The island has been inhabited continuousy since the end of
the 4th Millennium B.C up until today and hunbreds of
monuments scattered all over the island are proof of the
civilization which existed since ancient times: ancient
temples, castles, chrurhes from the early Cristian period and
fortified houses, towels and monasteries.
There are not many islands where their most famous
archaeological site is the first thing you see when you arrive
by ferry. The Portara, the doorway to the ancient Temple to
Apollo which was built in 522 BC and never finished, which
sits on a small island in the harbor and is connected by a
small causeway. Above the whitewashed houses of the town is
the Venetian Kastro that was built in 1207 and was the seat of
power in the Cyclades for 300 years. Within the castles inner
walls are a number of Venetian residences, a 13th Century
Catholic Cathedral, and the French School where Nikos
Kazantzakis, Greece's greatest modern writer who wrote among
other things, Zorba the Greek and The Last
Temptation of Christ, studied. The building is now the
Archaeological Museum which contains some fine examples of
white marble figurines and ceramics.
The area called The Bourgos is where the Greeks lived when
the Venetians controlled the town and its winding streets are
full of restaurants and shops.
The harbor itself is a lively area of cafes, restaurants,
travel agencies and shops.There are banks where you can change
travelers checks and when they are closed the travel agencies
also have exchange services.
The Archaeological Museum of Naxos has
some notable exhibits. Given that traces of Greek antiquity
are to be seen everywhere, each part of the island has
somethirig of interest. Near the pretty coastal village of
Apolonas, for instance - on the north side of the island is a
half-finished outsize 'kouros' (statue of a youth), dating
from the 6th century BC, still lying in the marble quarry
where it was abandoned. Another such statue can be seen at
Melanes. An interesting archaeological museum is to be found
at Apirathos, a village where a number of strange customs and
habits have survived.