Photographer's Note

Symi also transliterated Syme or Simi (Greek: Σύμη) is a Greek island and municipality. It is mountainous and includes the harbor town of Symi and its adjacent upper town Ano Symi, as well as several smaller localities, beaches, and areas of significance in history and mythology.

The shipbuilding and sponge industries were substantial on the island and, while at their peak near the end of the nineteenth century, the population reached 22,500. Symi's main industry is now tourism and the population has declined to 2,500.

Geographically, it is part of the Dodecanese island chain, located about 41 km north-northwest of Rhodes (and 425 km from Piraeus, the port of Athens), with 58.1 km˛ (22 sq mi) of mountainous terrain. Its nearest land neighbors are the Datça and Reşadiye peninsulas of Muğla Province in Turkey. Its interior is dotted with small valleys, and its coastline alternates between rocky cliffs and beaches, and isolated coves. Its main town, located on the northeast coast, is also named Symi and consists of the lower town around the harbour, typically referred to as Yialos, and the upper town is called Horio or Ano Symi. Other inhabited localities are Pedi, Nimborio, Marathounda and Panormitis. Panormitis is the island's famous monastery which is visited by people from all over the world, and many Greeks pay hommage to St Michael of Panormitis each year. The island has 2,606 inhabitants, mostly engaged in tourism, fishing, and trade. In the tourist season which lasts from Easter until Panormitis Day in early November, tourists and day-trippers increase the number of people on the island to as much as 6000. In addition to its many historical sites, the island's isolated beaches, many reachable only with small boats, are popular with tourists. The Municipality of Sými includes the uninhabited offshore islets of Gialesíno, Diavátes, Kouloúndros, Marmarás, Nímos, Sesklío, and Chondrós. Its total land area is 65.754 km˛.

The history of the island begins in the ancient times when some of its names were Kirki, Aigli and Metapontis. The island got its current name from the nymph Symi, who according to greek mythology married the God of the seas Poseidon and brought to life Hthonios who became the leader of the islands inhabitants.
Homer mentions Symi in the Heliade, for its participation in the Trojan war, headed by the Symiot King Nireas.
Later in history, Symi was conquered in 1309 by the knights of St. John. Then a period of prosperity began for the island with the development of shipping, sponge commerce, boat building and other crafts. In 1832 Symi was found under the Turkish dominion which was followed in 1912 by the Italian dominion.
Symi confronted poverty at that time: the replacement of sailing with motor ships occurred, sponge diving decreased and world war II begun resulting in a greate migration wave of Symiots abroad.
From 1943 when the Italian dominion ceased and onwards, Symi changed hands several times between the English and the Germans, with the English taking over the island for the third time in 1944. On May 8th 1945, the Germans signed the treaty of the Dodecanese surrender, while on April 1st 1947, the British military command handed over his rights to a Greek one.
At last, it was on Symi that on March 8th 1948 the Protocol of integration of all Dodecanese islands to the Greek state was signed. Source: symisland & wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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