaropoulos Textile Factory and the Katsimantis Painter Factory and hosts a collection of tools, equipment and machinery of the industrial era from workshops of bakery, textile, textile, Also, a digital image and audio file with workers' testimonies, maps and drawings, a 3D illustration of industrial buildings and findings from the wreck of the Patrice steamer. Among the exhibits is the legendary Enfield 8000, the first electric car built in Greece. (Tel. 2281 084762, open 10.00-16.00, Thursday closed) http://www.ketepo.gr/en/).
tickets for you
The Municipality and private individuals organize numerous cultural events in Ermoupolis all year round.
Should you be interested in attending them we may book your tickets.
For more information please ask at the reception.
International Film festival, Guitar festival, Ermopouleia, August Moons, International Animation festival (Anima), Rebetiko festival, International Dance and Performing Arts festival Akropoditi and many more. There are also performances at the Apollon theater (https://apollontheater.gr/en/). Religious festivals for Orthodox and Catholics are held in the villages (panigyria). Easter festivities are very popular.