Lemnian Venetian Houses
Traditional Venetian Mansions
|The bay in Myrian, with Venetian houses of various styles and ages|
Around Myrina, on the hills, at the port, along the seafront a mixture of offical and private Venetian style houses.
|The Archbishop's House|
The boundaries of house styles correlate with those of past conquerors, and with trade. This does not necessarily correspond to today’s national borders. When you look at a map of Lemnos you can see that its architecture would have been influenced in the past by that of Constantinople, by ideas brought back by traders in the
Black Sea, and by trader with Asian ports down what is
now the Turkish coast.
There have also been long periods of Venetian rule in the Greek mainland and the islands, including
Lemnos. That period varies from
place to place, but overall it lasted from the 13C to the 17C. In the Aegean this rule extended was until the end of the 18C
and the influence of this style continued under the French and British.
Lemnian mansions appeared in the 18C as a result of a liberalizing of trade within the
Ottoman Empire. In the case of our house this resulted in
Takis great grandfather going to
to set up a business, a business in which his grandfather was later employed. Here
the traders encountered more Western building and decorating styles. Alexandria
But this period also covered difficult times in
, with external and internal
wars, earthquakes, and famine. This boom and bust in the economical fortunes of
many families meant that when things were good the traders would pour money
back into their home island estates and villages and at other times these
houses might be left desolate. In good times teams of workers would be called
in to construct the superb mansions that still can be seen in parts of Myrina
and other places in Greece . Greece
In our house one can see that an old house has been altered to obtain a more neo-classic style with a central door and windows placed symmetrically. But there is also an Ottoman influence on the ground floor, with the large open entrance with windows looking down on it from above. There is also a noticeable Alexandrian influence with a more Western decorating style – the light blue colour of early paintwork, and the use of framed pictures rather that the more eastern painted walls.
2. Traditional Local Homes
|Neighbours outside their mother's old house|
Single story with tile roofs, or two story with a basement.
3. New Homes
|A new home, housing various generations|
Grand reproductions, often housing various generations of the same family on each floor - or a floor may be let to other local inhabitants.
|Holiday units, without top floors - yet!|
Often homes are built without being finished; probably hoping to develop as self-catering summer lets.
|A Beautiful Hotel, now empty for at least 8 years!|
Very large hotels are often empty. These struggle to make a living as Myrina only fills with tourists for two months of the year.
4. Myrina as
In most suburbs you’ll see Venetian mansions, smaller homes, new reproductions and ruins, side by side.
|A typical Athenian scene, showing the mix of old houses and new architecture|
|The mixture of private and comercial houses on Romeikos Gia Los|
5. Maintenance of Seaside Homes!
|A large old mansion, now renovated by the local council|