Naxos. Kouroi, Iconoclasts, Crusaders. Hiking in a stunning hinterland (book)
Naxos. A monumental hinterland
I first got to know the hinterland of Naxos by road touring, with the local friend Nikos Gavalas, a member of our hiking group. A few years later I had the opportunity to discover it by hiking, always under the guidance of Kostas.
So, after the castle of Naxos, which we saw here http://culturehikes.com/en/castle-naxos-duchy-archipelago/, now it’s the turn of our hiking tour in one of the most monumental hinterlands of the Aegean.
First, we will see the antiquities. From all the Cycladic islands, Naxos is the most suitable place to discover archaic Greece, which has prepared the classical world.
The top artefacts of archaic sculpture are the kouroi and korai. In Naxos, there are not one, not two, but three kouroi of colossal dimensions. All three are abandoned unfinished in their quarries.
It’s unknown why they were not completed. Perhaps they are related to the seizure of the orders of wealthy citizens realised by the tyrant Lygdamis as soon as he took over.
Two of them, dating from the 7th century BC, are in Flerio. One in the olive grove of Evdokia Kondyli, who is an attraction herself with her narratives. In her cafe, in the olive grove, she will proudly narrate to you the discovery of the “Greek” by her grandfather. She will also show you that even foreign guidebooks report her family as a guardian of the kouros, as its size doesn’t allow its transfer to a museum.
The kouros in the olive grove of the Kondylis family
A similar case is the second kouros of Flerio. This one lies higher and is accessible only by hiking, which we, of course, did.
The second kouros of Flerio
The most impressive, however, is the kouros near the village of Apollonas. With a length of more than 10 meters, it’s the largest. It’s also the most “advanced”. Some features and the beard can be distinguished. Some say it’s Dionysus and others say it’s Apollo.
Some adventurous members of our group climbed up the steep rocks and took “aerial” photos of it.
The kouros of Apollonas
The rest of the article, in this book
About the author
Hello! I am Denis, an architect based in Athens, Greece. I teach history of art and architecture in higher education. That’s one passion of mine. The other one is hiking, in and out of town. If you follow me, I’ll share my discoveries with you.
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