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Watchtowers in Naxos

There are many old watchtowers on Naxos, some of the most interesting are in Halki, and between Abram and Apollonas.

The most famous tower is Chimarros Tower on the south-eastern side of the island. (The tower has been restored since I was here, the picture is from before the restoration.) The tower is cylindrical, unlike other watchtowers on Naxos. It is built of marble blocks that are between 30 and 50 centimetres thick.

 

Chimarros Tower near Filoti in Naxos.

Chimarros Tower near Filoti.

 

 

The height is about 14 metres and the walls are up to 1 metre thick. The tower has had a great symbolic meaning for the locals and occurs in many old songs. I have seen similar towers on a few other islands: Drakano Tower on Ikaria, Agia Marina Tower on Kea and Agios Petros Tower on Andros.

The road leading to Chimarros Tower starts in Filoti. The distance is quite dramatic, the road winds between the valleys and the view is sometimes beautiful. Along the way you pass several small chapels whose worn appearance indicates a respectable age. If you continue the road after the tower, you will eventually arrive to a long - and often completely deserted - sandy beach called Kalantos


One of the main attractions in the village of Halki is the Gratsia Tower located along the road leading to Filoti. Gratsia is one of several Venetian castles on Naxos. Gratsia is really impressive and you get an idea of its heyday when you see the coats of arms on the building.

 

Gratsia Tower in Halki. Naxos.

Gratsia Tower in Halki.

 

Eight kilometres from Abram beach lies the remarkable medieval Agia Tower. The tower is strategically located and was previously used as watch and defence tower. Today the tower is far from its former glory. It stands a little bit spooky on the cliff edge and you barely dare to enter. But the view overlooking the sea is anything but spooky, it's just fantastic.

 

Agia Tower. Apollonas. Naxos.

Agia Tower located along the road to Apollonas.


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