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History

Paros has been inhabited since 3200 BC. According to mythology, the Cretan Alkeos of a royal family was the first king of Paros and built a city on the site of the present capital of Parikia. The ideal strategic location of the island made it to be one of the greatest naval stations of the times. It was given the name Minoa, which was a name given to most royal Cretan cities. In 1100 BC, the Ionians went to war with the Cretans and after a long battle, won and became rulers of the island.

In 1000 BC, after another war Paros was taken by the Arcadians. In the 8th century BC Paros was a leading economic and naval power of the times and made colonies in Thasos island. During ancient times, Paros was famous, around the Mediterranean, for its high quality semi-transparent marble, found at the Marathi Quarries. The same used to build many works of art and masterpieces such as the Temple of Apollo on Delos, the Venus of Milos, the statue of Hermes (Praxiteles) at Olympia and many others. During the Persian wars the Parians fought along the Persians, but they defeated by the Athenian army.

In 338 BC, the island came under the rule of Philip of Macedonia and then Alexander the Great and became part of the Macedonian empire. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Paros became part of the Byzantine Empire and its inhabitants converted to Christianity, explaining the numerous churches, chapels and monasteries that were built during those times. Between 1207 and 1389, Paros became part of the Duchy of the Aegean, ruled by the Venetian Marco Sanudo. In the 15th century, the Fort of Naoussa was built to protect the island from pirates. The Turkish rule succeeded the Venetians, until the Greek Revolution of 1821. After the Independence, the island of Paros, like all the other islands in Cyclades, became part of the New Greek State.