Paros History

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Greece Hotels / Cyclades Islands / Paros Hotels / Paros History /

Paros History
Paros, like other Cycladic Islands, has a long and interesting history, mainly due to its geographical location and the abundance of scholars and artists that were born on the island.

Evidence has been found that Paros and the surrounding islets have been inhabited since the Stone Age. However, most findings show that the island began to flourish in the Bronze Age. A number of settlements have been discovered throughout Paros that date back to the Early Cycladic Era (3rd millennium BC). Later, in the 2nd millennium BC, the island was colonized by the Minoans, who built the first town where Parikia stands today, and named it Minoa. The Minoans were followed by the Mycenaeans, who in turn built their own settlements, leaving their mark on Paros as well.

In the 1st millennium BC, the Arcadians arrived, lead by Parios, who named the island after himself. The Ionians from Attica were the next to colonize the island and as a result, Paros’ naval strength grew, as did its agricultural activities and marble trade. During the Archaic Period, Paros colonized the island of Thassos, while literature and sculpture thrived, producing significant artists, such as the iambic poet Archilochos, the elegist Euenos and the sculptors Agoracritos, Scopas and Thrasymedes. Many famous Greek statues have been sculpted from Parian marble, such as the Aphrodite of Milo, the Maidens of the Acopolis, the Niki of Delos and the Hermes of Praxiteles.

During the Persian Wars, Paros sided with the Persian fleet against the Athenians. After the Persians were defeated by the Athenians, Paros was forced to ally with Athens. Later, Paros sided with the Macedonians, an alliance that lasted until Alexander the Great’s death.

When Paros became a part of the Roman Empire it continued to produce great works of art for a while, until it became an island of exile. As Christianity spread throughout Greece during the Byzantine Era, wonderful churches and monasteries were built on Paros. One of the most significant Early Christian monuments in Greece is the Ekatontapiliani Church (Our Lady of a Hundred Gates) in Parikia. From the 7th century AD, Paros became a victim of pirate raids and gradually the island was deserted by its inhabitants, turning into a hide out for pirate ships.

In 1207 AD, Paros was incorporated into the Duchy of the Archipelagos, under the rule of the Venetian Duke Marco Sanudo, and later passed from one Venetian family to another. In 1537, the island was captured by the pirate Hayreddin Barbarossa and in 1560 it came under Ottoman Rule. From 1770 to 1777, during the Russian – Turkish Wars, the Russian fleet used Paros, and in particular Naoussa Bay, as a base of operation.

Paros participated in the Greek Revolution and was a safe haven for many refugees. It gained its independence in 1821 and was incorporated into the new Greek State. German Occupation took its toll on the island, forcing many inhabitants to seek their fortunes elsewhere. From the middle of the 20th century, Paros has greatly developed its tourism activities and infrastructure. Today, it is one of the most frequented holiday destinations in Greece, welcoming thousands of visitors from across the globe every year.

Accommodation : Rest of Paros
paros logaras hotels | paros naoussa hotels | paros parikia hotels | piso livadi hotels

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Many thanks to photographer Sophia Glabedaki (tel: + 30 210 4629592) and to Issaias Bros Ltd (+30 210 9581706)
for granting us the use of several photos presented in the section.