Jul 11
Last Updated on 21 July 2011

Sights & Walks

Starting from Dapia, which means 'fortified place', with many cannons still decorating its walls, we first come to the noisy beach of Aghios Mammas, departure point of the buses, but also a meeting point for coffee, lunch or dinner. Walking towards the church of St. Nicholas, we come to the beach of Aghios Nicholaas and the renowned mansions, some of them built in the 18th century, which are a sample of the cultural and economic development of the island at that time.

The cathedral church of St. Nicholas also bears the Monument to the Heroes in its pebble mosaic courtyard. This monument was sculpted by Byron Kesses. The cathedral is one of the oldest churches in Spetses, built in the post-Byzantine style, with a cross and an outstanding bell tower where the revolutionary flag was raised in 1821. Near the cathedral, there is the restored Primary school of Kapodistriaki, which today houses the historical archive office. Here there is also a large convention hall and an exhibition hall with a permanent display of historical photographs (donated by Stephan Alexandrides). Continuing our journey, we enter the Old Harbour (Baltiza) , passing by the traditional shipyards which are preserved today, transmitting the secrets of the caulking of the ships from generation to generation. We can admire beautiful buildings, old and new, which keep up the architectural traditions of the island, but Baltiza is also famous for the multitude of nightspots.

This route comes to an end at Fanari, where one of the oldest working lighthouses in Greece dominates the area. Here we also find the church of the Panagia Armata (Virgin Mary). The church was built in honour of the Virgin Mary, who helped the Spetsiots on her birthday, September 8th in the naval battle with the Ottomans in 1822. Inside the church we can admire a beautiful painting of the sea battle by I. Koutsis.Near the church there are two tombstones which honour the Admiral I.G. Koutsis and the historian Anargyros Hadzi-Anargyrou.

Further along we have a small park of cannon stations, with the restored cannon batteries of Mexis and a park decorated with the copper sculptures by Natalia Mela. At the far end of the Fanari, the copper statue of the fire raiser Cosmas Barbatsis dominates.

Starting from the scenic and bustling coffee shops and snack bars (ouzeri) of Dapia, we take the road inland in order to admire the marvellous architecture of the mansion of the benefactor Sotirios Anargyros, which is at present under restoration.

This magnificent building - a jewel for the island - with its neo-classical style and the two Egyptian sphinxes dominating the right and left sides of its entrance, has, in the past, hosted the Town Hall, the Rothschild family and the Cultural Centre of Spetses. Next to Anargyros' house is the Pefkakia, a small park with a children's play area and opposite is the Museum of Bouboulina. The mansion of the heroine, with its unique wooden carved ceiling in the main living room, is today a museum, with guided tours detailing Bouboulina's life and deeds.

Our route now continues along the coast, stopping at Possidonio Square, where all the important celebrations take place, the best known of which is the re-enactment of the naval battle of Spetses, known as Armata. The imposing statue of Laskarina Bouboulina standing in the middle of the square is a creation of Natalia Mela. The historical Possidonio Hotel borders the inside part of the square. This hotel was constructed by Sotiros Anargyros at the outset of the last century, and has entertained thousands of famous politicians, businessmen and artists. The fine architecture and the marvellously decorated interior make it a centre of attraction even today. Some hundred metres ahead we find the old Daskalaki cotton mill, transformed today into a luxurious summer resort, but in harmony still with the traditional style of architecture. Further on we come to the building that houses the Town Hall of Spetses. This is an old, renovated building with a large garden decorated with marvellous pebble mosaics. Nearing the end of our itinerary, we arrive at Kounoupitsa Square and Sourbouti and then carry on admiring the famous Anargyrios and Korallenios College.

Two of the most interesting routes inland are to the church of Analypsi (Ascension of Christ), and to the area of the old castle of Spetses (Kastelli).

Following the route to Analypsi, we first cross the Clock Square, in the centre of the town, which is lined with all kinds of restaurants and bars. On the northwest side stands the Town Clock, built at the beginning of the 19th century by George I.Leonidas. We follow the signs directing us to the Hatziyiannis Mexis Museum, and we soon arrive at the Mansion of Mexis, where the Spetses museum is housed.

In this imposing building, with its high arcade and the bust of Mexi by the the scultpor Byron Kesse, visitors can admire archeological findings, various relics of the Greek War of Independence, as well as the exhibition of the Mycenaean shipwreck Iria.

Leaving the Museum, we walk to the crossroads at the church of St Elefetherios, from where the road towards the mountain leads us the area of Kokkinaria, ending at the Monasteries of All Saints and Panagia Gorgoepikoos (Virgin Mary), and the eastward road leads to the crossroads at the church of Analypsi (Ascension of Christ). In the courtyard of this church, a very traditional celebration takes place to honour the resurrection of Christ at Easter. From here you can either follow the road to the Old Harbour, passing by many mansions, or take the road to Aghia Marina which leads to the well known Paradise Beach and on to the ring road of the island.

With our walk to Kastelli, we see the area where the first medieval settlement of the island was built and the first town of Spetses was formed. We start at Dapia and follow the road that starts at the horse buggy departure point and leads south, towards the mountain. The road divides at Lazarus' taverna and we follow the right hand route to Kastelli. In this picturesque neighbourhood, we can admire the churches of Aghia Triada (the Trinity) with its marvellous wooden carved temple,Koimisi (Assumption of the Virgin Mary), and the Archangel. The stream of Aghio Georgios to the east and of Kounoupitsa to the west created a natural fortification for the settlement, a fortification which has endured until today. During the walk in the renowned forest of Spetses, the visitor will stop many times to admire the unique view of the sea, islands and the Peloponnese coast, as well the pine trees and the incredibly fascinating fragrances of the forest. There are small paths which lead to all the beaches of the island.

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