Naxos Apeiranthos (t’ Aperathou)

Alley. Apiranthos village.
Naxos island. Cyclades. Greece.
George Detsis. 09/2004.

This settlement is mentioned in 1413 by the traveler Buondelmonti. It was once called Apeiranthos and even earlier Apyranthos and Apeirathos.

It was developed around the two towers dating probably back to the 17th century and belonged to Frank landowners. It retains its traditional architecture and has some very interesting museums.

Its residents preserve the tradition, the celebrations and the customs, thus the village remains a hearth of folk tradition and creativity in the whole Aegean.

Their linguistic idiom preserves ancient Greek and Byzantine elements, while there are some very old customs, such as “koudounatoi” during the fortnight of Carnival. Residents love mantinades and have a tradition in verse, especially in “kotsakia” (small couplets made instatly for each occassion, joy, sadness, work, war, love etc).

Apeiranthos has always been a village of livestock farmers. It produces excellent livestock products and wine. Apeiranthos cuisine has been awarded and women of the settlement engage in weavering for a very long time.

Making a walk in Cycladic cobblestone streets it is worth visiting Panagia Apeirathitissa of the 18th century, the restored Zevgolis tower dating back to the 17th century, the old property of the Venetian family Sforza-Castri, and Bardanis tower (or Sforza-Castri) of the 17th century.

Near Apeiranthos there is a Byzantine church of Agia Kyriaki with the famous abstract representations of birds wearing ribbons on the neck.

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