Naxos has never been deserted in the last 6000 years.
The whole island is spotted with archeological sites: monuments that were dug up by archeologists have now become important and well organized archeological sites.
The most representative monument in Naxos is undoubtedly the Portara, this huge marble “Greek Pi” (Π), the door to the ancient Apollo’s Temple on the islet of Palatia, north of the port in Chora.
The Portara, the Castro and the Church of Panagia Mirtidiotissa in the shallow waters of the port, are the true symbols of Hora and of the whole island.
ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF NAXOS The Archeological Museum of Naxos presents the second largest collection of Cycladic objects after Athens Museum.
MUSEUM IN SITO In the square opposite Paronaxia Cathedral (of Naxos and Paros) in Chora.
IRIA’S TEMPLE It is a holy place, right in the middle of the Aegean area, that has never stopped being active from the fourteenth century till nowadays. Excelent example of Ionic monumental architectural style.
KOUROS OF APOLLONAS It is an ancient statue of Apollo or Dionysus, of huge dimensions (about eleven meters), which has unfortunately left unfinished.
KOUROS OF FLERIO AT MELANES This statue is also unfinished and, dating back to the fifth-sixth century b.C., is slightly “younger” than the Apollonas statue, as well as slightly shorter.
KOUROS OF MELANES-POTAMIA (between Flerio and Potamia).
ANCIENT AQUEDUCT FROM MELANES TO CHORA With its more than ten kilometers length, it was build during Ligdami’s tyranny.
DEMETRA’S TEMPLE Situated close to the village of Sangri, Demetra’s Temple has been partially rebuilt and it is now considered of great interest as it is well preserved and it shows useful details concerning building techniques and the architecture of ancient temples. Next to the temple, a museum has been added, to contain all the remains that haven’t been used during the reconstruction, as well as those belonging to the Basilica that had been built, later on, on top of the temple. Both the museum and the archeological site have been assigned the Europa Nostra Prize for the sensitive way in which the excavation and the reconstruction have been conducted and the extremely low environmental impact of the museum building.
HIMARRO TOWER next to Filoti, dates back to the fourth century b.C. and is located in the south-eastern part of the island, on the foothills of Mount Zas or Zeus. Built in local marble, it is skillfully carved and it is quite impressive because of its height, about 15 meters, and his cylindrical shape. Its dimensions, its shape and its architectural features makes it an important example of secular building, that was also used as observatory.
TOWERS OR FORTIFIED MONASTERIES
Tower of Ipsilotera In the Galini area. This fortified monastery dates back to the end of the sixteenth-beginning of the seventeenth century.
Vaseo Tower, Monastery of Timio Stavro Next to Sangri. This tower - monastery is situated not far from the road that links Hora to the Tragea, exactly where, at the crossing, you turn right to Aghiasso; it has been skillfully renovated and in summer, selected cultural events are held here.
Monastery of Faneromeni, that is celebrated on August, 15th.
Fortified Monastery of Fotodoti Next to Danakos. It is the oldest and probably the most significant in Naxos, in its category, thanks to its icons and inscriptions. It was donated by Marco Sanudo to the Benedectine Monks in 1227. Much later, it belonged to the monks of St.John Theologos of Patmos.
Marcopoliti - Papadaki Tower
Della Rocca - Barozzi Tower, in the Castro
Barozzi - Frangopulo - Grazia Tower
Marcopoli - Kalavru Tower, at Kerami, in the Tragea plain.
Belonia Tower At Galanado. It is one of the most ancient on the island, being built at the end of the fifteenth century; it once belonged to the Belogna family. It absolutely dominates the area, giving the opportunity to check the sea north, west and south of Hora and the coast facing Paros. In the inside yard, St.John Church is to be found, with its two naves, one for the orthodox rite and the other for the catholic rite.
Oskelo Tower, at Kastraki - Polihni, dating back to the seventeenth century.
Barozzi - Paleologo Tower, at Sangri.
Tower of Agia’ Close to Komiaki, set in a particularly flourishing environment, with abundant running water, lush wild vegetation, vineyards, vegetables and fruit trees. Once the Medieval Fortress of Agia’, it is strategically located at the north-eastern edge of the island. It was seriously damaged by fire in 1992, when its roof and the upper floors were destroyed.
Crispi Tower, in Hora, also called “The Aperathitika Tower”.
Frangopulo - Della Rocca Tower At Kouronohori, close to Melanes, it is one of the most ancient towers of the island, as it is mentioned in a document of the fourteenth century.
Kalamitsa, close to Melanes.
Castle, royal estate and retreat of the Jesuits, it was built at the end of the seventeenth century.
Della Rocca Tower At Sangri, it once belonged to the Barozzi family and to the Frangopulo family.
Praduna Tower at Engares - Agioperiti Tower
Masena Tower, Ano Potamia, is located in the area of “Tzarnidia”
Zevgoli Tower, also named Castri-Sommaripa Tower, at Apirathos
Bardani Tower or Sforza-Castri Tower, at Apirathos
Grimaldi Tower, at Skeponi
Kokko Tower, at Potamia
Remains of the ancient Plaka Tower
Barozzi Tower, at Filoti.
Last but not least, there is quite a number of churches in Naxos! That’s why the Tragea plain, with its thousands chapels and churches, has gained the nickname “little Mistra”. Most of them date back to a period ranging from the seventh to the fifteenth century. Chief among them is the Panagia Drosiani, with its three layers of frescoes.