Hystory of Naxos

Naxos reside in the 4th millennium BC continuously until today. The study of place names attest that Naxos, unlike other islands was never deserted by residents, and that in all areas of the island, from ancient times until today living the same people who obviously regroup, having the power to assimilate foreigners, at times, peacefully or by force of arms set on the island.

The first inhabitants of Naxos considered the Thracians. Naxos was inhabited by the first son of Boreas dip. According to tradition, two hundred years Thracians dominated the island. Thracians they were succeeded by Kares who came from Asia led by Naxos. The Naxos imposed his name to the island.


The oldest discoveries in Naxos dating to the Neolithic period around the 5th millennium BC, as shown by the excavations at Grotta area which can be found on the north side of the city of Naxos, as well as Zas cave next to Filoti. According to these archaeological findings, the Cycladic civilization was already developed at that time in Naxos and seems to have begun in 5500 BC and flourished in 3000 BC.

Bronze Age

Naxos played an important role in the Cycladic civilization. Among the important changes that occurred at that time was the development of the waterways, the construction and use of copper, ceramic and marble processing. In Grotta in Naxos town, but also in other locations on the island, found many figurines which are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Naxos, in the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, as well as a small number of them in the archaeological museum in Apeiranthos. The Archaeological Museum of Naxos has the second largest collection of Cycladic findings after the archaeological museum of Athens.

Mycenaean times

A part of the capital of Naxos in the Mycenaean period (1300 BC) was discovered under the square in front of the Orthodox Cathedral of the island, where it is today is the archeological site Grotta. Just below the square formed an epitope museum. The museum has a glass floor elevated walkways. Guests pass over the disclosed ruins (walls, houses and workshops) of the Mycenaean period (1400-1100 BC). Mycenaean era finds (decorated with paint, pottery, weapons, utensils, etc.) also exposed in the Archaeological Museum of Naxos.

Geometric era

Around the 8th century BC Delos was a powerful worship due to the temple of Apollo. There gathered guests and offerings from almost all parts of the eastern Mediterranean, while hosting the delegations of the Ionian cities in their annual meeting which is take place on the island. From the middle of the 8th century BC until about the 5th century BC Naxos obtains control of the sanctuary, thus significantly increasing the political power of Naxos in the Aegean. At the same time in the war between Halkida and Eretria, Naxos participates actively supporting Halkida, while a little later, Naxos is at war with the island of Paros. In this warfare the Parian lyric poet Archilochos was killed fighting . That time naxos was colonized by the Ionians and begins a long period of growth for the island.

Classical Antiquity

During the next few years Naxos was inhabited by Ionians, which marked an important time for the island. During that period begins and reaches its peak in the classical period (7th-6th century BC), while flourishing of the arts and especially of sculpture and architecture. Portara, large marble, is what is left of the Temple of Apollo, begun in that period.
In 490 BC Naxos was destroyed by the Persians. After the final defeat of the Persians by the Greeks, Naxos was forced to join the Delian League, after it was destroyed and burnt down by the Athenian fleet (466 BC), while Pericles established a garrison of 500 colonists led by General Tolmidis (453 BC) to the financially bled for the benefit of the Athenian Republic. After the end of the Athenian Republic, after about a half century Naxos never managed to recover and regain its old glory and importance.

Since that time saved the sanctuary of Demeter near Sangri, which is partially restored. The temple is considered very important in archeology because it has survived in good condition and gives a lot of information on how to build and architecture of ancient temples.

The ancient city of Naxos was the site of today and near which was brilliant temple of Dionysus. Many are those who believe that the surviving ruins on the island palaces.

Byzantine times

Naxos belonged in Byzantine times in the Aegean Theme. In Naxos there are many Byzantine churches. The valley Tragaia called "small Mystras" because of the many churches that are scattered everywhere. There are churches dating from the 7th to the 15th century. Most famous are the Virgin Drosiani, which had 3 layers of wall with the oldest dates back to the 7th century. Some of these churches were built during the period of Iconoclasm.


In 1207 the island was occupied by the Venetian Marco Sanudo, who founded the Duchy of Naxos. The Venetians will dominate in Naxos for three and a half centuries in creating a feudal system, which will last until the early 19th century. During this period, Naxos will find in the sights of Venetian-Turkish competition for dominance in the Aegean and the advent and activity mainly French missionaries on the island with the tolerance of the Ottomans will reinforce the already strong presence in the western Cyclades during the Ottoman . Witnesses of the Latin presence in Naxos are the monuments left behind by the conquerors as Castle Country and scattered throughout the island towers.


Explore Naxos is a tourist guide that help you exploring Naxos island.


Naxos Port (+30) 22850 23292
Naxos Airport (+30) 22850 23292
Customs Naxos (+30) 22850 22238
KTEL Naxos (+30) 22850 22291
RadioTaxi Naxos (+30) 22850 22444
RadioTaxi Koronida Naxos (+30) 22850 81231
Hospital Naxos (+30) 22853 60500
Mail Naxos (+30) 22850 22211
Police Naxos (+30) 22850 23280
Tourist Police (+30) 22850 22100
Fire Naxos (+30) 22850 32199
Archaeological Museum of Naxos (+30) 22850 22725
Naxos Municipality (+30) 22853 60100

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