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The Archaeological Museum of Paros Island

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Wherever a trip may take you, it’s always interesting to get to know the history and culture of the natives. Museums are one of the best ways to do this.

I spend at least six months per year traveling to various parts of my country, Greece (the islands in particular), seeking material for my blogs. When I get the chance, I love to visit archaeological sites and museums in Greece.

Based on my travels around my country, I strongly suggest you visit the Archaeological Museum, located in the city of Parikia, on Paros Island. Paros Island is about an hour by plane from my home town, Thessaloniki, the capital of Northern Greece

The first impression of the museum is its beautifully landscaped exterior, decorated with a few carefully chosen exhibits that will surely leave you intrigued and wanting to see more. The mosaic of 3rd century B.C. with the mythical Labours of Hercules, as well as the human sarcophaguses are exhibited here. It’s a very impressive exterior area that wins over visitors right away.

The museum itself is not very big, however its exhibits are very important. They were uncovered during archaeological digs on the island itself, as well as on the nearby island of Antiparos. The findings are of a wide chronological spectrum, from the Neolithic Era to the first Christian Times. They are exhibited chronologically in the few halls of the museum, making it easy to follow the history of the island. The visitor gets acquainted not just with the history of the island of Paros but the entire Cyclades Culture in general, as well as other interesting highlights of the past. One of the most impressive and valuable exhibits is the statue of Victory of Paros, dated at 470 B.C., despite the fact that the statue is missing its head, arms and wings.

It’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the statue of Artemis (or Diana) and its impressive height of almost 2.5 meters. This statue dates back to 480-490 B.C. and was worshiped in ancient rituals. Another exhibit not to miss is the idol of the “fat lady”. It was uncovered on the small island of Saliangos, and is the oldest idol in the entire Cyclades Group of islands. It represents a woman’s body, and is dedicated to fertility. It dates back to 5.000 B.C.

Finally, I’d recommend looking out for the statue of Gorgos, extraordinarily preserved almost whole. It dates back to the 6th century B.C. and used to be the centrepiece of an ancient temple.

A visit to the Archaeological Museum of Paros may last an entire morning, be prepared. You are bound to learn many interesting things, get acquainted with the ancient Greek way of living and art, and enjoy the magic of travelling through time!

GREECE-Maria-Athanasopoulou-MMEET THE LOCAL: MARIA ATHANASOPOULOU

Image. Photo by Maria Athanasopoulou.

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