The Villages of Paros: Parikia, Lefkes and Naoussa by Private Vehicle
Don't forget bottled water and to stay hydrated.There can be high temperatures in the Summer and you will get hot and thirsty.
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St. Helen was on a quest. Traveling to the Holy Land in search of the True Cross, her boat was driven into Paros by a storm. In a small chapel near port, she prayed for success, vowing to build a larger one on the site if she found the cross. She did and made good on her promise.
On the site where Helen prayed now stands one of the country's oldest Byzantine ecclesiastical buildings, in continuous use longer than any church in Greece. (In an ancient country with countless churches, that's saying something.) And over the years, it's accumulated its stories. Ekantontapyliani refers to 99 visible doors, plus one secret door. Legend has said that 100th door will open when Constantinople (now Istanbul) becomes Greek again. Tragedy surrounds a pair of human forms carved into the church's monumental gate. When the apprentice of a master craftsman completed the church, the envious master was afraid his own work would be overshadowed. Pretending to reveal an architectural flaw, he lured his pupil onto the church roof and tried to throw him off. The younger man struggled, and both fell to their deaths. They're now immortalized as the two carved figures on the church's monumental gate.
Ponder Parikia's stories as we continue to Lefkes and the Agia Triada cathedral, legendary for showcasing the island's marble. Explore a labyrinth of alleys or ease into the local scene on a shady square. Naoussa, with its old soul and new spirit, is a place to create your own tale. Do some upscale shopping or watch fishermen mend nets. Go bar-hopping, or contemplate a ruined castle. You'll find something truly wonderful here, whatever your quest.
Unsung heroine Parikia's main square is named for Manto Mavrogenous, a heroine of the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s and '30s. Beautiful, well-educated, and wealthy, she gave her fortune to the cause. She equipped fleets of ships to fight battles, sent troops to islands threatened by Turks, and begged Europe for military and financial support. The Greeks won their war, but didn't do right by their patroness in her lifetime: She died on Paros in 1848, unknown and poor.
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