Portara in Naxos Town
Kouros statue in Melanes area (Flerio)
The Venetian Castle in Naxos Town

History & Sightseeing

Naxos Island has long history which includes the Venetian occupation, Byzantine period, Hellenistic period, Archaic period and goes back to Neolithic period. Naxos has history and culture.

Churches with byzantine frescoes, ruins of neolithic settlements, ancient temples, Frank castles, Venetian castles, palaces, archaeological museums, folklore museums marked with the stamp of past glories.

Mythology

When Theseus (son of King Aegeus) returned from Crete after slaying the Minotaur and brought with him Ariadne (the daughter of Minos, the King of Crete) who helped him escape from the Labyrinth and felt in love with him, he stopped off at the island of Naxos. There he had a dream in which God Dionysus ordered him to depart alone from the island and he abandoned Ariadne while she was sleeping. Then Dionysus abducted Ariadne and married her. Her wedding diadem was set in the heavens as the constellation Corona.

In the mean time Theseus sailed back to Athens, but he forgot to change the black sails with the white ones, as he was told by his father to indicate that he was alive. When his father Aegeas saw the ship entering Cape Sounion with the black sails, he thought his son was dead and he jumped off the cliff killing himself. From that time the sea took his name, Aegean Sea.

Naxos History

  • 3,000 BC - Cycladic Civilization
  • 1,600 BC - 1,200 BC - Naxos influenced by Mycenaean Civilization
  • 7th Century BC - Development of sea trade
  • 523 BC - Tyrant Lygdamis took over the leadership of the island
  • 490 BC - The island devastated by Persians
  • 338 BC - 326 AD - Roman occupation
  • 362 - 1207 AD - Byzantine Empire
  • 1207 - Venetian Marco Sanudo
  • 1564 - Turkish Occupation
  • 1830 - Naxos Island joins the Greek Nation