The ‘pyrgi’
There are at least four important fortified manors or ‘pyrgi’ still to be seen in these villages. These structures, though built with a robust four-square design and bearing crenellations and machicolations, were not primarily for defensive purposes but were emblematic of the power and status of the rich families who built them and who controlled their productive lands and serfs from these grand rural homes. The design of all of them is similar in principle: a ground floor given over to vaulted undercrofts for the storage of the produce of their lands, often furnished with cisterns as well; a piano nobile above—often accessible by a wooden drawbridge—with a salone running the width of the building with rooms off to the side; an upper area for sleeping rooms; and a flat crenellated roof for defence, if necessary, and for the collection of water which was stored in the cisterns below. The Barozzi-Grazia Tower in the centre of Chalki­ (northeast of the Portothronos) was built by Bernardo Barozzi in 1742, though the Eagle of Byzantium and the arms above the door are those of the Frangopoulos family who bought the house in the later part of the same century. The Markopolitis Tower in Akadi­mi, and the Kalavros Tower in Kerami­, built around 1770, both belonged to the Politis family who were prominent in the struggles of the Greek community, first against the Italians, then against the Turks. The oldest ‘pyrgos’ in this immediate area is the Barozzi Tower in Filoti (20km), built in 1650. The Barozzi, who married into the Crispi family, owned the majority of the land in this area.

Naxos Island is part of the Cyclades Island Group, Greece.

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