Artisanship of Bells at Emporio

The Artisanship of Bells at Emporio Symi is the only one that exists in the Dodecanese. It is a unique example of craft of this kind in the region of the southeastern Aegean and therefore appreciated and advertised a lot by the local community. The equipment, the blast furnace and the oven have been declared a historical monument.

The artisanship was built in 1865 by Anastasios Anastasiades. At start it was used for the exploitation of iron and the construction of wells and anchors. In 1880 the owner commissioned a craftsman from Syros to build him an oven and teach him how bells are constructed. The method of making the bell, the molds, and their preparation mixture (copper and tin) came from Russia.

The complex consists of the main building, a cistern and a courtyard. It is a unique example of the industrial era of the island. It is comprised of a ground floor made of local stone and a high ceiling with wooden tiled roof.

Inside the building there is an oven, built of stones and bricks, which can construct a bell up to eight hundred kilos. There is also one stone construction for drying molds, two ovens for melting the material and other equipment, most of it coming from Russia.

The cistern is a simple, cube-shaped, flat-roofed building. The ground around the cistern is adapted to collect rainwater. The yard is surrounded by large trees and is accessible by a large pillar. In the yard, next to the entrance and near the main building there is a furnace, in which there is a hole for monitoring the melting of iron.