CASTLE OF HORA
The Venetian Castle overlooks Naxos town and welcomes every visitor who
approaches the port. It was built in 1207 by Marco Sanoudo in order to house
the catholic population of the island. It has two gates available, Paraporti
(Side Door) and Trani Porta (Great Door), on the side where the engraving
of a Venetian yard are obvious. In the interior the ruins of the mansions
belonging to Frankish families are saved, from the 14th and 15th century,
while from the fortification with the loopholes only the restored Pirgi's
castle remains, inside of which is housed a Byzantine Museum. Inside the
Castle also lie the School and the Monastery of Ursulines, the Capuchins
Monastery, a remarkable Archaeological Museum, the Catholic Cathedral, the
Commercial School, the Capella Casagia, Marco Sanudo's Tower and the Catholic
Episcopal Edifice. The view to Hora and the ocean from the Castle is breathtaking.
CHURCH OF PANAGIA APIRATHITISSA
The church of Panagia Apirathitissa lies in the picturesque Apiranthos village.
It is one of the most remarkable and oldest churches on the island. In its
interior, what stands out is the excellent marble screen with the wonderful
decoration and the old post-Byzantine icons.
Fragopoulou Tower is situated in Halkio village 16 km south-east of Naxos
town, built within a fertile garden. It is an imposing fortress with strong
walls surrounding a high castle with loopholes. It has been used as the
habitation of the lords of the Melans feud, while the inscription on its
marble table informs us that king Otho was Fragopoulos's guest in 1833.
The famous "Portara", the emblem of Naxos, overlooks the port's entrance on the Palatia islet. Built on such a site which stares at the sacred island of Delos, it first impresses the visitor with its large size which is 3.5 m long and 6 m high. It constitutes the entrance of an incomplete ancient temple of Apollo that had begun construction on this site, in 530 BC by Naxos's tyrant Lygdamis. On Palatia's islet, there was once a powerful fortress where it is believed the Milesians and Erythreans besieged the city of Naxos, while according to mythology, Theseus abandoned Ariadne there who was later found by Dionysus and he married her. During the 5th-6th century BC a Christian basilica on Palatia was built and the church was plundered so the castle could be built with its marbles, while only Portara with its imposing size remained as witness to its glorious past.