History of Paros

The Monastery of Ekatontapyliani, the most important Byzantine monument in the history of Paros island, Cyclades

As excavations have shown, Paros island was first inhabited around 3,200 BC. Traces of early civilizations can be seen at the Mycenaean Acropolis that has been found close to the beach of Kolymbithres, on the northern side of the island. As it is located in the centre of the Aegean Sea, Paros was a frequent stop for trade ships, leading to the economic development of the island. The town of Parikia was constructed around the port and on the hill above the town was a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, the healing god.

Another source of prosperity for Paros in Cyclades were the marble quarries that were giving high quality semi-transparent marble. In fact, this marble was traded all over the Mediterranean Sea and many famous ancient Greek statues, such as Venus of Milos and Hermes of Praxiteles, are actually made of Parian marble.

Along its history, Paros Greece came under the rule of the Athenians, the Persians, king Philip II of Macedonia and the Romans. In the Medieval times, Paros and all the islands of Cyclades were conquered by the Venetians, who built many towns, castles and towers that even survive until today. The Ottomans captured Paros in the 15th century, until the island was set free after the Greek Revolution of 1821. Since then, it is part of the modern Greek State.