History of Syros
Syros island was inhabited from Prehistoric times and findings testify that it was an important center of the Cycladic civilization. The island was first colonized by the Phoenicians, who gave it the name Syros island, which means"rocky". Later the Ionians founded two important cities here, one at the site of today’s capital and the other at the site of the village of Poseidona. During the Persian Wars it was an ally of the Persians and later of Athens. Syros island was conquered by Macedonia, Egypt and Rome. In Byzantine times, it was a possession of France and later of Venice. The domination of these peoples helped the diffusion of Catholic religion to such a point that Syros island was the only island of the Aegean Sea with exclusively Catholic inhabitants.
In 1537, it fell into the hands of the Turks, but the continuous support of France made their domination more tolerable. With the beginning of the War of Independence in 1821, inhabitants from the islands of Xios, Psara and Smyrni took refuge here and they brought the art of ship-building to the island. From this historic moment, Syros island became an important commercial and nautical center of the Aegean Sea. Then today’s capital, Ermoupolis, was constructed and then the Orthodox religion started to diffuse throughout the island. Syros island started to lose its importance only when the port of Piraeus became the principal port of Greece.
Ermoupolis is one of the most important towns of the Aegean Sea. It is built in an amphitheatrical way with neoclassical mansions. The Miaoulis Place, where the town hall is, was built under the plans of the architect Ziller in 1876-1881, are worth mensioning. The public theatre "Apollon" that is a micrography of the fabled Scalla of Milan, the church of the Christ's Transfiguration (Metamorphosis), and the church of His Ressurection (Anastasis) by the hill are quite important places to visit. Finally, the Conjectural Cycladic Center, the village of Posedonia that was named after the second greatest town of the island of Posedonia, which is also named Delagrazia after the small church of Virgin Mary (Madona Dela Grazia), is another notable place of Syros island.