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Churches and monasteries

Many Greek islands boast that there are 356 churches on the island, one for every day of the year. On Naxos, that might even be true: The Byzantine churches alone are over 175 in number. And it is not just the number that is remarkable: many of the churches display often rare Byzantine wall paintings from all phases of the Middle Ages, an almost unique accumulation of important Byzantine monuments not only in Greece, but in the entire Balkans.

Unfortunately, despite great efforts by the responsible authorities in recent decades, only a small proportion of the churches and murals have been restored and thus saved from decay. In addition, only a few of the churches are open to visitors; most of them are locked (visitors should understand this): There has been an increase in thefts from the churches in recent years, not just of the donation boxes, but also of valuable votive offerings and icons).

So far I can only present here a selection of the island’s churches and monasteries; hopefully more will be added over time. Hover over the picture will show the name of the church. In the first section (“Architecture”) the churches are (more or less) sorted according to the period in which the church was built, in the second section (“Murals”) only the churches with notable wall paintings are listed, again sorted according to the period from which the main murals date.

At the bottom of the page you find a list of all the entries.

1. Architecture

– sorted according to time of construction, from the Early Byzantine epoch to the modern age –

Clicking on the photo opens the respective article.

Middle Byzantine I: Iconoclasm (8th and 9th century)

2. Murals

– sorted according to age, from the Early Byzantine era till the Late Byzantine era –

Early Byzantine II (7th and 8th century)

Middle Byzantine I: Iconoclasm (8th and 9th century)