Syros – 2

The Plateia Miaouli is the centre of the town, a large open square, surrounded on three sides by palm trees, cafes, and benches for people watching. This is the place where the local population goes to be seen. The square is dominated on the land side by the glorious, neoclassical town hall, designed by Ernst Ziller. The square and accompanying statue are named after the Hydriot naval hero Andreas Vokos, whose nickname was Miaoulis. He commanded Greek naval forces during the Greek War of Independence between 1821 and 1829.

Miaoulis retired in order to leave the former Royal Navy officer, Thomas Cochrane, free to act as commander of the Greek forces, an indication that the struggle had passed to the Great Powers of the day. Miaoulis died on 24 June 1835 in Athens and was buried at Piraeus near the tomb of Themistocles, the founder of the ancient Athenian Navy. Miaoulis’s son, Athanasios, served as Prime Minister of Greece between 1857 and 1862. A large festival, called Miaoulia, takes place in Hydra every year on the weekend closest to 21 June, to honour Admiral Miaoulis, which shows how important he was to the Greek Revolution of 1821.

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