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Marmara Village
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Marmara, Paros Island

Marmara is a small rural village of the inland, 15 kilometers far from the town of Paros (Paroikia) at the Southeast, and close enough to Lefkes. The village is situated within a plain full of cultivations which extend down to the sea. The most characteristic features of the plain are the small gardens, naturally fenced with series of reeds and wild plants which protect them from the strong winds. The gardens have also wells for irrigation. Before the period of the Venetian domination of the island the area was an olive grove, but the trees were burnt by various invaders. Today, the village counts some 500 permanent residents. It owes its name to the numerous pieces of marble which are present everywhere in the masonry of the houses and churches of the whole area. In the past the locals called it “Archontochori” (“the village of the lords”) because of the big mansions it had. Now, the visitor sees a typical Cycladic village, very scenic, with narrow whitewashed streets, small yards full of flowers and stone benches at the sides of the streets.

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Apart from agriculture people also live on cattle breeding. Here it is found the cheese dairy of the Union of Agricultural Co-operatives of Paros. The dairy has a considerable production of various kind of cheese, most famous of which is the local gruyere.

At the foot of the low mountain Antikefalos northeastern to the settlement, archaeologists have excavated ancient pottery workshops and suggest that it is in this place that was established the ancient city of Yria.

Several nice old churches are found within the settlement and in the area around; architectural parts of ancient buildings and temples have been used in the masonry of all of them. The most interesting among them is the church dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary; it has an impressive wood carved icon screen and a tomb of an important person of the 17th century.

The church of Panaghia Marmarianh, or Pera Panghia, dedicated to Virgin Mary is another interesting and important church. It is a nice sample of the local architecture of Cyclades and it is dedicated to the Birth of Virgin Mary. The name day of the church on the 7th and 8th of September is celebrated with a great local feast (“panighyri”), with folk music and dances, abundant wine and local delicacies. Apart from this feast it is worth being on Paros and particularly in Marmara during Easter. The church of the Assumption is the core of the religious happenings taking place during the whole Holy Week. On Good Friday there is a really devout and emotional atmosphere with the process of the Epitaph along the maze of the narrow streets and the representation of the Passions, the Last Supper and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, performed by the young people of the village with full respect to the religious texts and to the devoutness of the people attending the event.
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If you enter the village from the West, you will certainly observe the church of Taxiarchis, built in the 17th century; it is an interesting white church imposing its presence to the visitor who comes to the village from this direction. The church of Aghios Savas, built in 1606, with an interesting bell tower and the churches of Aghios Constantinos, Aghios Ioannis and Aghia Marina are also worth a look.

Finally, it is worth taking a look to the well constructed marble basins which in the past were used for washing of heavy cloths and blankets.

The village has no accommodation facilities, but you will find tasty local dishes in the traditional taverns.

Swimming is possible at one of the beaches of the eastern coast of the island. The sea is quite close to the village; for instance, the beach of Molos is situated only 2-2,5 kilometers far away.

In case of emergence you have to return to Paroikia, 15 kilometers far away at the Northwest.

Access to the village is easy by rented or private car and motorbikes. You will reach the village driving within a nice environment.
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