The village of the marble artists
Lying away from the seashore and where a Venetian castle used to stand (the word “pyrgos” in Greek means “castle”) Pýrgos is one of the largest villages of the island and, definitely, the centre of the marble art of Tinos.
Birthplace of marvelous chisel masters, such as Halepás, Sóhos, and Filippótis, as well as painters, such as Lýtras and Gýzis, this village is an utter outdoor marble sculpture museum. All around it, the impressive natural scenery is compounded of stony hills and narrow stripes of fertile land. In it, whitewashed houses and plain mansions form an architectural entity of unique Cycladic beauty, decorated by marble lintels, coats of arms and signs. The central square rests in the shade of the age-old plane tree and enjoys the freshness of the waters of the source built in 1784. And there is marble everywhere: on the arches, on the columns, on the signs of the sources, on the icon screens in the churches.
Visit the cemetery which could be everything but envious of a sculpture gallery. There you will admire fantastic tomb plaques and busts, the houses of Giannoulis Halepás and Nikiforos Lýtras, now turned into museums, the museum of artists from Pánormos, and the museum of marble art. In the latter, media material and representations of marble quarries and workshops will initiate you to the traditional techniques of turning marble slabs into masterpieces of art. But if you don’t feel like visiting a museum, you can still be acquainted with craftsmen sculpturing marble in the act, by dropping by a workshop in the streets of the village.
In 1955 the Professional Fine Arts School was founded here. Since then it has been a nursery of talented marble sculptors.