The traditional architecture
Favorite thing: Spetses is famous for its beautiful traditional architecture. Almost all the traditional houses have a courtyard decorated with pebble mosaics, inlaid with local motifs. Beautiful Venetian mansions with tiled roofs, wooden balconies and bright coloured walls are standing next to superb neoclassical residences and 19th century two-storey houses with tiled roofs on which stone sculptures are standing, decorating it. Those houses are usually painted in ochre or crème and have many large coloured windows. These buildings have an arched ground floor patio supporting the balcony of the second story. Fine marble squares are scattered around the settlements, matching with the austere facades of the buildings. Pebble-mosaic cobblestone streets are surrounding the old mansions and houses, linking the various architectural styles together.
Churches and monasteries in Spetses
Favorite thing: Around the island there are many churches and monasteries which are situated there from the early Christian times and from the Post-Byzantine period. Some of them have very importand history related with the greek Revolution of 1821. Dont forget visit these!
Favorite thing: Spetses is one of the three important naval islands (with Hydra and Psara), dedicated its powerful fleet and its soul to fight against the Ottoman. The patriotism and courage of the Spetsiots being unbeatable and immortal, they were the first to respond to the revolutionary call in 1821. One of the most famous heroes of the Greek Revolution was the Spetsiote female captain Lascarina Bouboulina who took the command of her husband’s fleet when he died, became an active member of the “Filiki Etairia”, an underground revolutionary organisation preparing the revolt, fought in many important battles and spent most of her fortune to finance the war.
- Historical Travel
Careful Not to Stub Your Toes on the Stones
Favorite thing: One of the most noteable sights when first visiting Spetses, are the beautiful stone walkways and courtyards all across the island. This unique artform is an old local practice that has even gained fame in other European countries lately. Expert artisians from Spetses have been sent to Spain and Italy to teach others this lovely way of decorating the grounds. No cement is used in the technique, but the small, smooth oval stones which have been painstakenly collected along the beaches, are placed in a fine-grained sand very tightly to create the typical geometrical and nautical designs found originally on Spetses Island.
Fondest memory: You will find especially nice designs in the courtyard of the monestary above the Old Port of Spetses Town. In the Spring time, when these photos were taken, new green grass has grown between the stones, making the designs somewhat difficult to make out. Later in the year, when the grass becomes dry from the heat of the summer sun, the designs will emerge from their camoflage to reign distinctly under the feet of the pilgrims passing by on their way to light a candle in the church for the safe journey of all travellers by sea! An age old Spetses custom not to be snubbed!
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: The Museum
The Museum was founded in 1991 by Mr. Philip Demertzis-Bouboulis, Bouboulina’s fourth generation descendant, in his effort to save the mansion from collapse. A non-profit making company manages all the Museum income, and has as its main objective the repair and maintenance of the building and its use as a museum and cultural centre, whilst at the same time recounting the story of the Greek War of Independence with emphasis on the life of the heroine Laskarina Bouboulina.
The Museum, by the end of 2004, had accomplished the following:
1. Visitors: Approximately 350,000, of which some 83,000 were schoolchildren.
2. Repairs: In excess of € 370,000 has been spent on repairs and restoration, of which the sum of € 143,000 was Government funding and private sector donations and the rest was from the Museum proceeds.
3. Publications: Two small books have been published, one telling Bouboulina’s life story and one the history of Spetses. In addition a video cassette has been made showing the tour of the Museum. A wooden scale model of her flagship the Agamemnon has been constructed and is now on display. Also a variety of souvenirs have been produced, such as prints showing Bouboulina and the Agamemnon, flags, ceramics, her Coat of Arms, key rings, pins, medals etc.
4. A large number of newspaper reports, interviews, radio and television programmes have been made since the opening of the museum, making the life story of Bouboulina widely known, not only in Greece but also overseas.
Fondest memory: Horse and Carriage rides; Spetses' Sweets-Amigolata; Clean Air; Walks along the Old Port.
- Museum Visits