Naxos Tower of Chimarros

Naxos - Tower of Chimarros

It is one of the most important monuments of Naxos, the island’s trademark, just like the gate of the ancient temple of Apollo, Portara. It is located on the southeastern side of the island, in about the middle of the road between Zas and the sea, on a hill which is defined by Chimarros on the east and Petronia on the west. The tower of Chimarros is preserved to an impressive height of 15m. It is cylindrical, with an external diameter of 9.20m, and built with large marble blocks, many of which are more than 2m long. Their weight probably exceeds one ton and are expertly assembled, without sandstone.

The outer face of the tower is pretty well preserved, but large parts of the lining are derelict or have already collapsed.

Similar towers are abundant in the Aegean. In Naxos alone there are several others as well, with the tower of Plaka being the best preserved. As archaeologists point out, these towers have not been studied yet in detail so their exact construction date and use are not clear. There prevails a view that they were fortified shelters during the Hellenistic period. It seems though that they had already started being built in the 6th century B.C. and their use varies according to the era and their position.

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