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Cyclades Islands | Naxos

Naxos ...more on Naxos

... If you arrive by ferry, you will surely know that you have reached Naxos when you catch a glimpse of the Portara, the marble doorway to a never-completed temple of Apollo, begun in the 6th Century BC.  The signature of Naxos, it is the most well known of the many monuments of the island.  It is also one of the most visible, as it greets you at the entrance to the harbor from its own little island connected to the mainland by a causeway.

Other marvelous reminders of its past include an extremely well-preserved Venetian Kastro dating to the 13th Century, with its high walls and the two remaining towers from its original seven.  Inside you will find quite a number of 19th Century Venetian houses bearing coats-of-arms, the remains of the Sanudo Palace, a wonderful Archaeological Museum, and a 16th Century Catholic cathedral.  The museum contains some remarkable exhibits dating from the Late Mycenaean period, as early as 1400 BC, white marble figurines from early Cycladic civilization, and pottery and sculpture from Neolithic to Roman times.  The collection includes artifacts from other nearby islands, as well, including Koufonissia and Donoussa.    
There are many other interesting monuments, dating from several different eras, scattered throughout the town, including the submerged remains of a Mycenaean settlement at Grotta, just to the north of the harbor.  Many fine examples of Byzantine churches and chapels can be found in Naxos Town and in various locations throughout the island, including the Church of Panagia Pantanassa in Naxos Town, the Panagia Drossiani near Moni, and Ag. Ioannis Yiroulas and the cave chapel of Kaloritsa near Sangri.  Other fine examples from a variety of periods include, in the area of Chalki, the Panagia Protothroni from the 12th century, and Ag. Diasoritis from the 9th century; Ag. Mamas from the 8th century, near Sangri; and Panagia Filotissa, at the village of Filoti.