Hydra’s Historic Mansions (Archontika)
The mansions and manors of Hydra have a history and architecture unique to the island. As most of these structures are still owned by private families, many are not open to the public. Some, however, now house public services are open to visitors.
Tsamados Manor (School of the National Merchant Marine): Located on Hydra Port’s east side, by the museum, up from where hydrofoil passengers debark, this manor was built between 1780 and 1810 by Admiral Anastasios Tsamados, a hero of the Greek War of Independence who died in 1821. The mansion now houses Hydra’s Merchant Marine School or Naval Academy, the oldest school of its kind in Greece, which began operation in 1749 and moved to the Tsamados Mansion in 1930.
Kriezis Manor (senior citizens’ home)
Gorogiannis Manor: Built in 1780 this mansion, located at the top of Kala Pigadia, is one of the oldest mansions on Hydra. Currently owned privately, it is not open to the public. It can be viewed from the outside, however, and the walk up Miaoulis Street from the center of the harbor is picturesque and leads through one of Hydra’s residential areas.
Tombazis Manor (School of Fine Art): This four-story building is on the west side of Hydra Harbor, heading toward the canons, near the statue of Kountouriotis. Its original owner, Iakovos Tombazis, was the first admiral of the fleet of Hydra. Decorated inside with paintings depicting the historical events and ships of 1821, the manor now houses the School of Fine Arts of Athens and serves as a hostel for its students. Visitors can occasionally look inside.
Voulgaris Mansion: Built by Georgios Voulgarism Hydra’s governor from 1802 to 1812, on the western side of Hydra Harbor, this mansion is known for its beautiful and interesting decor. Georgios Voulgaris was in charge of building the wells at Kala Pigadia. The mansion is unfortunately not open to the public.
Giorgios and Pavlos Kountouriotis Manor (Museum of Modern History of Hydra): Built between 1802 and 1816, this mansion was originally the home of George Kountouriotis, a wealthy shipowner who fought in the War of Independence. Grandson Pavlos Kountouriotis later became first president of the Greek Republic. The manor complex consists of three buildings and a garden and is operated by the Greek Ministry of Culture as the Kountouriotis Family Museum and the Post-Byzantine Art and History Museum of Hydra.
Boundouris Manor (not open to the public)