Parikia and its immediatly vicinity
The island’s capital of Parikia, built over the city of Ancient Paros, spreads on the east side of a wide bay, protected by a hook of land which curves round to the north of it. In antiquity some of the hill-tops ranged around were crowned with sanctuaries and temples; to day whitewashed monasteries and churches have taken their place. The focus of the city, then as now, was a low hill by the shore just south of the port, from where habitation spread east into the shallow, fertile valley inland which possessed good water below the surface, accessible through wells. Ancient Paros was a particularly rich city—assessed by Athens to pay a tithe of 18 talents, proportionate to its wealth, into the treasury of the Delian League: this was bigger than any other Cycladic island and more than that paid by its prosperous neighbour and competitor in all things, Naxos , who at most paid only 15 talents. Modern Parikia also has an air of prosperity. Even though not as stunningly sited as some, it is still one of the loveliest towns in the Cyclades for the charm of its streets and the quality of its life. Two contiguous main streets traverse the length of the town: running north/ south, inland of the hill of kastro, is Market Street, often just referred to as ‘Agora’; the northern extension of this, Gravari Street, turns east from below the Kastro and goes as far as the church of the Panaghia Katapoliani­, which marks the edge of the old town. Since this church is the island’s most significant monument, we begin with it, followed by the important Archaeological Museum which lies just to its east.

Travel Guide to Paros & Greece

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