Naxos Island
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Naxos History & Information, History of Naxos Island Greece


Naxos Island, Cyclades Islands, Greece Most of what we know about the early history of Naxos Island Greece is linked to Greek mythology. Zeus, the father of the Ancient Greek gods, was born in Crete but grew up in Naxos and gave his name, Zas, to the highest mountain (1004 meters high) on the island.

According to the Naxos history, it is believed that the first inhabitants of Naxos were the Careans from Thrace, who worshipped Dionysus, the son of Zeus and god of wine and pleasure. Dionysus took up with Ariadne, the pre-Hellenic goddess of fertility, who was abandoned on the island by Theseus. The union of Ariadne and Dionysus endowed the island with fruitful grapevines and fertile soil. To honor this great gift, the inhabitants hold the "Dionysia" cultural festival every year.

During ancient times, Naxos Greece was a major commercial, cultural and artistic center of many different civilizations. From the Careans, it passed to the Cretans and then to the Mycenaeans, each culture leaving its mark on the island.

Naxos Island, Cyclades Islands, Greece During the Persian Wars, Naxos was a great supporter of the Athenian Alliance and became the first island to come under Athenian Rule. Naxos was later a part of the Empire of Alexander the Great, and subsequently part of the Roma and Byzantine Empires. Like many other Cycladic Islands , Naxos was a victim of pirate raids, which eventually drove those who lived in the coastal areas of the island to the inland regions. In 1207, the island was occupied by the Venetian Duke Marco Sanudo. During this era, many impressive Venetian castles and towers were built. From the mid 14th century till the Greek Revolution and Independence in the early 19th century, Naxos belonged to the Ottoman Empire. It was finally liberated and became a part of the New Greek Republic in 1830. Owing to its amazing natural features, significant historical sites and hospitable residents, Naxos has developed into one of Greece 's premier holiday destinations.