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Potamia

Potamia is one of the most beautiful and most traditional villages of Naxos. It hardly 8km far from the harbour of country and it is lodged in a green valley with age-long platans, a lot gardens with fruitful trees and various other beauties that make the visitor be wonder-struck. It took the name after the rivers that crossing the village and running all seasons. It is constituted by four settlements: Pano Potamia, Mesaia Potamia, Kato Potamia and Lierado. It has permanent population 362 residents (census 2001), that the summertime is increased. The residents deal with the agriculture and the livestock-farming. Main products are the oil, the citrus fruits, the horticultural and cheeses.

According to tradition the first that submerged the magic coast of Naxos were the prehistoric population, Thraces. Kares followed them and then Ionians. However because they had frequent attacks from the pirates, they began moving to the interior of the island, choosing dominating points in order to be able to defend themselves from an invulnerable position. Thus they reached also in Potamia, where after they realised the wealth of valley which yielded the spring source of Theologos at any season, they began systematic culture planting fruitful trees of any kind and flowers, thus changing it, in small time, to a land paradise and to the most important resort of Naxos. Then, in points where the water of source did not reach were planted the olive groves.

At the first years of Byzantine Empire, as they testify the old ruins, the first settlement was Ziria in the valley of Potamia. Then was built another settlement, the one of "Psarrou'", which was found in Mesaia Potamia, front from the current Elementary School. The ruins that exist there but also many more traditions testify the existence. Simultaneously, in small distance by this was created a cemetery in the place "Slaves" or "Mnimatakia", where the residents buried the dead. Later were built also the third settlement, Lierados, in the banks of river and in the 200 metres from the current Elementary School. Later were erected the existing today three villages, which constitute the community of Potamia. Did not skip the attention of settlers the motive force of shaped stream from the spring source At Pano Potamia and thus was built fourteen watermills for the milling of cereals of residents. In Pano Potamia it is able to visit one of them.

The village reached in big acne when Naxos was dominated by venetian origin Francs invaders, which under the protection of Dukes of Naxos occupied all the valley of Potamia and shared the land as thy wanted, making the residents of Potamia their slaves. Then were built eight imposing towers: Massena, Della Rokka, Kokkoy, Bageri, Malatesta, Afentikon, Mousou Mari, Ammodaras. The visitor can wander in the stone natural peripatetic paths, visit the Above Castle and the Girl of Potamia (statue of woman). He should not leave out to visit the marble "faucet of Faraksou'", for which fables report that Franc house-holders shaped the primitive aspect in order to seat their sovereigns in the around channels and discuss for their romantic loves for the voluptuous sovereigns. Also, in south-western Kato Potamia it is the land property Agios Mamas and the Byzantine church of the 9th century, the Virgin Mary, as well as 34 other old churches and chapels that are also scattered in the four settlements. Finally, each visitor that will be found in this graphic village can taste the tastiest homemade titbits in the traditional shops, as well as the hospitality, the kindness and the politeness of persons of  Potamia.

Kiriaki Nafplioti


   
   


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