Combining layout and decoration
The settlement of Skyros is built amphitheatrically on the sides of the rock around the Byzantine castle. The need to protect the residents from invasions, mostly by pirates, led them to build their houses near the castle and on the west side of the rock, so that they could not be seen from the sea.
Therefore, the houses had to be small, due to lack of space, but also functional enough for one family to live in. This combination of layout and decoration, is the particularity of local architecture. Total surface of a house in Skyros is 35m2. Dimensions: length 7m, width 5m and height 4.5m. Usually, it has a single space, with the kitchen, the living room and the sleeping area. In order to save up space, the bedroom where the entire family slept, called "sfas", was elevated and the area underneath the bed, called "apokrevates", functioned as a storage area. In one corner, was the fire place, called "fgou", for heating the space as well as for cooking.
Internally, the roof is made of a large part of wood from one end to another, which is called "korfari" and supports parts of cedar or chestnut wood, which in turn support the "kalamoti", a row of canes tied together. The external side of the roof is called "liakos", from the word "ilios" (sun), as it is constantly exposed to the sun. Outside, in the yard, a low wall of 35cm height is a fence between the house and street, as well as a gathering area.
Due to lack of space, internally the walls of the house and the area on top of the fireplace, are decorated with all the usage and decorative objects, ceramics, glass and metal. The origin, rarity and quantity of these objects showed the financial abilities of their owners and were an expression of social status. The famous carved furniture such as stools, chests, tables and "krevatsoula" (a small low divan), held a special place inside the house.
Walking in the narrow streets of Chora, between the white houses with the dark colored terraces, you cannot resist the temptation to take a look inside, to see the interior decorations.
Outside the house, you can see bougainvilleas, geraniums and basils.