Chora Castle on Naxos to Become Open-Air Museum
The South Aegean Region is planning to transform the Chora Castle (Kastro) complex on Naxos, built during the 12th century AD, into an open-air museum.
According to an announcement, the region’s governor, George Hatzimarkos, has proposed to double the funding (currently at around 4.5 million euros) designated for the castle’s upgrade in order to better highlight the landmark’s historic and cultural importance.
At the moment, preservation and refurbishment works are in progress at the complex’s archaeological museum building, the Glezos (Krispi) tower and the old air force building.
The upgrade plan includes a spatial connection between the three medieval constructions with info signage and route construction supported by a digital tour app for smart phones and tablets.
Furthermore, a new permanent collection of artefacts currently housed at the culture ministry’s warehouse on Naxos will also be created, showcasing the historic and cultural evolution of Naxos and the Small Cyclades (Schinoussa, Donoussa, Koufonissia, Keros, Iraklia).
Additional works will include: a museum study; a new lighting network; the creation of a box office, entrance hall, shop and F&B facilities; info pamphlets published in multiple languages; and the Braille system; the creation of a research center; an online thematic website and documentary production among others.
Venetian diplomat and army official Markos II Sanoudos built the fortress of Chora on Naxos in 1207 on the ruins of the ancient Naxos acropolis.
Twelve towers were built around it with only one, the Glezos (Crispi) tower preserved today.
The Naxos Chora Castle complex is also host to many residential premises which have been preserved or turned into small museums by their owners.