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HYDRA

Hydra, built amphitheatrically on a slope overlooking the Argosaronic Gulf, is one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. It is characterized by traditional stone mansions, narrow cobblestone lanes, secluded squares and, above all, the prohibition of vehicles and the use of some 500 donkeys as means of public transportation are the reasons why Hydra has preserved its distinctive atmosphere over time.

HYDRA

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The presence of cannons in the port, the imposing mansions, the Merchant Marine School and the historic monasteries are samples of Hydra’s glorious past. Significant families that played a leading role in the Revolution of 1821 (Koutouriotis, Miaoulis, Kriezis, Tombazis etc.) were natives of Hydra.
According to finds from the “cave of Kolokotronis”, Hydra has been inhabited since the Neolithic age. During the Mycenaean era, the basic residential centres were Horiza and Episkopi. In historic times, Hydra was occupied by people from Ermioni (ancient Hermione) and Troizina (ancient Troezen). The island began to develop nautical and commercial activity in the 17th century, and by the late 18th and early 19th century, it had achieved self-rule, with the result that it acquired wealth and a powerful fleet. The contribution of the fleet to the War of Independence in 1821 was extremely important, as it helped to ensure victory for the Greek forces in the Aegean.
A true model of aesthetics, the city of Hydra is built amphitheatrically around the port, where small caiques, tourist vessels and cruise ships fill the harbour, especially in the summer months. The stone mansions of Hydra stand like guards over the rocky landscape, emphasizing the magnificence of the island.
Walks in the city
We suggest you walk to the entrance of the harbour, where the cannon emplacement is located, to the old stone powder magazine that today houses the port authority, and to the Monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin, a three-aisled domed basilica with two marble bell towers (mid 17th cent.). Also to the mansion of Tsamados, which houses the Merchant Marine School, and that of Tombazis, owned since 1936 by the School of Fine Arts.
See also on the island
• The mansion of Giorgios Kountouriotis, standing among the pine trees. Built in the late 18th cent., it is a splendid example of early neoclassical architecture.
• Pavlos Kountouriotis Square, dominated by the statue of this Greek politician.
• The Periptero or Kiosk, the port’s western cannon emplacement, and one of the most beautiful sites on Hydra.
• Kala Pigadia, a district that owes its name to the two wells that supplied water to the island’s inhabitants for more than 200 years.
• The hill of Kiafas, where the oldest district in town is located, with stone houses, high walls and narrow streets.
• The church of Agios Konstantinos of Hydra.
• The church of the Ypapanti, (Presentation in the Temple) with a carved wood icon screen and vernacular religious paintings.
• The old church of Ai-Giannis Nisteutis, with admirable 18th-cent. wall paintings.
• And finally, the nunnery of Agia Eupraxia, and the monastery of the Profitis Elias, in which Theodoros Kolokotronis was imprisoned for a while. From here, the visitor can enjoy the view of the port of Hydra and the shores of the Peloponnese.

Source: Visit Greece - The Official website of the Greek Tourism Organisation