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NAXOS ISLAND

Naxos Town

The island's capital (also called Chora by the locals, as it is the case with almost all islands in the Aegean) is located in the north-western part of the island, on the site of the ancient town.

According to tradition, Naxos was the home town of the god Dionysus who was raised by the island's nymphs.

It is also mentioned that the Athenian hero Theseus, while on his way back from Crete, abandoned Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, who had helped him kill the Minotaur, on Naxos.

Thus Dionysus met her on the island and fell in love with her, but driven by despair caused by Theseus’ abandonment and betrayal, she killed herself by jumping into the sea from the north rocky coast of the islet of Bacchus.

This legend inspired the great German musician and conductor Richard Strauss (1864-1949) to compose his opera "Ariadne on Naxos" (1912).

The town of Naxos boasts many archaeological sites, the most important being the ruins of the ancient temple of Apollo, with only its huge gate left standing, named Portara - it is situated on the islet of "Palatia", to the north of the Naxos harbour, which is linked to the main island since 1919- and the ruins of the Mycenaean settlement at "Grotta", north of the town, in front of the Cathedral square.

Moreover, the town features a Venetian Castle with a church, perched on the hill of "Chora", and the Archaeological Museum of Naxos, which houses the second largest collection of Cycladic findings, after the Athens Archaeological Museum.

The Ursulines School, the ruins of Marco Sanudo's tower, opposite from the Catholic Cathedral, and the Crispi Tower with the family's emblem, are also some of the town’s major landmarks.The island's capital (also called Chora by the locals, as it is the case with almost all islands in the Aegean) is located in the north-western part of the island, on the site of the ancient town.

According to tradition, Naxos was the home town of the god Dionysus who was raised by the island's nymphs.

It is also mentioned that the Athenian hero Theseus, while on his way back from Crete, abandoned Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, who had helped him kill the Minotaur, on Naxos.

Thus Dionysus met her on the island and fell in love with her, but driven by despair caused by Theseus’ abandonment and betrayal, she killed herself by jumping into the sea from the north rocky coast of the islet of Bacchus.

This legend inspired the great German musician and conductor Richard Strauss (1864-1949) to compose his opera "Ariadne on Naxos" (1912).

The town of Naxos boasts many archaeological sites, the most important being the ruins of the ancient temple of Apollo, with only its huge gate left standing, named Portara - it is situated on the islet of "Palatia", to the north of the Naxos harbour, which is linked to the main island since 1919- and the ruins of the Mycenaean settlement at "Grotta", north of the town, in front of the Cathedral square.

Moreover, the town features a Venetian Castle with a church, perched on the hill of "Chora", and the Archaeological Museum of Naxos, which houses the second largest collection of Cycladic findings, after the Athens Archaeological Museum.

The Ursulines School, the ruins of Marco Sanudo's tower, opposite from the Catholic Cathedral, and the Crispi Tower with the family's emblem, are also some of the town’s major landmarks.