Paros is the third largest island of the Cyclades and lies to the west of Naxos, from which it is separated by narrow channel width of about 3 miles, while from Piraeus is 90 nautical miles. Has an area of 196,308 square kilometers and a coastline is 118.5 km. The population at the 2001 census, is 12,853 inhabitants and according to the census of 2011, 13,710. The crucial geographical position of Paros in the central Aegean, the crossroads of maritime routes linking mainland Greece and the islands of the Archipelago, Asia Minor and beyond the Mediterranean, was the timeless foundation for the development of the island.
Paros has an elliptic shape narrowing towards North. The journey is 35 miles. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the Greeks and beyond. The coasts of the island, some of which form beautiful beaches (mostly on the east side) and natural harbors and others are steep and rocky, more dismembered on the north side. There he formed the great bay of Naoussa, one of the most picturesque harbors in the Aegean. The other two large gulfs of the island located on the west (Parikia) and east (Marmara). The main capes of Paros are: Agios Fokas in the port of Parikia, the Crow in the northern end where there is a lighthouse, the Turhan (Turkey), east of precedent, Agria, NE. edge, exactly opposite of Naxos, the Raisin, the Opera, and the Tower or Pirgaki, east-southeast and black cape, the southernmost tip.
Near the island have most islets and reefs, such as dangerous Doors Paros, Saint Spyridon the Drosonisi the Makronisi the Glaropoda the Pateroniso, Fiji and Evreokastro (or Vriokastro).
Main ports of Paros is: Parikia, Naoussa (ancient Argos, Martial port) between headlands Koraka and Turhan and the port of Porto and oak called Trio south. Other smaller bays are the FILIZI to A., the head D., Piso Livadi, SE., And Saltmarsh SW .. The beaches are ideal for everyone as there are isolated and organized respectively, with rocks or sand.
Internally the island is crossed from north to four bare mountains, whose highest peaks Prophet Ilias (776 m), the Marpisa and chubby (730 m). Spring water does not have much and most existing in its area Drios.
The soil is rocky and consists of granite, limestone (marble), gneiss and mica. Parian marble was known from ancient times as the best in Greece. A small quantity is also manganese, which the islanders had been operated until 1960 in the mines of Thapsanon.
The island's climate is typical Cycladic: temperate, dry, with mild winters and little rainfall. The average annual temperature is about 18 degrees Celsius, while from May to September, the temperature rises enough. During August, for 20-30 days or so, the heat of summer the winds weaken, the "annual" as reported by the ancient Greeks, that blow with 5-7 beaufort intensity during the day and evening are less overwhelming.
Flora and fauna
The fauna is rich: the coastal zone meets the sea lily, amaranth, various thistles and samphire. The lowlands grow fides, Skinaria, cedar, heather, etc., while in hilly and mountainous areas found extra sage, oregano, fennel, rosemary, cyclamen and anemones. The vegetation of Paros dominated by trees, cypresses, pines, carob trees, the araucaria, vineyards, figs, olives, etc. The vines produce even two local varieties of wine, Mandilaria.The (red) and Monemvasia (white), which is PDO
Wetlands of Paros add pebbles natural beauty of the landscape, rich flora and a vital area for migratory birds. Meet Kolybithres Naoussa, in Santa Maria, Molo, the Gold Coast, Aliki, in Campos and meadows Parikia. Crops are in terraces on the hillsides and in several plains. The island produces excellent quality oil, potatoes, wine, vegetables, fruits and cereals. One of the most unique plants in the Cyclades often encountered in Paros is the caper.
The geographical position of Paros makes it very important place to live a rich birdlife. More than 200 different species of birds housed on the island. Of these some are endemic, while most are migratory and use Paros as a stopover trips in the spring and autumn. Birds encountered in Paros include the Artemis (Calonectris diomedea), the Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), the Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) and Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus).
In avifauna of Paros also included some rare or endangered species, such as Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), the purple heron (Ardea purpurea), Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), the Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus), the Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus) The Bonelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus), Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae), the Petrotrilida (Burhinus oedicnemus), the Gull (Larus audouinii) etc.
In wooded valley, close to Psychopiana, the summer months see a kind of butterfly that day remains motionless on the trunks of trees and rocks, while in the afternoon up the foliage. In September, the female butterflies leave the valley, traveling only at night, and go to areas with shrubby vegetation, where they lay their eggs and die.
In Paros operated since 1995, the Care and Protection Association Wildlife "Alcyone", which aims to collect, treat and reintegrate nature wildlife in the Greek fauna for some reason (for illegal hunting mainly, but also infections, accidents etc.) need care. The club operates solely with the help of hundreds of volunteers from around the world, and its facilities are housed in farm 12.60 acres in Kamares granted by the Holy Monastery Logovarda . The island also one can find a small selection of wild mushrooms from late November to early March depending on the amount of rainfall this year.
Regarding the rarest and best quality is the gulper (fairly hard and tan). Kokkinoamanitis This is most common but also quite tasty and glystritis.
Paros has been inhabited since the 4th millennium BC and experienced periods of great economic and artistic prosperity as well as periods of looting intense violence, decadence and invisibility.
The oldest traces of human presence dating back to Paros in the Late Neolithic period and placed on the islet Saliagos the narrow isthmus between Paros and Antiparos. According to the relevant archaeological research and study findings habitation of the islet dated between 5300 - 4800 BC Indeed, discovered settlement is one of the oldest in the Cyclades.
In the early second millennium came the first signs of habitation in Parikia. In the then Venetian castle was an important settlement, which survived until the Mycenaean and Geometric period (1000-700 BC).
A second settlement was founded in Koukounaries the north west coast of the bay of Naoussa. This settlement flourished during the Mycenaean times (mostly during the 13th century BC.), Was destroyed in 1200 BC, rebuilt in the 10th century BC and met new boom period from the 9th century BC as 650 BC
The first settlements of Paros was littoral and unfortified. This fact indicates that its residents were oriented to nautical activities and coexisted peacefully with the other inhabitants of the Aegean. During the heyday of the Minoan civilization (1900-1600 BC), Paros played an important role in maritime transport of the Cretans. According to legend, Alkaios from Crete built the first settlement in today Parikia, whom he called "Minois" or Minoa, as he calls it and Pliny. But over the course of history is brought by other names such as Paktia, Dimitrios, Zante, Iria, Yliessa Square and Kavarnis.
Minoan domination of the Aegean Mycenaean succeeded, with the center of Skiathos to Paros. This change, according to legend, it was in two conflicts. In the former defeated the Cretans and forced the vanquished to heavy taxes, while in the second the Cretans lost.
Around 1100 BC, the Mycenaean civilization began to collapse, while there have been significant population shifts from the various centers of this civilization. At that time, Arcadians under Paro landed on the island and settled there. After installation of the Arcadians, the island was not called most Minoa, but Paros, named after the leader of the new settlers.
The period of the great migrations of the Ionic sexes, around 950 BC, arrived in Paro colonists from Attica, whose leaders were Klytios and Mela. The colonists settled in Parikia and Skiathos. From the late 9th to the 8th century BC, Paros flourished with basic occupations of the inhabitants of the livestock, agriculture and pottery.
During the Archaic period (700-500 BC), Paros developed a maritime power with remarkable naval whereby established colonies in Thassos, where there took advantage of the gold mines, the Propontis, the rogue, and the Adriatic Faron. In 600 BC Paros minted its own coins. At that time in Paros worshiped Thesmophoros Demeter, the Dioscuri, Venus and primarily Dionysus.
During the Persian Wars sided with the Persians, unsurprisingly as Ionic colony, against the Athenian domination and commercial rival. This resulted later the hero of Marathon Miltiades to campaign against it unsuccessfully and then Themistocles, who conquered it in 479 BC. After its capture by Themistocles fell into servitude Forming the Delian League of Athenian democracy, though he tried to secede from 412 to 410 eg until the end of the Peloponnesian War and the defeat of the Athenians. In 378 BC Paros was then blackmail and new risk destruction of the fleet of Athenian democracy, a member of the Second Athenian Alliance until the so-called Social War of 357 BC, where he was released along with Chios.
During her stay in the Athenian Alliance, the island was connected to the artistic and intellectual flowering of Athens, and the rapture of white marbles, highlighting but admirable artists like pupil of Phidias Agoracritus, painters and Nicanor Arkesilaos and for all, of the ingenious architect and sculptor of the 4th century BC Scopas, who used in his works uniquely passion and emotion. Other renowned in antiquity descended from Paros was the famous poet of heroic verses Archilochus and elegiac poet and sophist Evinos, mentioned in the Apology of Plato.
After the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC Paros received successively the Macedonians, the Ptolemies in Mythridati and Romans. The successor Byzantine Empire retained its power on the island until 1207, when the Venetian Marco Sanudo founded the Duchy of Naxos, to which it was under. In 1537 Paros ranked as Barbarossa after the valiant resistance of the last Frankish ruler Bernard Sagredo Castle of Kefalos. The 6,000 islanders were then miserably luck, others were killed, others exandrapodisthikan, younger crews entered the Ottoman fleet, while their children were delivered in Janissary battalions. Throughout the Ottoman Paros belonged to Kapoudan Pasha had Turkish voivode and Kadi. Because of the security provided by some caped Paros became a base pirate ships, which roamed the Aegean during the 17th and 18th century. Due to these activities, Paros was repeatedly theater disaster, as in 1666, destroyed the Monastery of Our Lady of the Hundred Gates. Then even in Paros there were consuls of England, France and Holland.
During the Orlov, 1770, Paros was conquered by the Russians. The Russian fleet anchored in Naoussa on Paros and uses it as a base for fighting against the Turks in the Aegean. Important is the victory over the Turks in the Battle of Cesme.
In 1821 Paros took an active part. After liberation and the establishment of the Kingdom of Greece gave varied contribution.
In the Second World War Paros played an active role. Important events that took place in Paros was the execution of the hero Nicholas Stella (his grave is in the cemetery of the White), the bombing of elementary school Parikoia, during which tragically killed a school teacher ksi Allied naval base Antiparos.
The jewel of the island is the church of Panagia Hundred where the founders of the church are the Saint Constantine and Saint Helen. The present form of the temple is the Justinian version, such as restored in the years between 1959-1966, the archaeologist Anastasios Orlandos, investigations which proved that the space was quondam the 6th century. holy Christian church, thus confirming the tradition that Ekatondapiliani founded by Isapostolos.
The church was however destroyed by a very large part, probably due to fire, and rebuilt on Justinian during the 6th century.
The ancient quarries
The ancient quarries of Paros are in place "Marathi" located about 5 km from the capital Parikia. The quarries are known from high quality white marble, the "Parian stone" quarried there since the 7th century and was a source of wealth for the island of Paros. From this marble built famous sculptures such as the Venus de Milo, the Hermes of Praxiteles and the Nike of Samothrace. It is also known as "garnet", a name that is either in great clarity and purity, either in the way are extracted from the earth (using torches). The operation of the quarries stopped in Byzantine times and repeated in the era of domination of the Franks on the island, with marble directed to many parts of Europe and especially Venice. The exploitation of marble starts again in the 19th century by the French Company for Marble and 1878 assume the operation of quarries Belgians for a short period of three years. Then the exploitation of quarries passes control companies Greek interests and continues for some more years to more leisurely pace, then the operation of quarries permanently discontinued, probably because the vein of fine marble now appears to be running out.
In today ruins of buildings infrastructure were manufactured by the French Company. Also there are two galleries in relatively visited state although the steeply sloping terrain creates difficulties. The south portico of the quarry is visited more difficult and is the ancient part. At the entrance is still a part of ancient Hellenistic relief dedicated to the Nymphs. The north arcade of the quarry created by the French company.
In ancient times great products of Paros was figs, melons and Parian pies. Specifically Parianos famous satirical poet Archilochus, when he went to Thassos, could not forget the black figs called "blooded", which was the production of Paros. And he Athenaeus mentions melons of Paros called the "SIKION seminal." And he Pliny says that Paros was a forest whose trees no karpoforousan, and the catches around Paros was more salty than usual. He also states that it is surprising that there was someone in Paros "stone" (earth ;) from which exported a juice (probably by boiling), used as a therapeutic drug. Other products of that time were the Parian raiment was porfyrovafi, so-called "vefdea." Mostly, however, was white marble with Naxos and Penteli contributed to the glory of ancient Greek sculpture. Famous was the locals agalmatopoioi purpose and Agoracritus the grandest of Phidias, and the painters and Nicanor Arkesilaos.
Today the residents, the locals, mainly engaged in fishing, agriculture, livestock and tourism. The products of Paros is varied and excellent quality. Annually produces much wine consistently have small industrial units and wine ouzopoiias,-namely the notorious ¨ suma ¨ - and the famous Parian cheese, olive oil and figs, more to the needs of residents. Fertile areas are of Paros and Marpissas. Paros is also has remarkable minerals, including capital position has the famous snow white marble of Paros.
Administratively Paros, before joining the "Kapodistrias plan" was divided into eight municipalities (Archilochus Marpissas, Naoussa, Paroikiass Costas, Salt Lake, Agkairias and White). It is currently under the administration of a single municipality Municipality of Paros, which is based in the island's capital Parikia.