Naxos Town (or Hora) is the capital and main port of Naxos Island. In and around the old Venetian Castle are tiny roads, old houses, jumble of alleys, archways rising steeply to the citadel. North of the port, a pathway stretches out to the islet of Palatia and the unfinished Temple of Apollo (6th century BC). Portara is the huge entrance (6 metres height, 3.5 metres width) to the temple that Naxos tyrant Lygdamis began building on Palatia Islet. Further north of Palatia (in Grotta) are remains from the Mycenaean period.
The Old Town is divided into two neighbourhoods. Brougos where the Greeks lived and the fortified Venetian Castle (Kastro in Greek) was built under the rule of Marco Sanoudos on the top of a natural hill where the Acropolis of ancient era was. Only two of the seven original seven twoers (those of Sanoudo and Glezos families) remain, although the North Gate survives and it is an excellent example of medieval fort entrance. The Venetian Catholic descendants still live in the old mansions which encircle the site. On a square is the Catholic Cathedral (13th century) dedicated to the Virgin. It is exciting to wander the tiny streets and the passways where sometimes you really have to bend down to get through.
Sightseeing in Naxos Town (Hora)
The Archeological Museum
All findings from excavations are kept in the archaeological museum, proof of the uninterrupted cultural presence in Naxos from pre-historic times until the end of the ancient times. The museum is housed in the building of the former Commercial School in the area of the Castle.
Grotta's Archaeological Site
Excavations made under Metropolis square have revealed some remains of the Mycenaean city of Naxos (1600 - 1100 B.C). The place has been landscaped and it is open to the public.
It is standing on the northern side of the port. This monument is a huge gate, which remains from a temple that was dedicated to Apollo. It was built during the 6th century B.C, when Naxos used to be a commercial and cultural centre.
The Venetian Castle
An impressive monument which was built during the long Venetian rule (1204-1537); it is located on a hill which is the natural acropolis of Hora. A medieval town in the heart of the Aegean still in its original form, inhabited continuously since 1207. The external walls of the peripheral houses shape the wall of the Castle, which has only three entrance gates.