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The best way to discover and admire the architecture of Paros is to walk through its narrow streets, letting them choose their direction, exploring the shapes, shadows and colors of the charming little villages. We invite you for a virtual tour now and we hope that soon you will feel compelled to visit our beautiful island!
In the traditional architecture of the Cyclades, functionality, protection, simplicity and aesthetics are mixed, forming a particularly interesting and beautiful picture.
The architecture in Paros is the typical traditional Cycladic architecture, but the diversity of elements coming from different civilizations adds a special touch.
This diversity is due to the fact that all the conquerors who ruled the island left an architectural mark as in the city of Naoussa where the Venetian port contrasts with the traditional architecture of the Cyclades or in Parikia, where old two-story Venetian houses (for example the building of the old College of Arts) show a clear Italian influence.
The buildings on the island are mainly whitewashed cubic houses with flat roofs and colored wooden windows, doors, balconies and pergolas. The houses are built in the shape of an amphitheater, one on top of the other. The streets are cobbled and decorated with white lines, emphasizing the natural curves of the stones.
Narrow, labyrinthine streets and steps wind around houses and tiny white chapels, leading to the top of the villages where a blue-domed church is usually found. White windmills and blue-domed churches are typical of the Cyclades (except for Mykonos, where most chapels and churches have red domes).
The most famous church on Paros is Ekatontapiliani (Church of 100 doors) in Parikia. Legend has it that only 99 can be found and the 100th gate will only be found when Istanbul (Constantinople) becomes Greek again. (If you want to read more about the church, there is a fantastic website http://www.ekatontapyliani.org)
Building regulations on the island of Paros
To protect the island’s unique local architecture, the local administration has taken precautions and introduced very strict building regulations. All new buildings built on the island must follow the typical Cycladic architectural style to leave the beauty of the island intact. Some of the most important rules are as follows:
1. The houses cannot exceed 2 floors (ground and first) and the surface of the first must be equal to or less than 1/3 of the ground floor. Building a base is only allowed outside of the city plan.
2. If you build outside the city plan, the minimum area required to obtain the building permit is 8,000 m² if the title is new (recent parceling). For titles related before 1993 the minimum area is 4000 m². The maximum living area of the building is 200 m² on 4,000 m² of land and 280 m² on 8,000 m² of land, but 25 m² of garage can be added.
3. Within the city plan the maximum habitable area of the building can be much larger than if it is built outside the city plan. Within the settlements, the houses are either connected to each other or have very little space between them.
4. Doors and windows must be made of wood and must conform to certain aesthetic standards.
5. Terraces can be added to the house without a building permit and they do not count as living space.
6. Buildings need to be whitewashed for residence permit which is mandatory for electricity (This is the law from 2006 onwards. It does not apply to building permits granted before the year 2006).