Sunday 22 December 2019

The Lazaros Koundouriotis mansion in Hydra

We visited the Koundouriotis mansion on a day when it was too windy to go swimming.

Lazaros Koundouriotis was an eminent political figure of Hydra and one of the most imposing people during the War of Independence from the Turkish  occupation of Greece for 400 years. He consistently served the Greek nation, spending most of his money to finance the Greek fleet. His brother, George, served as president of the Provisional Government in the last years of the War of Independence.

Located near Hydra's port, the archontiko, or manor, provides a superb example of Hydra's 18th century mansions, whose architecture often reflects influences from abroad. Built in 1780, it was donated to the Historic-Ethnologic Institute of Greece by the family's descendants and today operates as a branch of the National Museum of History.

The steps that lead to the house took us to a large courtyard with steps leading up to the first floor.

The views from here are stunning -  the hills at the back

and of the harbour at the front.

We left the terrace and started exploring the house

the main hall

a figurehead

nice cosy corners below the majestic ceiling in the adjoining rooms

the study/office

a traditional Greek sitting room

plenty of icons

including some below the ceiling with an incense burner 

Dionysis Tsokos, Eleni Lazarou Kounrourioti

a sitting room

an informal dining room

another sitting room, or kathistiko, lots of guns on the wall

Unfortunately, I did not record the artists of the paintings above

Next stop, the kitchen

and then, the steps

that lead down to the basement

a loom

a second large kitchen here, where I presume the initial preparation/cooking took place before taking the dishes upstairs for the final stages, before serving

the rest of the rooms in the basement are now being used as a picture gallery

Landscape by Constantinos Byzantios, 1967

The Fall, by Constantinos Byzantios, 1990

Angel, by Constantinos Byzantios, 1985

Light, Periklis Byzantios, 1969

A Student's Room in the Fine Arts School in Hydra, 1954

Douskos' Coffee Shop, Periklis Byzantios, 1954

A small terrace at the back of the basement

We left the basement, and returned to the main terrace before going up the stairs to the first floor

the view from the first floor terrace

The first floor is being used as an ethnographic museum with traditional costumes


the view from the window

another loom

a crib

and another one

a good example of traditional embroidery - was this used as a towel?

a sitting area

some paintings by Panayiotis Tetsis.

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