On the 12th Km of the main road linking the capital city of Naxos (Chora), with the inland (Halki, Filoti), the Bazeos Castle dominates the land leading to the seacoast of Agiassos.
At first, this castle functioned as a monastery and was called monastery of the True Cross (“Timios Stavros”). In the first decades of the 19th century however, the last remaining monks abandoned it and in 1834 it became the property of the newly founded Greek state.
For many years the castle offered hospitality to families of potters who lived there and practiced their tradecraft. Later on, by the end of the 19th century, the castle was sold by the Greek government and was bought by the Bazeos (Bassegio - http://www.baseggio.net) family, whose descendants are the current owners. In the Venetian tradition of the island, the family maintained its primary residence in Chora, while also using the tower as a summer residence and agricultural provisions storage area. Its last descendent, appreciating the importance and historical value of the building, continues its upkeep with particular care and aesthetic awareness.
In 2000, the first phase of restoration was completed, through the exclusive use of private funds, under the supervision of the National Technical University (NTU) architects, Themistocles Bilis and Maria Magnisali. Since then it has functioned as a cultural activities space.
Structure, Fortification & Buildings
The tower dates back to the 17th century and belongs to the most typical group of monuments in Naxos, dating from 13th to the 18th century. The reason for the common presence of such buildings has its sources in the social and historic conditions prevailing in post-Byzantine years. Great uncertainty prevailed at the time in the Aegean, because of the frequent pirate raids that had not stopped since the Byzantine era and also because of the feudal system on the island, which after having being introduced and systematically applied during Venetian rule, survived during the years of Turkish rule.