Naxos Archaeological site of Gyroula

Dimitra temple.
 Naxos island. Cyclades. Greece.
 George Detsis. 09/2004.

The valley around the hill south of the village Sangri was since the antiquity full of rural settlements, whose inhabitants developed around the 8th century B.C. the cult of chthonic deities (Demeter and Persephone), in order to ensure the fertility of the land. In 530 B.C., in the period of Lygdamis tyranny a glorious marble temple was built here. The Ionic two-aisled temple is the precursor of the classical Attic architecture, which a century later offered humanity the Parthenon. Around it there used to be a complex of oil and wine production facilities and pottery workshops that operated until the 8th century A.D.

In the very first years of Christianity, the archaic temple became Christian. In the 6th century, during the reign of Justinian, the place of the archaic temple was taken by a three-aisled basilica, in which the temple’s architectural parts were perfectly integrated. The sanctuary and the baptistery were built in the eastern side.

In the archaeological site there has been a wonderful landscaping. A paved path leads to the ancient temple and the small archaeological museum that hosts findings from the ancient temple of Demeter, architectural fragments of sculptures, marble votives etc. In a wing of the temple there is a representation of the three-aisled old Christian basilica.


Open 08:30-15:00, Monday closed

Tel.: +30 22850 32591

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