Tragaia is a fertile valley with 12 villages, the largest of which are Filoti and Chalki (Chalkeion). In the area you will see about 30 of the most important Byzantine churches of the Aegean, where Byzantine frescoes from the 6th to the 15th century are still preserved. It is a real “Mistras of Naxos”.
It is one of the most important Byzantine monuments of Naxos and it is quite far outside Apeiranthos, at Kalloni. The trail starts at the entrance of the village (below the parking lot) and it takes about an hour to get there. The great interest in the church is gained by the apse of the sanctuary, presenting birds with red ribbons on the neck, which according to researchers symbolize the Apostles or the church. There is also a rich non-figurative decoration in the church, dating back to the period of iconoclasm, around the 9th century.
Τhe Catholic Kathedral was built in the early years of the Venetian rule (13th century) and it is the most important temple of the castle. Today it is five-aisled with three domes. The floor with the marble embossed coats of arms of Naxos Dukes is impressive. Four coats of arms can be seen above the central entrance, including those of Markos Sanoudos. In the central aisle there is an altar decorated with woodwork crafted by “tagiadoroi” from Chios in 1774 and the striking icon of Panagia Eleousa (Our Lady the Merciful) (11th or 12th century). The outdoor marble inlays of the church and the bell tower were constructed in 1963 by John Filippoti. Tel. +30 22850 22470
In 1690, on the celebration day of Agios Georgios, a farmer from Filoti saved some Turkish sailors washed ashore and a child that he kept home for a long time, until the parents found it. Years later the farmer called Psaras argued with the lord Barozzi on a property and went to court. The judge turned out to be the little Turkish child, who vindicated, of course, his savior. Thus, Psarras built in that disputable property the chuch of Kimisis tis Theotokou (Assumption of the Virgin Mary), Panagia Filotitissa. The church opened in 1715 and Filoti residents put on the belfry wall the picture of Psarras carved on marble to remember him by. The temple is imposing and features an elaborate marble iconostasis.
Shortly after the crossroads to the Lyonas beach, you will reach the asphalt road that leads to Panagia Argokoiliotissa of Naxos and its great new church. Every year on the first Friday after Easter, thousands of worshippers come to pray here; indeed many have it as a vow to get there from Chora on foot. The miraculous icon was found here (at Argokoili) in 1836, lost and found again 94 years later with a vision, as a miracle. There is still the old church, but the landscape is dominated by the new one. All around you will see the old cells built by the emery workers as a vow in the event that Virgin Mary would help them find emery.
Monastery of Fotodotis Christ
It is located before the village Danakos and from a distance it resembles Naxos towers. The monastery of Fotodotis Christ is the oldest monastery of Naxos and it is assumed to have been built in the Byzantine era (around 1600). The katholikon architecture is unique. First it was a three-aisled old Christian basilica with narthex, while probably after the 16th century the temple became tetrastyle with dome and narthex. The iconostasis is marble with old Byzantine sculptures and reliefs. In the katholikon there is an old chapel built in the middle Byzantine era. It has arches and pilasters. Remains of old frescoes are also preserved. Info The monastery of Fotodotis is celebrated on August 6, at the Transfiguration of Jesus.