Explore the History and Culture of Paros

A Guide to the Island's Ancient Sites and Museum

Written by Fakos Vasilis Antonios 18 Jan. 2023 in Paros Guides

Paros, a beautiful Greek island in the Aegean Sea, is not only known for its stunning beaches, but also for its rich history and culture. From ancient ruins to well-preserved churches and museums, Paros offers a plethora of opportunities to explore its past and understand its heritage.

Whether you're a history buff or simply looking to expand your cultural horizons, this guide will provide an overview of the most important historical and cultural sites on the island. So come along with us as we delve into the history and culture of Paros!

The Monastery of Ekatontapiliani

NAOUSA 11 KLM | PAROIKIA 0.3 KLM | no entrance fee

The Monastery of Ekatontapiliani, also known as the Church of a Hundred Doors, is one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Greece and a must-visit site for history and culture enthusiasts visiting Paros. It was built in the 4th century AD and is said to have been founded by the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. The monastery features a beautiful basilica, which has undergone many additions and renovations over the centuries, and is known for its elaborate doorways and impressive architectural details. Visitors can explore the many chapels, courtyards, and tunnels within the complex, and learn about the rich history of this iconic monument. The Monastery of Ekatontapiliani is located in the heart of Paroikia, just a short walk from the town center and the port, making it easily accessible to all visitors to Paros.

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Archaeological Museum

NAOUSA 11 KLM | PAROIKIA 0.3 KLM | 2€ fee for museum

The Archaeological Museum of Paros, located in the heart of Parikia, is a must-visit destination for history and culture enthusiasts. Fronted by four intricately carved stone sarcophagi, this museum houses some important artifacts from the island's rich history, including a 5th-century BC Nike statue, poised on the point of alighting. Visitors can admire the museum's extensive collection of ancient Greek pottery, sculptures, and inscriptions, all of which offer insights into the island's rich cultural heritage. From the intricately carved friezes to the elegant statuary, the museum offers a wealth of information about the ancient civilizations that once thrived on Paros. Whether you're interested in ancient art, architecture, or history, this museum is a must-visit destination that will leave you feeling inspired and informed.

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The Ancient Theatre of Paros

NAOUSA 7 KLM | PAROIKIA 13 KLM | no entrance fee

The ancient theatre of Paros is located in the Paros Park near Monastiri Beach. Built in the 4th century BC, it was once used for musical and theatrical performances. Visitors can admire the impressive semi-circular structure and imagine what it would have been like to attend a performance here in ancient times. The nearby Paros Park offers plenty of opportunities for exploration, including hiking trails, picnic areas, and stunning views of the Aegean Sea.

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The Ancient Quarries of Paros

NAOUSA 11 KLM | PAROIKIA 6 KLM | no entrance fee

The ancient quarries of Paros are a must-see for history and archaeology enthusiasts. Located in the hills of Marathi, these quarries were once the source of the famous Parian marble, used in ancient times for the construction of important buildings and monuments such as the Parthenon and the Erechtheion. Visitors can explore the extensive underground tunnels, created by the ancient miners, and see the remains of the workshops where the marble was processed. The site is easily accessible from the main road and offers breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea.

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The Venetian Castle of Paroikia

NAOUSA 11 KLM | PAROIKIA 0.2 KLM | no entrance fee

The Frankish Castle in Paroikia, Paros, is a medieval fortress that dates back to the 13th century. The castle was built by the Franks during their occupation of the island and served as a defensive structure to protect the town from pirate attacks. The castle is located on a hill overlooking Paroikia, offering stunning views of the town and the Aegean Sea. The castle is accessible by foot, and visitors can wander through the remains of its walls and towers, imagining what life was like for the people who lived there centuries ago. Nearby, visitors can also explore the narrow, winding streets of Paroikia, lined with traditional tavernas, cafes, and shops. The Frankish Castle is a fascinating piece of Paros's history, and a must-visit for anyone interested in medieval architecture.

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The Venetian Castle of Naousa

NAOUSA 0.3 KLM | PAROIKIA 10 KLM | no entrance fee

The Kastro of Naoussa, located in the beautiful and historic town of Naoussa, is one of the most iconic sites in Paros. This Venetian castle, built in the 13th century, was used to protect the island from pirate invasions and served as the island's primary fortress for centuries. Visitors can explore the castle's well-preserved walls, gates, and towers, and take in panoramic views of the Aegean Sea from its ramparts. The Kastro of Naoussa is also home to several interesting churches, including the Church of the Virgin Mary, which features well-preserved frescoes and a striking bell tower. A visit to the Kastro of Naoussa provides a unique opportunity to experience the island's rich history and admire its stunning architecture. Visitors should also consider exploring the rest of the charming town of Naoussa, which is known for its narrow, cobblestone streets, traditional tavernas, and vibrant nightlife.

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St. Antonios Monastery

NAOUSA 12 KLM | PAROIKIA 18 KLM | no entrance fee

The Chapel of Aghios Antonios is a small, charming church located on hill of Piso Livadi. The chapel is believed to have been built in the 17th century and is dedicated to Saint Anthony. The church is a beautiful example of the traditional Greek architectural style and is characterized by its white walls, blue dome, well-preserved frescoes, and a breathtaking panoramic view of the island the the Aegean. Visitors to the chapel can admire the intricate carvings and sculptures that adorn the walls and doors, as well as the intricate chandeliers that hang from the ceiling. The Chapel of Aghios Antonios is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history and culture of Paros, and it is located in close proximity to other ancient monuments and museums on the island, making it easy to explore and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the area.

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The Ancient Cemetery of Paros

NAOUSA 10 KLM | PAROIKIA 0.7 KLM | no entrance fee

The Ancient Cemetery of Paros is another must-visit site for history and culture buffs on the island. This site, located by Parikia, is a collection of well-preserved ancient graves and tombstones dating back to the Archaic, Hellenistic and Roman periods. The cemetery showcases the island's rich history and provides a fascinating glimpse into the funerary customs of ancient Paros. Visitors can see beautifully crafted sarcophagi, decorated with intricate sculptures and carvings, that have been well-preserved over time. Nearby, there are plenty of local tavernas and cafes to enjoy a meal or refreshment after exploring this unique ancient site.

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The Traditional Windmills of Paros

NAOUSA - KLM | PAROIKIA - KLM | no entrance fee

The Traditional Windmills of Paros is a unique piece of architectural history on the island. The windmills, which are still standing today, dates back to the Venetian occupation of the island, and is a prime example of the innovative techniques that were used to harness the powerful winds of the Aegean Sea. This windmills, along with many others around the island, can be found in regions such as Naoussa, Marpissa, Lefkes, and Alyki, making them a distinct and important part of the local architecture. Driving around the island will reveal many of these ancient windmills, and offer a chance to experience the beauty of this traditional structure. These windmills are a must-see for anyone interested in the history and culture of Paros.

In conclusion, the beautiful island of Paros is a true gem for history and culture enthusiasts. From ancient quarries and theatres, to the Venetian castle of Parikia and the archeological museum, the island offers a wealth of ancient monuments and artefacts to explore. Visitors can wander through the ancient cemetery, admire the intricately carved stone sarcophagi and take in the beauty of the traditional windmills, which are an integral part of the local architecture. These sites offer a unique opportunity to delve into the rich history of this fascinating island, and discover its hidden treasures. We highly encourage visitors to take the time to explore more of what Paros has to offer, and immerse themselves in its rich cultural heritage.

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