Built in 1207, the castle built by the Lord and Duke of the Archipelago, Markos Sanoudos, stands on a hill which crowns Naxos' Chora. This is one of the most well preserved medieval castles in Greece, but also the only one that is still inhabited by descendants of the Venetians.
The castle has three gates: the Paraporti in the south wing, which is the main entrance for visitors, the Trani Porta in the north and the Piso Paraporti in the southeast, which nowadays is no longer accessible. Whichever route you choose, you will have the opportunity to admire significant monuments from the time of Naxos' Latin occupation. Following the steep streets to the top, you will discover atmospheric and tranquil scenery, dominated by Venetian mansions with coats of arms on their doorways and carefully designed interior gardens.
Visit the Venetian Museum at the 13th century Della Rocca-Barozzi Tower and the Byzantino, which is housed in the Glezou-Crispi Tower, the only surviving of the 12 that were built to protect the castle. At the highest point of the castle, you'll see the Catholic Cathedral, the old Ursuline School, the Kapela Kazatza (the chapel which was most likely built by Markos Sanoudos, next to the tower) and the old five-storey mansion which housed the Commercial School where prominent Greek writer, Nikos Kazantzakis studied and which today houses the Archaeological Museum with its rich collection of Cycladic figurines. Another point of difference is the two-aisled Temple of Theoskepastis, the only Orthodox church which is the oldest building in the Castle (9th-10th century).