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Worth Seeing    

 

The ‘Armata’ festival

 

Spetses is one of eight European cities participating in the European Network of Historical Reconstructions.

Thus, on the second weekend of September each year, the historical event which is impressively revived here is the crucial sea battle of Spetses that took place on the 8th of September 1822.  The vehement naval fight in the island’s harbour ended up in the Ottoman fleet’s crushing defeat by the united naval forces of Spetses and neighboring Hydra and significantly influenced the outcome of the Greek war of Independence against the Turks.

The heroic torching of the Turkish flagship was the battle’s climax, as the event’s spectacular revival in the harbour is nowadays the climax of the Armata Festival celebrations.  These festivities last a whole week and also combine celebrating the Panagia Armata (Virgin Mary of the Armata), the church of which was built in commemoration of the event near Faros a few years afterwards.
 

 

Bouboulina’s museum

 

The legendary heroine of Independence Laskarina Bouboulina was the only female in world history bearing the admiral title.  Her 300 year-old mansion is today home to the namesake museum.  The building, in the shape of the Greek letter Π, characteristic of the owner’s importance by the architectural standards of the time, is located in a short distance behind the hub of Dapia harbour.

You can see the national heroine’s personal belongings here, among them her heavy pistol and gold-embroidered head scarf, various collections of fire guns, archives, portraits and other historical objects, as well as marvel at the grand drawing room with the exquisite, wood-carved Florentine ceiling, where her war councils used to be held.

The 40-minute tour includes a narrative of Bouboulina’s life story, from her birth inside a Turkish prison in Constantinople, through her heroic actions during the War of Independence and her invaluable contribution to her country, to her inglorious and tragic assassination.
 

 

The Spetses Museum

 

It is housed in the 200 year-old residence of Hatzigiannis-Mexis, one of the island’s leading lords and architects of the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire.

A multitude of valuable exhibits from this historic era, such as the flag of the Revolution, Bouboulina’s bones, collections of fire guns and traditional costumes, portraits, heirlooms and archives are displayed in the mansion’s first floor.  Furthermore the museum accommodates numerous other artifacts and objects dating from the Classic and Proto-Hellenic period to the Post-Byzantine years, covering almost four millennia of the island’s cultural history.
 

 

Other

 

On the way to the old harbour it’s worth visiting the historic monastery of Aghios Nikolaos, with its exquisite bell tower and the pebble-paved courtyard.  Here is where the people of Spetses raised the flag of the Revolution against the Turks in 1821.

A permanent exhibition called The House of Spetses is housed within the monastery’s premises and takes us back in older times with the reproduction of a typical old island house.  You can see folkloric collections of traditional furniture and artifacts, local costumes, woven craft and many more. 

Finally, the traditional boat-yards are an important site on the harbour, the place where local boat-builders have been constructing the renowned wooden vessels of Spetses for centuries.

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Agios Mamas, Spetses, 180 50, Greece  
tel: +30.22980-77122  
fax: +30.22980-77123  
e-mail: info@maremonteboutiquehotel.com  
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