History

Past
Paros has been inhabited since the 4th millennium BC. The island has experienced periods of great economic and artistic prosperity as well as times of looting, intense violence, decadence and invisibility.

The Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea was the cultural center since the 9th millennium BC. However, many of the islands -especially the smaller ones– were inhabited from the Neolithic period onwards. Especially on the island of Paros, signs of human life have been discovered at the small islet Saliagos, located between Paros and Antiparos.

Bronze Age
The historic landscape becomes clearer from the Bronze Age. The three great civilizations that flourished during that period are the Cycladic, Minoan and Mycenaean. Areas such as Glifa, Dryos, Campos, Koukounaries, Plastiras and Faragas preserved the traces of the ancient Cycladic settlements. Later, during the Minoan rule, Paros gradually turned into an important commercial and military center. It is said that Alcaeus, leader of the Cretan settlers, built in honor of King Minos a homonym city in a position where stands today Paroikia. Paros is also a significant area during the rule of the Mycenaean.

Origin of the name of the island
The island of Paros is named after the leader of the Arcadians, Paros, who arrived as settlers on the island during the Geometric period. Gradually, they got mixed with the Ionians and became a great naval power through the merchandising of the famous Parian marble. The natural source of wealth of the island, marble, and the general welfare brought cultural flourishing on the island, especially during the archaic period (7th century BC).

Classic years
In classical times, Paros allied with the Persians, who at this time were trying to subjugate Greece, moving to the west. However, the defeat of the Persians at the Battle of Salamis, led the Persians into retreat and Paros joined the Athenian Empire. Since 338 BC, Paros lost its old prosperity and power and bowed in chronological order, to the Macedonians, the Ptolemies, the Mithridates and the Romans. At this period the island is full of sculpture workshops, temples and other wonderful buildings.

From 1668 to 1821 Naoussa port was used as a base of the Russian fleet during the Russo-Turkish war (1770). With the start of the revolution of 1821, Paros had an active role in the war and accepted also many refugees.

Later years
In later years the island was tested hard by the Germans and many residents migrate to Piraeus and abroad. The resettlement of the island began after 1960 and the economic growth was based primarily on tourism.

Today
Today, Paros is a popular holiday destination; it has considerable tourist development and offers all the services necessary to the modern traveler. The island's capital Paroikia, on the west coast, is a cosmopolitan Cycladic town. Second in size, Naoussa, the secular village, is one of the most beautiful harbors in the Aegean Sea. Very important for Paros are the vivid, picturesque villages. The larger villages are Lefkes, Marmara, Prodromos, Kostos, Marpissa, Piso Livadi, Dryos, the Ageria and Aliki. Trustees of the history of Paros are the scattered dilapidated buildings that the visitor admires at every step. But the real beauty of Paros is one that meets the soul of its people; simple, creative, warm, hospitable, with innate respect and love for their fellow man.

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