Antiparos Island


The history of Antiparos is closely linked to that of Paros as according to scientific findings the two islands used to be one.  It was first inhabited in the pre-historic times in the 5th millennium B.C. Later and for unknown reasons the island was split into two and many smaller islands were created around them.

On the west side lies Despotiko, which is the largest islet while Tsimidiri is a small islet basically still connected to Antiparos through its shallow waters, Strongilo (Round), Diplo (Double), Kavouras (Crab), Revmatonisi (Stream Island) which belongs to the famous Greek ship owners of Goulandris family, Kokkinos and Mavros Troulos (Red and Black Dome) and on the east side are Sagliangos (Snail) and the Epano and Kato Fira (Upper and down Fira). Phoenicians coming from Sedona of Syria, colonized Antiparos  and named it Oliaros which comes from the Phoenician word for “forest”.

On Sagliangos, the closest one to Antiparos town, archaeologists discovered in 1967 evidence  of a singular island civilization from the later Neolithic Period about 4000 years B.C., as well as traces of the first settlement in the Aegean Sea, decorated pots, tools and an ancient idol made out of an animal’s bone.
Despotiko was not always uninhabited. Excavations brought to light plenty of valuable findings and almost a complete Cycladic cemetery dated back to 2700 B.C. We know that during the Middle Ages it became the hide out of the pirates and in 1675 French pirates destroyed it completely and killed all the Greeks.

Antiparos had a similar historic trail like Paros. During the Middle Ages and in 1207 A.D. IT became a member of the duchy of Naxos under the authority of Marcos Sanoudos. 
The castle was built in 1440 A.D. by the noble Lorentano after he married the daughter of the Venetian Duke of Paros K. Somaripas, Maria Sommaripa.   Somaripas offered the feud of Antiparos as a present to his future son in law.  During the Venetian domination and although the island improved its financial and social status, it suffered from constant pirate attacks and high taxation that the locals had to pay to the Venetians.   
In 1537 the Ottoman pirate and admiral, Barbarossa occupied and annexed Antiparos to the Ottoman Empire in 1566 and continued imposing heavy taxes. 
From 1770 and for the following four years Antiparos was under the Russian dominance. The Russians caused considerable damages to the caves by breaking parts of the stalactite in order to take them to museums in Russia. During that period pirate attacks continued and in 1794 pirates from Kefalonia (Ionian Island) and Mani (in Peloponnesus) destroyed the island and kidnapped the daughter of the Venetian ambassador. 
Although the financial status of the island deteriorated significantly through the years, the inhabitants of Antiparos participated vigorously in the Independence was in 1821 and in 1830 the island officially joined the Greek State.

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