Unique architecture and building regulations of Paros, jewel of the Cyclades, Greece

The best way to discover and admire the architecture of Paros is to walk through its narrow alleys, letting yourself choose your direction, exploring the shapes, shades and colors of the charming little villages. We invite you on 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 such 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 former 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 form 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 tops of the villages where a blue-domed church usually stands. White windmills and blue-domed churches are typical of the Cyclades (with the exception of Mykonos, where most chapels and churches have red domes).

The most famous church in 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 unique local architecture of the island, 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 standards are as follows:

1. The dwellings 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 a building permit is 8,000 m² if the title is new (recent parcelling). For titles related before 1993 the minimum area is 4000 m². The maximum habitable area of ​​the building is 200 m² on a 4,000 m² plot and 280 m² on an 8,000 m² plot, 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 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 home without a building permit and do not count as living space.

6. Buildings must be whitewashed in order to obtain the residence permit which is compulsory for electricity (this is the law from 2006 onwards. It does not apply to building permits granted before the year 2006).

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