Syros general information

Harbour of Ermoupoli, capital of the Greek Island of Syros, at Summer.

Syros lies at the heart of the cyclades complex of islands. Its distance from Piraeus is 83 nautical mile. The maximum length of the island is 17km and the maximum width is 10 km. The terrain of the island is rocky and semi-mountainous.

Syros was originally inhabited around 2000 BC. The first inhabitants were called Kares or Leleges, during the next millennium it was inhabited by Phoenicians. It was then possessed to Minoans and the 16 century BC to Mycenaeans. After the 10th century BC it is speculated that it was inhabited by Ions. Syros was a poor island, during the 6th century it was taken by the inhabitants of Samos. Syros allied with the Persians during the Persians wars. Syros was later a part of the Athenian Alliance. In 338 BC king Phillipos of Macedonia conquered the island but the island retained a form of autonomy during that times as well as during the times of the Roman conquest.

In the following centuries from the 3rd century AD and onwards the inhabitants due to barbaric rages were relocated to more inner parts of the island.

Following the conquest by crusaders in 1204 AD the island was taken by Venetians and in 1537 AD by the Turks. In the middle of the 16th century the master of the island was Josef Nazis and many inhabitants embraced the catholic doctrine. After the “falling” of the duchy of Aegean the island became a part of the Ottoman Empire. During the Turk – Russian wars 1770-74 the island was under Russian protection. During the revolution it was an important navy and ship building center. After the development of Piraeus and the development of Corinth Canal it declined. In 1922 it received refugees from minor Asia. During the German occupation in world war two the island declined and during the 1951-71 time period it lost 20% of its residents. The following years the deindustrialization started along with the touristic development of the island.

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