The special architecture of Sifnos

The Cycladic architecture is strongly reflected in the Sifnaiko landscape, which however stands out through the harmony of its traditional buildings, its Venetian castle, its picturesque cobbled streets and its 237 churches. Below you will find the most characteristic features of its architecture Sifnos.


The Castle is the old capital of Sifnos and has a huge archaeological significance. More specifically, the wider area of ​​the Castle was first inhabited during the 3 th millennium BC. Herodotus referred to Sifnos' Castle as the ancient "city" ("asty"). The ancient "asty" experienced great prosperity during the 6 th century. e.g. hosting the temple and theater of Dionysus, as well as luxurious marble public buildings. The Castle is a fortified settlement of the medieval period and no longer exists as what ecatly it used to be. Nevertheless, many of its elements are preserved scattered throughout the place. There are also surviving specimens that testify to its medieval architecture, as well as its defensive character. Its ancient architectural parts (shrines, columns, etc.), which have now been integrated into newer buildings.


As for the houses, the traditional type of Cycladic house prevails on the island with minimal variations. White cubic-shaped houses that reflect the light of the bright sun. They are built of local materials, stone and wood. The walls of most are made of local slate and covered with sand and lime. Lime, after all, gives them this characteristic shiny white color. Almost every house has a paved courtyard surrounded by a relatively low paddock. It also has a semi-outdoor area in front of its entrance, which is housed by an arched opening, the "volta" (it means walk).


A unique feature of Sifnos houses is their flat roofs. The purpose of this construction is to collect rainwater which is vital to the island's daily life. The chimneys are made of clay and are called "flari".


The old mansions of the island stand out for the majesty and wealth they breathe. They were built at the end of the 19th century. by prominent Kastrians or well-to-do locals or immigrants of the island. They are built according to the model of the Castle mansions, but show several neoclassical elements. Most of these mansions can be found in the settlement of Artemonas, north of Apollonia.

Psacharopoulos Mansion


The special architecture The special architecture of Sifnos is reflected in the traditional cobbled alleys of the island. A typical example is the traditional pedestrian street that starts from Artemonas and ends in Katavati. It passes through the settlements of Ano Petali and Apollonia and it is connected by a paved road with Ai Loukas, Exabela, Kato Petali and Kastro. As for the cobblestones of the Castle, the narrow alleys are whitewashed and everywhere you can see terraces, arches and vaulted galleries, the so-called "longzies" during the Frankish rule.


Sifnos has over 237 churches and monasteries, more than any other island in Greece. Their architecture is of great interest. Although there are several commonalities between them, such as the pure white color and the blue exterior dome, there is a remarkable variety in their individual architectural features. Depending on the time and history in which they were built, their purpose, their creators and the artists who decorated them, you can see an impressive variety of rhythms, domes, construction materials and interior of temples.

The architecture of Sifnos radiates its authentic Cycladic beauty and its rich ancient history! Brace yourself with an appetite for exploration and discover it!

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