Monuments on Naxos Island

Monuments on Naxos Island

The island of Naxos is an island steeped in history, and if you take time out to explore some of its most historical landmarks and monuments from the past, you will find you holiday experienced enriched.

The passing of the Venetians through Naxos left its mark on the cultural, religious and social life of the island. Part of the cultural heritage is revealed today through its fabulous architecture that the Venetians applied to castles and towers found scattered throughout the island.

Portara, Apollo Temple
The Portara is an enormous marble frame and is visible for miles, being particularly prominent around the coastline thanks in no small part to its elevated situation. The Portara was built with four blocks of marble, each of a length of over 6 metres and weighing 20 tones. It is the entrance to an unfinished temple that faces directly toward Delos, Apollo’s birthplace. The temple was begun about 530 BC by the tyrant Lygdamis, who said he would make Naxos’s buildings the highest and most glorious in Greece. Only the walls were mostly completed when he was overthrown in 506 BC and the temple was never finished. Evidence from pottery indicates the temple’s cult was abandoned by the 5th century BC.

Venetian Castle
The Venetian Castle (old walled town section), on its elevated ground overlooking the harbor, provides some of the quietest and most photogenic alleyways to be found in the town. It survives from the days when Naxos was an outpost of the Venetian empire.

Dimitra’s Temple
Is one of the most important historical landmarks remaining in Naxos island and it is located 1.5 km to the south of Sangri Village. The Temple of Dimitra was built in the 6th century BC.

The Venetian Castle, Naxos Town
A medieval town in the heart of the Aegean still in its original form, inhabited continuously since 1207. The castle at the capital of Naxos, was constructed by Venetians in the early 13th century and was the center of their duchy in Aegean Sea. The towers and the mansions built in the castle provided a safe and comfortable settlement to the families of the Venetians officials for three and a half centuries. In the middle of the 16th century Turks conquered the island but they did not settle in for a long time and the Venetians continued living in the castle. Natives, who are gradually decreased and foreigners have been living in the castle since the end of Turkish Captivation. The interventions that have been made in the castle from the end of the Venetian captivation of its initial structure particularly difficult. Nowadays, several cultural and tourist activities that take place in the castle contributed to the amelioration of its character. However it remains an essential medieval monument preserving as the fortress architecture is concerned, as well as its urban planning.

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