ARCHITECTURE & VILLAGES SETTLEMENTS
THE SETTLEMENTS ON SKOPELOS. Following the application of the unification programme “Ioannis Kapodistrias” on the island of Skopelos, three (3) Local Departments were created :
1. The Local Department of Skopelos, with the town of Skopelos as its capital and a population of 3.027.
2. The Local Department of Glossa, with the village of Glossa as its capital and a population of 1.195.
3. The Local Department of Klima, with the village of Neo Klima as its capital, and a population of 474. (2001 inventory)
The town of Skopelos –capital of the island, which is on the NE part of the island, is a beautiful small town, amphitheatrically built, with narrow stone-paved uphill alleys and asbestos-whitened houses with roof tiles climbing to the 3 hills and the Castle.
‘One of the main elements that contributed to the declaration of the town of Skopelos as a traditional settlement was its architecture. Skopelos is made up of an amalgamation of architectural rhythms.
Two basic elements, the slate on the roofs of houses and the multitude of churches and the neo-classical elements make the houses of Skopelos stand out.
Also, the town planning on Skopelos, with its adaptation to altitude differences, with its amphitheatrical placement that offers the maximum possible amounts of view, sun and wind, the few arched stoas and the utilization of natural elements has its own beauty and art.
The 37 kilometre road network of the island starts out form Chora, passes through the South part and reached Loutraki, the port of Glossa and second port of the island after Chora.
The road is quite good, literally “smothered” in pine trees, of course with several bends.
The route is unique, as you will go past most of the beaches of the island: from Stafylos, Agnontas, Limnonari, Panormos bay, from Milies and Kastani –one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, from Elios or Neo Klima, a relevantly new village, to Palio Klima and Glossa, and you will end your tour following the main road at Loutraki, the second port of the island, which is on the South side, opposite the island of Skiathos.
ARCHITECTURE ON SKOPELOS
The architecture of the houses on Skopelos presents a particular interest; it cannot be placed in one category; in reality, one can distinguish four basic architectural types: one influenced by the Venetians, one with elements from Pilio and Macedonia, one rural and one neo-classic type.
The Venetian domination influenced local architecture, as many of the churches on the island were built then. Later, popular residences were influenced by the Pilio and Macedonian type due to the contacts with Pilio, but also due to the immigrants from Macedonia.
In Chora of Skopelos one can find many Macedonian type houses with two or three storeys and wooden roofs covered with slates. The façade of the last storey is usually made from tsasma (clay, goat hair and small sticks), thus creating the well-known sachnisia (protrusions) with many windows.
In Chora, as in other settlements on the island, we come across some stone-built houses, which have one to three storeys and balconies with a wooden lavatory at the end.
The neo-classic type appeared after unification with the new Hellenic State.
Then, the rich houses owned by merchants or ship owners had neo-classic elements added to them, such as facades with marble doorframes, decorative elements etc.
On their insides, the houses in the town of Skopelos are richer than those in Glossa and Klima, which are mainly of rural type.
What can be distinguished are the porcelain items, the glassware and the wooden furniture, such as couches and cribs.
Many of these decorative items were brought by sailors from their travels and the housewives usually placed them in the stolios , an area at the top of the internal staircase- and they were a sample of the financial status of the family.
The notable book Skopelos, The landscapes and vernacular architecture of an Aegean island by architect Marc Held, dedicated to the technicians and villagers who created the island throughout the centuries, offers a view into the core of folklore architecture on the island.