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The ancient aqueduct of Flerio, Naxos Island

The island of Naxos covers an area of approximately 430 km2 with a coastline of 148 km, and its capital (Chora), is also the port of the island. It has a mountainous relief with a central mountain range running from North to South. The highest peak of Naxos, and in fact of all the Cyclades, is Zas at 1001m. The west part of the island mainly consists of extensive and fertile plains with a coastline forming a series of bays. The east part, respectively, entails mountainous terrain and a steep and rocky coastline, forming only a few small bays.  

The island presents great geological interest, being rich in deposits of emery, marble and granite, which are exploitable materials. Naxos has a rich aquifer verified by the large number of existing springs and wells. The importance of water in the history and life of Naxos is of major significance and the inhabitants especially appreciate and anticipate the rainfalls, as by tradition, they have always been occupied with agricultural activities.

The region of Flerio in the central part of Naxos Island is a place rich in springs and vegetation, with high quality marble; a place of a rocky yet green landscape. Flerio is also a region of great historical and archaeological importance as an important quarry community was established there in the 8th century BC and for several centuries it contributed to the development of Greek architecture and sculpture.

In Flerio an impressive 11km long aqueduct is found, whose construction dates from the end of the 6th century BC. The aqueduct was built in order to transfer water from the rich springs of Flerio to the town of Naxos (Chora). It is a structure made of clay module pipes connected to each other. The aqueduct’s collection point was a river basin carved into the rock that is nowadays located underneath a traditional windlass well in Flerio. From this point the aqueduct follows a journey through the areas of Agios Thalelaios and Agidia, and across the plain of Katsagra, to end at the capital.