Simi Architecture

Simi architecture
About the architecture of Simi, Greece

Simi is a small, rocky island with an outstanding natural environment and beautiful architecture. Located between the islands of Rhodes and Kos, Simi Greece was subsequently invaded, as a result it developed a rich diversity that can still be seen and admired. The island experienced similar historical events as Rhodes, conquered by the Knights of Saint John who offered a plethora of monuments to the island, most of which survive to this day. After the end of the Ottoman occupation, Simi flourished greatly. Locals were devoted to sponge diving and shipping which brought the island a great economical development. This development gave a burst to the architecture of Simi and new elegant mansions were constructed.

During the 18th and 19th century, the economical prosperity of Simi island is reflected mostly in architecture and art. Houses and buildings are restored and churches are decorated with wonderful wall frescoes. This period gave rise to many neoclassical two-storey mansions with courtyards and flourishing gardens while others remained at their simplest form. Characteristic are the neoclassical features that adorn the facades of the buildings, similar to those found in the Greek islands of Chios and Syros. The interior decoration is equally interesting with Venetian mirrors and wooden cabinets.

The villages of Symi share traditional features but the most outstanding examples of architecture are found in the two preservable settlements where beautiful buildings and monuments exist. At the entrance of the port lies the imposing Clock Tower and the Castle of the Knights standing proudly at the highest point of Simi town. It is built over the ruins of an ancient site and there lies also the Church of Kyra Panagia (Lady of the Virgin). The rest of the hill is embraced by the two-storey neoclassical houses, beautiful works-of-art with well-preserved tiled roofs, colourful balconies and pediments.

One of the main attractions in Symi is the monastery of Michael Panormitis, built amidst the plane forest in front of the homonymous bay. Although the monastery is embellished with Byzantine icons and frescoes, its construction date remains unknown to this day. The biggest part of Symi remains astonishing still for its brilliant architecture and natural beauty.

Visitors can enjoy their stay in many of the traditional hotels that have respected the traditional architecture.

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