The Temple of Demeter at Sangrí is one of Naxos’ main attractions. The temple, which dates back to the Archaic era, is small in size, but of great significance for the development of Greek temple architecture. It is built according to the Ionian order of the islands, which originated on the Cyclades, especially on Naxos, and which was used also by the Athenians after they had conquered Naxos. The temple was built around 530 BC, at about the same time as the temple of Apollo, during the reign of the tyrant Lygdamis.
The Temple of Demeter is undoubtedly one of the most important monuments of Naxos.
Around 1990 scientists from the University of Athens in collaboration with the Institute for Building Research in Munich carried out a thorough investigation of the entire area in order to gather all the components necessary for a complete reconstruction of the temple. Parts of the temple were rebuilt from old and newly cut stones. Important findings from the excavations as well as a partial reconstruction of the roof and the sanctuary of the Christian basilica are exhibited in the very interesting museum on the temple grounds.
The Demeter Temple was partially rebuilt in the early Nineties. Both old components and newly cut stones were used for the reconstruction.
Many interesting finds from the excavations on the temple grounds are exhibited in the award-winning museum next to the temple, as well as a partial reconstruction of the roof and of the sanctuary of the Christian basilica.
In front of the temple the remnants of an older use of the sanctuary are visible.