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A sacred place of the Aegean with uninterrupted life and function from the 14th century B.C. up to our times. It is the cradle of the Ionic order of the monumental Greek architecture.
The sancturay of Iria has been located (1982), investigated (1986-1996) and presented to the public (1992-1996) by the University of Athens in collaboration with the Polytechnical School of Munich, with the financial support of both
Universities as well as the Ministry of Culture (research) and the Ministry of Aegean (presentation).
The religious function of the Iria sanctuary at Livadhi, Naxos, dates back ,
to prehistoric times (1300 B.C.) and the use of the site for religious purposes continues, uninterrupted, until today. Its importance is attested not only by splendid architectural finds, but also by the numerous votive offerings dedicated to the deity worshipped in the sanctuary during all its long history, but especially during the earlier periods.
The importance of the buildings discovered at Iria is so great that scientific discussion on the subject has taken a central place in international archaeological bibliography and in handbooks on ancient architecture.
The worship on the site has had a brilliantly testified and uninterrupted sequence (worship of Dionysos in antiquity and of the relative St. George later on). This sequence supports in a vivid way all other evidence that bears witness to a cultural continuity at Naxos, since 1500 B.C. onwards.