The creation of the website of «Sifnos - towers.gr" is an effort to introduce to the public, scientists, local residents and visitors of Sifnos the 85 sites of archaeological interest which are scattered all over the island and were created before Christ and today are “connected” again once a year for a few minutes during the "revival" of the world's oldest communication system!
The towers, the acropolis and the sanctuaries are presented with photographs and information recorded by archaeological research and field observation,. Every tower has its exact geographical position taken by GPS, references to the hiking trails and of course their name!
Our goal is to make these monuments well known, to illustrate their role and importance, to attract interest for further archaeological research, to enrich the tourist product through the connection of the towers with hiking trails and ultimately to contribute to the preservation and to highlight the special archaeological wealth of Sifnos.
Inspiration for the creation of "Sifnos - towers.gr" was the "Revival of the Communication System of the Ancient Towers in Sifnos", a great cultural event that started in 2003 and takes place every year, 50 days after the Orthodox Easter at Sunday of the Pentecost, motivating more than 250 volunteers / residents of the island who are scattered all over Sifnos even to the most difficult places, along with their children, their friends and a few "bold" visitors of that weekend, in order to “connect” all archaeological monuments at 7 o'clock in the afternoon thus reviving the ancient method of communication of fryktories.
This event has worked as a catalyst in reflecting the relationship of the inhabitants with the history and the monuments of Sifnos. Among other things it has been the main reason in order for the material of this website to be collected and organized.
The Municipal Social Enterprise of Sifnos is responsible for organizing the event of the revival of the communication system of the ancient towers and also for the administration of this website...
During the period of Sifnos's peak in antiquity (around the 6th century BC), the Sifnians began to build a tower system network throughout the whole island due to the wealth from their mines (gold, silver, iron) . Originally the towers were built near mines and later along the rest of the island, especially in cultivated areas and strategic locations (tops of hills and slopes). These fortifying and defensive structures served as shelters for the rural population during sudden pirate raids and also as observatories and outposts which ensured communication inside and outside the island.
They communicated with each other and with the ancient citadel of the island with the use of mirrors or smoke signals. All the towers of the island were round with an outside diameter of 4 to 13,2 meters; some of them, comprised a single space, while others two or three. In some of them wells, millstones and presses have been found, which is a sign that these spaces where autonomous spaces.
References to Sifnos towers were made by European travelers such as Pitton de Tournefort in 1718, by historians like Charles Gion in 1876, by archaeologists such as James Dragatsis who had conducted excavations (1915-1924) and named 38 towers and John Young who discovered 24 towers in 1938 and compiled a relative list and a small map which it was published in 1956.
An extensive study was conducted by the Australian professor Norman Aston who recorded, photographed, measured and described among others the remaining 17 towers that had not been reported until then and published with Evangelos Pantazoglou (who photographed by helicopter the towers in 1987) the book "Sifnos, Ancient Towers, BC" in 1991.
Later, the archaeologists Stavroula Samartzidou and Christina Televantou discovered one tower each and 19 more towers were discovered by Mrs Zozi Papadopoulou with the help of the guardian of antiquities Mr. Apostolis Karavis. An announcement was made at the 2nd International Symphonic Symposium, June 2002 raising the number of ancient towers in Sifnos to 77.
Today the archaeological service has recorded 77 ancient towers in Sifnos, more than one tower per square kilometer. Several of them are located in remote locations and are inaccessible, but there are also several that are more easily accessible.
Of those that still exist at a high altitude and more easily accessible, are the White Tower in Pantokrator (6th century BC), the Black Tower in Exampela (5th century BC) and the Tower at Cade on the street to Vathi (4th century BC).
We sincerely thank the Sifnos Rooms and Apartments Owners’ Association, 1st Moto Car, Smaragda rooms & studios Papadonis studios and Messrs. Giorgos Dokopoulos, Apostolos Karavi, Panagiotis Seimanides for their contribution.
TRAIL 1 | AGIOS ANDREAS – ARTEMONAS & TRAIL 1A | FYROGIA – AGIOS ANDREAS
TRAIL 2 | KASTRO – CHRYSSOPIGI CHURCH
TRAIL 3 | APOLLONIA – PLATYS GIALOS & TRAIL 3A | THOLOS – CHURCH OF CHRYSSOPIGI
TRAIL 4 | PLATYS GIALOS – FYKIADA – PLATYS GIALOS & TRAIL 4A | VATHY – PYRGOS MEGALOGIANNI
TRAIL 5 | APOLLONIA – VATHY & TRAIL 5A | VOUGNOU – AGIOS NIKOLAOS AERINA – FROUDIA BARONAS
TRAIL 6 | APOLLONIA – PANAGIA TOSO NERO – APOLLONIA, TRAIL 6A | KAMARES – KAPSALOS & TRAIL 6B | FYROGIA – PROFITIS ILIAS MONASTERY
TRAIL 7 | ARTEMONAS – AGIOS SYMEON & TRAIL 7A | APOLLONIA – KALAMBELAS
TRAIL 8 | ARTEMONAS – AGIOS SOSTIS
TRAIL 9 | KAMBANARIO – CHERRONISOS & TRAIL 9A | AMBOURDEKTIS – AGIOS FILIPPOS/AGIOS NIKOLAOS
TRAIL 10 |APOLLONIA – KAMARES & TRAIL 10A | PANAGIA PLATANISSA – KALAMBELAS
KMLGoogle Earth & Google Maps
Studying, Tracing & Signposting of the Sifnos Trails:
Paths of Greece
Design & Construction of the present interactive WebGIS Application:
More information about the
The present WebGIS application was implemented by the
Municipal Social Enterprise of Sifnos
Studying and Tracing of the towers of Sifnos: J.H. Young, Norman Ashton, Ant. N. Gryparis, Zozi Papadopoulou, Iakovos Dragatsis, St. Samartzidou & Christina Televantou.
Appolonia - SifnosCycladesZip Code 84003 Greece(+30) 228 403 1977
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.sifnos.gr