Discover The Island Of Spetses
- by XpatAthens
- Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Spetses, an island boasting a long naval tradition, is famous for its significant contribution to the 1821 War of Independence. It was here that the revolution flag was raised on 3rd April 1821. The island has managed to retain its individual traditional character thanks to its well-preserved grand captain mansions, still bearing eloquent witness to the island’s glorious past.
The picturesque old harbour and Dápia, a tourist and commercial centre where the heart of the island’s entertainment beats, are the trademarks of the town of Spetses. Take a romantic trip around the island in horse-drawn carriages and admire the grand mansions adorning the narrow cobbled streets of the island.
The best time to visit Spetses is during September, when “Armata”, a truly impressive re-enactment of a naval battle takes place ever since 1931. The rich history and naval tradition of the island is reflected on numerous sites that are definitely worth visiting:
• The House of Bouboulina
Built around the end of the 17th Century, the building is shaped like a Π, a detail which at that time indicated the importance of the owner. Bouboulina was a heroine that played a significant role in the 1821 War of Independence. Visit her house, which now operates as a museum to admire its wood-carved Florentine ceiling, 18th and 19th century furniture, interesting collection of old weapons, fine porcelain and rare books.
• The House of Hatzigiannis Mexis
Today the house hosts a museum exhibiting relics from the War of Independence, letters written by war heroes like Kolokotronis and Athanasios Diakos, a folk art collection and the relics of Bouboulina. The house was built between 1795 and 1798, and was donated to the Greek state in 1938 by the heirs of the Mexis family. The objects on display represent more than 4,000 years of the island’s history.
• Church of Panayia Armata
This rural church was built between 1824 and 1830 to honour the victory of the Greek warriors against the Ottoman fleet.
• Cathedral of Ayios Nikolaos
The island's Cathedral is of great historical importance as it was here where the island's Independence flag was raised on 3rd April 1821. It was also here where the dead body of Paul Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte who came to Greece to fight on the side of Greeks, was kept in a barrel of rum for three whole years!
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