A Walk Around Old Datca, Turkey

The little chapel on the island at Agia Marina at the entrance to Pedi Bay, Symi - beautifully maintained by her wardens and a popular venue for wedding blessings.

A tiny neglected and defaced Greek chapel near the shore in a small bay near Datca, Turkey.  It is now used a a cattle byre.  A very different story to the brightly whitewashed chapel on Agia Marina, Symi.

A restoredl 19th century neo-classical house in Old Datca, (Eski Datca), Turkey.  While the architecture echoes that of Symi and the original residents were undoubtedly Greek a huge difference between Symi and Datca is the bountiful supplies of water on the Datca peninsular.  Even this late in the season streams and rivers criss cross the landscape and this mansion has a splendid garden with ponds and fountains.

Another view of the same garden, looking towards an adjoining property.

As we strolled around Old Datca and spotted this ginger tom, mewing at a kitchen window.  

More Old Datca houses that have been restored but without the painstaking attention to detail that is characteristic of Symi.

The mosque in Eski Datca.

Where Symi is famous for its delicate ochre and terracotta palette and decorative plaster work,  Eski Datca is predominantly unplastered, showing off the local stone.

This was the only door we saw that had the details typical of the 19th century carpentry of Symi and there is very little of it left.  Most of the elaborate trim has long since disappeared.

Everywhere is very green and lush due to the abundant water supply.  While the houses of Symi have little outside space and are often joined to their neighbours on the cliffsides, the Greek community that lived here would have been very comfortable, with big gardens and plenty of privacy.

One of the few plastered houses we saw and the only one we spotted with a decorate metal grille in the bull's eye on the pediment.

Regular visitors to Symi from many years ago, particularly those who used to read our newspaper, the Symi Visitor, may remember the name Nihat Akkaraca.  He was a local historian in Datca and played a large role, not just in restoring Eski Datca, but also in fostering links between the communities of Symi and Datca.  He sadly passed away a few years ago but this small square in Eski Datca is named after him.
I went to Datca, Symi's Turkish neighbour, for the weekend, and I thought you might be interested to see the architecture of the old village, a little way inland from the modern seaside resort town of Datca.  It is amazing what a difference a plentiful water supply makes! I imagine that in the old days of the Ottoman empire when there was no international boundary between the two, Greek families sent barrels of water by caique across from verdant Datca to their parched cousins on Symi.

I am switching to winter hours this week so I will only be in the Symi Visitor Accommodation office three mornings a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Have a good week.


SteveDaniels  – (Friday, October 10, 2014)  

Really enjoying your blogs Adriana

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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.

Adriana Shum

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