PAROS - MUSEUMS
The Byzantine Museum of Paros is located at the village of Naoussa, right behind the church of Ekatontapiliani. In this museum extraordinary art works are on display from the prehistoric and Roman times and constitute a significant part of the history in the Cyclades islands. Most of the objects of art appear smooth and rigid. The eyes are always large. The backgrounds are most of the time painted golden. The style of Byzantine art was clear and simple. The museum is housed inside the renovated monastery of Agios Athanasios, in the western part of Naoussa. The church hosts some breathtaking frescoes and paintings. Entering the yard, you will see several architectural parts from different sides of the ancient town, statues and other findings. Skilful craftsmanship in woodwork, Roman sculptures and icons painted by the local artists are also available at the museum.
The Archaeological Museum of Paros was constructed in 1960 to host the exhibits that were stored in the Monastery of Ekatontapyliani till that time. The museum hosts findings that were brought to light during excavations in Paros and Antiparos. These findings date from the Neolithic to the early Christian times and include the Nike (Victory) of Paros, the marble statue of Mermaid Gorgo, Cycladic figurines, mosaics, bust of poet Archilochus, statues of deities and amphorae from a local workshop, among others. The marble statue of the Mermaid Gorgo, who petrified everyone who would look at her eyes, is over 4 feet tall and is preserved as a whole. It dates from the mid 6th century BC and was found in 1993 in Parikia. The other important exhibit, the marble statue of Nike (Victory) is also over 4 feet tall and was found in Kastro Parikia. Dating from 470 BC, the head, arms and wings of this statue are missing. In the yard of the museum, there are statues and sarcophagi (box-like funeral receptacle for a corpse) from the Classical and the Roman times, as well as mosaics from the floor of Panagia Ekatontalypiani (the Monastery with the Hundred Doors).
The Ekatontapiliani Byzantine Museum is located in Parikia. The Museum is housed in the Ekatontapiliani Church that was initially build as a small shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the 4th century AD by Saint Helen. It was later rebuilt after the damaging earthquake in 1773. The Byzantine Museum in Parikia displays rare church artwork, wood carvings, silver and metal objects, religious amphorae and heirlooms from the Byzantine Era.
The beautiful town of Naoussa is home to the Paros Moraitis Wine Museum. This newly built museum is located strategically at the hub of this fishing town displaying a vast collection of wines made by local producers. The museum was founded in 1910 and has since passed from generation to generation. The renovated premises that house the winery since 2001 include the winemaking center, production and storage areas while at the old winery building, visitors can see the underground ageing cellars, the wine museum and the wine tasting hall. The vision of Manolis Moraitis, a third generation winemaker is to preserve the authentic character and quality of the local vineyards. It is worth noting that the historical Parian vineyards have roots in the Cycladic era (3,200-2,000 BC). Moraitis wines are characterized by their freshness and their great aromatic concentration. Moraitis winery owns a huge area of organic vineyards in the most fertile areas of the island, featuring a wide variety of Greek wines such as Assyrtiko, Malagouzia, Vaftra and Mandilaria. Today, the average production of the famous winery reaches 300,000 bottles a year and more than 30% is exported to USA, Canada, England, German, Italy and Cyprus. The museum's collection offers an overview of the Parian wine-making history and tradition as well as interesting insights on the different equipments used in the manufacture and other agricultural tools for the vine growing population.