THE FRANKISH CASTLE The amazing Frankish castle is one of the most important monuments on the island of Paros. It is located upon the hill of Agios Konstantinos in the main town of Paroikia. It was built in the 1200s by the Venetians who then had occupied Paros and had made Paros a part of the Duchy of Naxos (See history of Paros). Scholars have said that the castle must have been built from the vestiges of an assortment of ancient sanctuaries that were found scattered here and there upon Paros. The castle stands out for its amazing architecture and its intricate stonework and the hundred footer Hekatompedon that has been engraved into its walls. The elongated tower integrates all the elements of a 4th century globular edifice, built during the Frankish era. The Frankish castle is located at the highest point of Parikia and guarantees an amazing view from its surrounding areas..
PANAYIA EKATONTAPYLIANI The church of Panayia Ekatontapyliani is the finest and most impressive religious complex in the Aegean and the third most important early Christian monument in size, after the Saint Dimitrios and Achiropoito in Thessaloniki. It consists of a large central church of the Virgin Mary, the Baptistery, the Chapel of St. Nicholas that exsists from the early Christian period, the chapel of St. Theodosia (1619), the chapel of Agios Dimitrios (1666) and the cells (17th century) that assist the above temples. The church was known by two names, each is equally correct from a historical and linguistic perspective. Katapoliani The name first appeared in 1562 in response to the Dukes of the Archipelago. associated with the position of the church, which was built toward the ancient city (Katapola), which was certified from the discovery of the ancient gymansiou beneath the floor of the church. The other name, Ekatontapyliani, was first mentioned in 1586, in a letter from the patriarch of Constantinople Theoliptos B and epomenos not construct the scholars of the 18th century, but almost in line with another name.THE ANCIENT CEMETARY The Ancient Cemetery is located about 300 meters to the left of the main port of Parikia and is spread out over a large area. According to archeologists and scholars, the ancient cemetery was functional from the 8th to the 2rd century AD. The cemetery includes a variety of graves of many different in types and from different archaic eras. The main attraction of the cemetery is a mass grave that dates back to the Geometric Period and is the only one of its kind in the Aegean Sea region. THE ANCIENT POTTERY WORKSHOP IN PAROIKIA Extensive establishment of a pottery workshop, dated to the 3rd century B.C.It has two cisterns, auxiliary rooms, two spacious kilns (diameter 2m.) and four smaller ones, in the construction of which Archaic pithoi with impressed decoration were used: a) a Geometric grave b) and a wall of a large Archaic building were uncovered in the deeper strata.
The excavation started in 1986 in private land and was extended in the area of the street in 1990. The monument is now preserved in the basement of the modern building.
THE SANCTUARY OF ASKLIPIOS The German archeologist, Rubensohn found two sanctuaries in the south of Paroikia, positioned in Agia Anna. The one was The sanctuary of Asklipios, the ancient Greek God of medicine and the second one is the remains of the temple of Pythios Apollo ( See Greek mythology ). From the temple of Pythios Apollon, unfortunately very little remains, the rest of the temple was probably destroyed in 202/201 B.C.
From the temple of Asklipios, only the columns remain. It was built in the 4th century B.C. close to a spring as water was necessary for the God's ceremonies.
THE ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM ON PAROS
The museum was founded in 1960, when a large room was built next to the main High School in Paroikia, to house the antiquities which were until then kept in the cells of the Katapoliani monastery. A second room was built at the end of the 1960's and further extension work of the museum began only recently, in 1995.
The museum contains the following collections:
- Room A: Archaic and Classical sculpture.
- Room B: Pottery, sculpture and small finds dating from the Neolithic to the Roman period.
- Atrium: Sculptures, architectural parts, urns, and a mosaic floor dating from the Roman period.
THE BUTTERFLY VALLEY (PETALOUDES)
A short distance (about 8 km), towards the south of Parikia (Aliki), is the Butterfly Valley, or as the Greeks say The Petaloudes.In the summer months, from May to August, the trees in the lush green valley are covered by clouds of Jersey Tiger moths.The trees look like they are dancing and the fragrance, which attracts the butterflies (well, moths really), is lovely. It is a relaxing and a peaceful nature park.
Organized tours can be arranged from Naoussa or Paroikia, or you can take the bus or get there on your own. The entrance fee is 3 Euros and you will be asked to keep your children quiet as to not scare the butterflies away. There is a quaint little coffee shop inside the valley, where you can have a refreshment or coffee.