Paros - Parikia and its immediatly vicinity - the Mavrogenis family of paros

The Mavrogenis family of Paros

The Mavrogenis were a Phanariote family—that is, they were ‘old’ Greeks from Constantinople who had lived in the area of Phanari (today’s Fener) on the Golden Horn. When the city was captured by the Turks in 1453, a part of the family stayed; others left for the Peloponnese, from where they later moved to Paros in 1715. They were educated and wealthy people; Petros Mavrogenis served as combined British and Austrian consul in the Cyclades, and he sent his son Nicholas (b. 1738) to study in Constantino le with relatives who were ‘dragomans’—respected translator-envoys for Ottoman affairs in the pay of the Sultan. Nicholas followed a similar career and, as a brilliant linguist and a favourite of the Grand Vizier, Yusuf Pasha, he rose fast in the hierarchy and was eventually honoured with the title of ‘Prince of Wallachia’ (Romania). He staged an ostentatious en try into Bucharest followed by a coronation in May of 1786, and appears to have run a wayward and extravagant court in the city: his horse was given the honour of having the bedroom next to his own in the palace. But Mavrogenis was not without many redeeming features: from the start he insisted that the peasantry should be able to make their appeals to him directly and in person, and he constructed a gazebo specially for such audiences. His legislation helped both the Jewish and Orthodox communities, and he did much to help and protect his native Cycladic islands. On Paros, the aqueduct and marble fountains of Parikia and the lavishly cased icons are the most visible testimony; but he also restored churches, built schools and upgraded the port facilities.
   At first successful in his military campaigns, Mavrogenis ultimately failed the Ottoman cause when the Habsburg army invaded Wallachia in July 1789. A second defeat in 1790, cost him his life: he was killed on the Sultan’s orders and his head was sent to Istanbul to be impaled at Top KapΔ±. His remains were later buried in Bursa. Thomas Hope, who knew Ma vrogenis personally, included aspects of him in his remarkable novel, Anastasius, which took London by storm when it appeared in 1819. It is an irony that the grand-daughter of this prince of the Ottoman Empire should have been Mando Mavrogenous, the heroine of the Greek Revolution against Turkish rule. Mando died on Paros in 1840 and is buried in the courtyard of the Katapoliani­.

Travel Guide to Paros & Greece


Paros Island, the Cyclades.
By air: Olympic Air operates two 35-minute flights between Athens and Paros daily. The airport is 10.5km from Parikiá.
By boat: There are generally two daily car-ferry connections (4hrs 30mins) to Paros from Piraeus (most regularly with Blue Star Ferries) in the summer, with frequency drop ping in the winter. This is augmented in the summer months (late June– late Sept), by up to four high-speed services daily (minimum 3hrs journey), divided equally between the ports of Piraeus and Rafina for Athens. These services provide an average of three onward connections daily to Naxos , Ios and Santorini.
Paros Travel Guide


Paros Island, the Cyclades.
Paros, -Levantis, on Agora Street in Parikiá, is one of the best places to eat in the Cyclades, for food that is refined and yet still Greek: the setting is simple and unpretentious, the cuisine sophisticated and delicious, and the service attentive and pleasant. More expensive and with a refined menu which offers nonetheless some excellent dishes, is Daphne in Gravari Street. Amongst the myriad eateries around the three harbours of Náousa, the easternmost taverna on the north shore, Glafkos, has excellent seafood and welcoming service. Le Sud is also good for more var ied and sophisticated cuisine. In Léfkes, "I Pezoula tis Lichoudias", is tiny, and undoubtedly a little artificial, but some of the home-made Greek dishes are nonetheless traditional and of local inspiration.
Paros Travel Guide

further reading

Paros Island, the Cyclades.
Thomas Hope’s Anastasius, or Memoirs of a Greek, first published in 1819, is partly based on Nicholas Mavrogenis (see p. 34–35) of Paros and his world and times. The book caused a sensation when it was first published in London; Byron privately admitted that he wished he had been its author. A paperback edition was reissued in 2001, by Elibron Classics. Paros: History, Monuments etc. by Yannos Kourayos (Athens 2004) is an exemplary guide to the island’s antiquities—clear, authoritative and to the point. For the remarkable figure of the Marquis de Nointel and his Christmas mass in the Cave of Antiparos, see: Henri Omont, Relation de la visite du Marquis de Nointel à la grotte d’Antiparos (1673), Bulletin de géographie historique et descriptive, 1892 (4), pp. 4–33, and Albert Vandal, L’Odyssée d’un ambassadeur. Les voyages du Marquis deNointel (1670–1680), Paris, 1900. Theodore Bent, The Cyclades, or Life among the Insular Greeks (1885), reis sued 2002 by Archaeopress, Oxford in the ‘3rd Guides’ series, contains his descriptions of making the earliest excavations of prehistoric Cycladic remains on Antiparos.

Paros Travel Guide


Paros Island, the Cyclades.
Paros has no shortage of smart places to say: but for simplicity and unpretentious comfort, the following can be recommended. The intimate, family-run Hotel Dina in the heart of Parikiá, could not be more central, and is inexpensive, comfortable and quiet (T. 22840 21325, fax 23525, On the edge of Náousa, Yades Studios provide tasteful accommodation with help ful management (T./fax 22840 51072, www.yades. gr). Beautifully appointed, and with full facilities, is the excellent Hotel Petres (T. 22840 52467, fax 52759,; open Easter– mid-Oct). The hotel is set back in the hinterland to the south of Náousa, but with beautiful views north over Plastiras Bay.
Paros Travel Guide

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