Some 5km south-east of Naxos Town (Hora or Chora), lies the picturesque village of Galanado, one of the Livadochoria. This quaint village is built on a slope in amphitheatric fashion with outstanding views of the lush valley of Livadi, Chora (Naxos town) and further beyond. The village is said to derive its name from the Latin word ‘galant’ meaning gentlemanly or courteous.
The valley of Livadi is one of the most fertile of the island, and approximately 400 inhabitants occupy themselves mainly with potato farming and animal husbandry which are the main sources of income in the area.
The local church is dedicated to the Holy Spirit and was built in 1780. On the eve of the day of the Holy Spirit, the village celebrates with a big feast (panagiri) with live traditional music, food and wine; while a solemn procession of the church’s icon takes place after mass on the day itself (It is a ‘moving celebration’ which means that the date it is celebrated differs from year to year).
To the south of the village in the greater area of Galanado you will find Belonias tower which was built c1600 by a Venetian lord. Today it is privately owned and well-maintained. Standing adjacent to the tower is the ‘twin’ chapel of Agios Ioannis (Saint John) which is rare example of separate Greek Orthodox and Catholic naves under a single roof. Catholicism was practiced by the Venetians and Franks in the area.
To the east of the village massive boulders stand upright between the churches of Agios Georgios and Agia Irini. These are thought to have been placed there by a Paleolithic settlement and are perhaps the remnants of a kind of Naxian “Stonehenge”.
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