Naxos: Civilization Naxos

Civilization Naxos: Civilization of the island of Naxos, Greece, Cyclades

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Naxos Civilization: Information about the Civilization of Naxos


The friendly and hospitable people of Naxos fascinate you with their tradition and their manners and the customs. Naxos' people reached in big depths for the extraction of emery, the primary product of Naxos.

The island was providing many goods and because of this the people didn't occupy with the sea. So, we have not many captains in Naxos. However, we have boatmen and warriors in the Revolution of 1821. The few people, who emigrate, help their land economically and they bring a new vogue to the island without displacing its tradition.



Naxos has a remarkable tradition in the art of weaving. The women used to weave the clothes of the family and their coverings, tablecloths, pillows and they made the dowry of their daughters.

In villages survive elements of the Dionysiac worship especially in the period of the carnival. This period come the "koudounatoi" (= ringings). They are young people who wear cape with hood. Their faces are covered and there are many bells round their waist and their chest. When they dance cause a loud noise.

In Shrove Monday come the "foustanelatoi", young people dressed well and without masks, playing violins. The daily needs were transformed in joy. For instance, when they had to butcher the domestic pigs, they were gathered all together - friends and relations - doing a feast while they were arranging the pork.

In the 23 of June in the evening, they burn the thistles and do rituals as: the passage of three alleys and three churches and the kneading and eating of a salty bread. After, the young men and women are going to dream who will marry. It will be the person who will offer them water.

In the feast of Transfiguration in Damarionas, Glinado and Chora, in the feast of the Assumption in Filoti and Apiranthos and in the feast of the Cross' Adoration in Keramoti.

The turnover concerning the grape is like a ceremony. For example, the grape-harvest, the press of the grape and "hatzanemata" (= the process for Raki). In Easter they broil the lamb, which is filled with spices, offal and cheese. This is the traditional specialty of Naxos.
The music, dance and the songs of Naxos are rifed in all over Greece and entertain the Greeks. The families Konitopoulos and Hatzopoulos come from Naxos.

A large number of the insular songs that sing Parios, Mariza Koh and other singers are from Naxos. The lyrics imitate folk cretan couplets and have always a meaning. Oftentimes, the Naxos' people extemporize and rhyme showing off their poetic ability. The content is various. There are lyrics about weddings, lullabies, about emigration, elegies, carols and many other that describe scenes from their life.

In Naxos you can attend in many feasts as: the feast of Zoodohos Pigi in Agrokiliotissa, Ayia Triada in Galanado, Ayios Georgios in Kinidaros and Ayios Nikodimos.

The architecture of Naxos adapts to the needs of the times. During the Byzantine era, the people lived in coastline, gathered around ports. Later, in pirates' period are developed built-up-areas inlands.

At that time, were built forts against invaders.

In 1207 under the domination of Franks, it was built a castle with perimetric towers for the Frank potentates. The wall's got geometric forms and five towers with three gates.

Today, it's saved the gate in the square of Prantouna and the northwest, next to Glezos' castle. To the central square gather many alleys with steps that follow the ground's morphology. The Naxos' castle with its medieval gate is one of the few that are saved in Greece. In the centre has got a catholic temple. The monastery of Ayios Antonios and others, show the effort of Venetians to inflict their way of thinking and their religion. The Naxos' houses are separated in three categories: mansions, folkloric houses and towers.

Mansions are the houses inside castles and belonged to rich merchants. They have a specific construction. They have a central ladder and around them, there are arches. Some of their characteristics are the large rooms, high spaces and the big walls.

The folkloric houses are more common. Primarily, they had one space but later were created and other spaces with different functions as kitchen, daily room, hennery, yard e.t.c. Later, it cans one meet a single room perhaps over the road or over a neighbor house. In the island the houses are very closed because there isn't any free space. All spaces are modulated according to the needs of the family. Very important is the kitchen with the fireplace. Concerning the towers, there are more than thirty today. In earlier times, played the part of domination to the locals and they were also tower-monasteries having a defensive character or they were the country domiciles of Venetians.

Towers had auxiliary spaces, spaces for storage and stables as well. They were of Western and Cycladic architecture because local artisans for the Franks have constructed them. There were warehouses for the yield and a wide reception room, which some year later extends in more floors. Outward, there is a stone ladder that goes on the balcony of the first floor where there is the main entrance. In some towers the ladder doesn't reach to the entrance but stops in a distance and continues with a wooden exedra-bridge that was ascending, every time the invaders threatened the safety of the castle.

All towers have the colour of rock and ground and they go with the natural ambience. Windows and doors decorate the towers in a single way.










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