Naxos Island, Greece.
843 00 02
Naxos : area 389 sq.km
resident population 17,357
max. altitude 999m.
Port Authority: T. 22850 22300 & 23939.
Tourist information: Zas Travel (T. 22850 23330, fax 23419)
Naxos Travel Guide
Aghiasós—Aghios Sozon (30km)
FOUR ITINERARIES: see map (Chora = 0.0km for distances in text.)
Although different in landscape, this is a route also characterised by a concentration of very fine painted churches and several 17th century towers. The first of these, the Bellonia Tower, is on the edge of Galanado (5km southeast of Chora). The 17th century mansion, of impressive dimensions, is now ruined though a number of its marble refinements are still in place. It is thought that it may have been the residence of the Catholic Archbishop of Naxos in the 17th and 18th centuries. Adjacent to it is the double church of Aghios Giorgios and Aghios Ioannis. The two barrel-vaulted elements, joined like Siamese twins by two vaulted passages, bear separate dedications. This is an unusual configuration, but one not uncommon in rural Naxos : the parallel sanctuaries may have offered the possibility of accommodating both Orthodox and Roman Catholic congregations under the same roof, suggesting that a satisfactory modus vivendi had by this point been established between the two communities in the countryside of Naxos . From Galanado can be visited the churches in the valley of the Paratrechos river to the north: in particular, Aghios Giorgios Paratrechou (H) (south of the Galanado to Glinado road), with 13th century paintings and remains of an earlier church on the site; and Aghios Nikolaos Paratrechou (I), (0.5km to the north, by the footpath from the sharp bend before Galanado)—an 11th century church of compact and beautifully proportioned architectural form, with antique capitals and marble elements in the interior.
Naxos Island is part of the Cyclades Island Group, Greece.