The Anargyros Mansion

In the search for a solution for the restoration of the building, which would preserve its public character, the President and the Executive Committee of the Foundation of the Anargyrios & Corgialeneum School of Spetses found ideal allies in the Region of Attica, Mr. Patoulis, who decisively accepted the assumption of the allocation of the relevant funds by the Region, the Vice-Regional Governor of the Islands responsible for Spetses Mr. Pepas, the Members of Piraeus, the Head of the Managing Authority of the Region Mr. Drosis, the Executive Committee2013-16, under Professor Mr. Lampropoulos, for the preparation of the project submission file to the Ministry of Culture and the processing of a large part of the required bureaucratic and technical procedures and approvals.

Then the signing of a programmatic agreement with the Region of Attica and the regulation of bureaucratic issues is foreseen, so that the work for the restoration of the Mansion, its transformation into a cultural pole – exhibition space, with a budget of 2.500.000 € (including VAT) and finally to open its doors to the public, in memory of the great Benefactor.

The mansion of Anargyros has its short history, about 100 years old, which was closely connected with the varied life of both its owner and the whole island. He was surrounded by the admiration, but also the envy of the inhabitants of the island. It opened its doors to welcome crowned and various personalities of the time. He listened to endless discussions about big projects. He saw with horror in the intermittent years of the occupation people deprived of grabbing what was in front of them, what had been gathered with effort and love. During the occupation and the first post-occupation years, it housed the municipal authorities and the municipal hospital. Since then, years of agony and slow death have passed, as the Foundation, due to financial difficulties, is unable to restore it.

After his return and permanent settlement in his hometown in 1899, one of the main concerns of Sot. Anargyros was the construction of a house worthy of the economic status. In 1902 the land was found. A certainly ideal place.

In the center of the city, between the old mansions of Bouboulina and Botasis, in a dominant position, with a spectacular view to the sea. Sot Anargyros entrusted the drawing up of the plans of the mansion to the architect Pan. Zizilas.His instructions were clear. He aspired to build a mansion that resembled an ancient Egyptian palace or temple. By the spring of 1903 everything was ready for construction. He recruited the best craftsmen of the island and within a year he erected the brightest building of Spetses at the beginning of the century.

The construction of the mansion, with an unprecedented mobilization of craftsmen and unprecedented use of modern building material, cost around 100,000 golden drachmas, a very important amount for 1903. However, in his desire to innovate and, why not, to impress, Anargyros avoided adapting the style of his house structurally and aesthetically to the strict lines of the island’s buildings. Thus the mansion, even today when the island has many buildings that alter its traditional character, is somewhat incongruous with the simple island architecture.

The two-storey mansion stands in the middle of an almost square plot of about an acre. The main building, the garden and the auxiliary rooms are protected by a high wall of particular elegance. Entering the garden of the mansion from the main entrance, one is confronted with a unique sight. At its feet is a paved walkway with a variety of scenes, flanked by palm trees. At the end of the corridor stands the wide marble staircase, which leads to the imposing door of the ground floor. At the height of the third step, to the right and left, stand two Egyptian sphinxes, one of the elements that show how much he was influenced by his stay in Egypt.

The ground floor is surrounded all around by a spacious veranda on the curbs of which high symmetrical columns “grow”. The terrace of the upper floor rests on the wide square heads of the columns. In this way, a prominent square gallery is formed around the ground floor, which gives life to the mansion. On the ceiling of the gallery there were wonderful frescoes that are now covered up. The entrance to the ground floor is magnificent, reminiscent of the gate of an ancient Greek temple.

The central door leads to a wide corridor that axially cuts the lower floor into two equal wings.

In the east wing we find the living room and then the hall, the dining room, of wonderful decoration, while in the west wing, the official office of Anargyros, the imposing staircase and the kitchen. Access to the upper floor is by an impressive internal staircase, of unique artistry.

To the west of the office was the bathroom of the apartment and next to it the maid’s room.

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