Sacred sites and religious monuments embellish the island of Naxos like little jewels. The historic monuments of Naxos associate with many civilizations, but the most important of them date from the Venetian period. Catholic monks also played an important role in the foundation of churches and monasteries, most of which can be seen even today.
Among the countless churches of Naxos that will draw your attention is Panagia Myrtidiotissa, located in the old port, on top of a reef looking towards the Portara, the trademark of Naxos. A couple kilometers from the capital, on the slopes of a mountain stands the 17th century Monastery of Agios Ioannis Chrissostomos. In the surroundings of the Venetian castle is the Catholic cathedral of Naxos. The Orthodox cathedral lies in Grota area, in the north side of the capital, dedicated to Zoodochos Pigis (Life-giving source).
Some kilometers away from the main village is the church of Panagia Drosiani, one of the oldest Christian structures in Europe where many people attend the church service. One of the best examples of Byzantine architecture is Panagia Protothrone, built in Halki between 9th and 10th century.
Outside the village of Galini is the monastery of Ipsilotera. Up to this day, it is considered the strongest fortress of the island and it is located within the Angelopoulos Tower. It played a major role during the battle with the Venetians. Among the oldest churches of Naxos is the church of Agios Mamas, patron of shepherds dating from the 9th century but not easily accessible.
This beautiful church is standing near the little village of Moni, on the island of Naxos. This is an Early Christian church, one of the oldest churches of the island, dating back to the 6th- 7th century. It has round smooth shapes and a dome. The interior is decorated with beautiful wall paintings.
Agios Mamas is also one of the oldest churches of Naxos, dating from the 9th century. The church of Agios Mamas is famous for its fine cross, sculptures, and murals and it is dedicated to Agios Mamas, the patron of shepherds.
Built upon the steep rock, seemingly hanging a few kilometers away from the bright blue waters of Agiassos bay in the southwest part of Naxos, the whitened chapel of Agios Sozon attracts many visitors as it shines brightly under the sun.
Located outside Gallini village, the monastery tower of Ipsilotera was built in 1660 by a local nobleman, Iakovos Kokkos. The monastery is located inside the walls of a tower, used for the protection of the region from enemies and pirates.
The church of Panagia Protothrone (First Throne) is one of the earliest churches of transitional type and dates back to the first half of the 9th century. It is found in the village of Halki, in the island of Naxos.
The Catholic Cathedral has been built in the central square of Kastro, the most picturesque quarter of Naxos Town. This is a beautiful church decorated with Naxian marble on its floor and various icons.
The Orthodox Cathedral is dedicated to Zoodochos Pigi, which means the life-giving Virgin Mary. It is located in the north side of the capital and was built around 1787. In the interior of the church, fine wall paintings can be admired. Right next to the cathedral, there is the site of Ancient Naxos.
The church of Panagia Mirtidiotissa is a lovely tiny chapel constructed on a small islet opposite the port. It is considered one of the trademarks of the island, along with the castle and the ancient temple of Portara standing on a hill, on the right side of the port.
The Monastery of Agios Ioannis Chryssostomos is located on the hill of Grotta, 3 kilometers away from Naxos Town. Its main church is a beautiful construction dating back to the 17th century. From the monastery, one can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the island and the sea.