Sights of Paros
In Paroikia we find the famous church of Panagia Ekatontapyliani (4th century), a monumental sign of Christianity and one of the most important early Christian monuments of the Hellenic space. The marble iconostasis, the synthrono, the cross baptistery (unique in the world), the silver plated icons of Panagia and Christ (offer of the Mavrogeni family), the grave of Agia Theoktisti, the chapels, and the collection of ecclesiastical heirlooms of the church, make us feel the magnificence that the space emits.
The archaeological Museum is found in Paroikia and it has exhibits of the worldwide known Cycladic culture, but also important discoveries from the Neolithic settlement from the 5000 B.C. that was found in the small island Saliagkos between Antiparos and Paros. The “Gorgo” of the 6th century B.C. and the “Victory” of the 5th century B.C. are from the most important exhibits of the museum, while the famous “Parian Chrinicle” from the 3rd century B.C., is a chronological table of historical facts that covers a period 1318 (!) years.
A rich collection of ecclesiastical icons and heirlooms is hosted in the ground monk cells at the southern wing of Panagia Ekatontapyliani in Paroikia. It includes mainly post Byzantine icons, ecclesiastical wood sculptures, functional and hieratical vestments and works of religious painting. The monastery of Agios Athanassios has a collection of works of post Byzantine art, which is found in the entry of Naoussa. The unique department of mural from the Byzantine temple in Protoria, near Naoussa is also exposed in the same space. Also, in Marpissa there is a Byzantine Art gallery, with appreciable works of Byzantine art.
Cultural Centre-museum “Anthemio”
The cultural Centre-museum “Anthemio” has collections of books, engravings, currencies and folklore collections that concern mainly Paros and Antiparos.
Paros has appreciable historical and folklore museums and collections, which give the visitor a complete picture of the life in the island in previous centuries.
Historical-folklore Museum of Otto Kaparis is found in the central square of Naoussa and his collections include objects from antiquity until the modern years that have relation with the historical course of the region. The museum has an appreciable folklore collection, photographic archive, books, ceramics etc.
Folklore Museum of Aliki is found near the airport of Paros and includes a collection from miniature boats, work of teh popular artist Benetos Skiadas. Other appreciable folklore museums exist in Marpissa and in Lefkes.
Castle of Paroikia
The Venetian castle, built by the duke of Naxos Markos Sanoudos on the 13th century is found in Paroikia. In the castle there are small chapels, as the Panagia of the Cross (1514), Agios Markos, Agios Stylianos and the astonishing architecture temple of Agios Konstantinos, one of the most beautiful in the Aegean, from where the view towards the sunset is magnificent.
Naoussa, built in a safe gulf, in the northern coasts of Paros, is undeniably one of the most picturesque ports in the Aegean. Despite the big tourist growth, Naoussa maintains its traditional character, remaining a Cycladic fishing village. Naoussa has the biggest fishing fleet in the Cyclades.
A walk in the interior of Naoussa with the white houses, the churches and the labyrinth streets, reveals the beauty of this place that enchantingly combines the past with the present. There are splendid beaches around Naoussa (Piperi, Monastiri, Kolympithres, Agioi Anargyroi, Laggeri and Santa Maria)
Lefkes, which is 11 km away from Paroikia is a beautiful, green, mountainous village, built amphitheatrically in the centre of the island. The village maintains its Cycladic colour. Roughly 800 residents live permanently today in Lefkes. The visitors, park their cars in the entry of the village and than go around by foot.
The church of Agia Triada, the church of Agia Varvara, in the central street, built over the ruins of the medieval church of Anastasis, the Agia Theodosia, with icons and representations of 17th century, the Agia Ekaterini, in the Pano Horio, the Agia Paraskevi, that is considered the first church of first settlement that was created here on the 15th century etc. are some of the sights of the village. The monasteries of Agia Kyriaki, Agios Ioannis of Kaparou, Agios Ioannis Theologos and Agios Georgios in Lagkada are also found around Lefkes.
There is an appreciable folklore museum in Lefkes, inside the village. In the entry of the village there is the ceramics workshop of Ioannis and Virginia Kydoniea who, for 40 years, create marvellous works of pottery with drawings inspired from the popular tradition of the island. The local cultural association “Yria” organises a festival with musical, theatrical representations and traditional dances in the summer.
Paros is filed with archaeological sites of great importance. Among these are:
*The archaeological site of Asklipieio, in the south of the hill of Agia Anna.
*The Dilion, the famous temple of Apollo, Lito and Artemis at the north-east of Paroikia.
*The ancient cemetery that is dated from the 8th B.C. up to the 3rd A.D. century, near the harbour of Paroikia, on the coastal street, and includes graves from various periods. In the showroom that functions next to the cemetery, the visitor can admire very interesting findings.
In Paros there are many monasteries, among which are the following:
The monastery of Agioi Anargyroi located in a pinewood with amazing views. The men’s monastery of Loggovardas, found northeast of Paroikia, which was founded on the 17th century from the local monk Palaiologos. It has very appreciable icons, a rich library, lodgings and a craftsmanship workshop. The monastery of Metamorphosis Sotiros of Hristou in the Forest, located south of Paroikia, in the place “Psychopiana”. Here lived and died the Saint Arsenios, and his grave is found in the grounds of the monastery.
We also find the monastery of Agioi Theodoroi, the woman’s monastery in Thapsana, the monastery of Agios Georgios Lagkadas in Marpissa and the private monastery of Agios Andreas in Naoussa.
The monastery of Agios Antonios is built on the ruins of a Venetian Castle on the Kefalos hill.
The “butterflies” it is a region of particular natural beauty near the village Psychopiana. It is a region with a lot of green in which find shelter thousands of butterflies that in spring and in the summertime fly around, creating an exceptional spectacle.
Ancient marble quarries
Important part of the ancient history of Paros are also the ancient quarries of lychnitis in the place Marathi, by which were manufactured the pediments of the Parthenon, the Venus of Milos, the Hermes of Praxitelis, the temple of Apollo in Delos, and other masterpieces of antiquity. Paros was an important centre of export and treatment of marble and homeland of many famous sculptors of antiquity, as Agorakritos and Skopas.