Parikia: The Charming Capital
Your journey begins in Parikia, the island’s picturesque capital. Here, whitewashed cubic houses and neoclassical mansions line the narrow streets, creating a quintessential Cycladic village. At the heart of Parikia stands a well-preserved 13th-century Venetian castle, perched atop a hill, offering breathtaking vistas of the town. But the architectural marvels don’t stop there. The 6th-century church of Panayia Ekatontapyliani, also known as Katapoliani, is an ecclesiastical gem that beckons exploration. The name “Ekatontapyliani” translates to “the church with 100 gates” in Greek, with one of these gates holding a secret of its own. Don’t miss a visit to the well-preserved 4th-century AD baptistery, one of the finest in the Orthodox East, and the Byzantine Museum located on the ground floor of the church. This museum houses a fascinating collection of icons, wood-carved iconostases, and other treasures from various monasteries and churches on the island.
A Journey Through Time
Paros also boasts its own Archaeological Museum, where you can explore exhibits from the island’s rich historical past. Learn about the Sanctuary of Asklipios and Pythios Apollonas, Delion, and more. The museum is home to a portion of the “Parian Chronicle,” a 3rd-century BC chronological table documenting significant events and personalities of antiquity.
Marble Treasures of Marathi
For history enthusiasts, a visit to the marble quarries at Marathi is a must. These quarries have been in operation since the 3rd millennium BC, up to the 19th century. Explore the preserved mining galleries and the remains of 19th-century industrial buildings, offering a glimpse into the island’s rich history.