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Eight kilometres west of Chora lies Ano Mera, the most important ancient town on the island, after the capital.
Ano Mera is a privileged site that rewards the visitor with significant discoveries as they bask in the traditional atmosphere of the island. These discoveries include, for example, a fresh market featuring excellent local cheeses, proximity to the most beautiful beaches on the island, and two authentic jewels of religious architecture: Palaikastro monastery and the monastery of the Virgin Turliani.
The monastery of the Virgin Turliani is, in fact, the central point from which the rest of the town extends outwards. According to tradition, the monastery was built in the year 1542 by a group of escapee monks who sought refuge in a small church on the north of the island.
Though the building was renovated in 1767 it still preserves great beauty. Architecturally speaking, the impressive vertical lines, slender tower, coloured dome and courtyard with marble fountain and handmade wooden temple are nothing less than stunning. The interior also houses wonders, such as a series of beautiful religious icons by painter Ioannis Skordilis and a museum displaying religious costumes, Byzantine icons and the convent's original bells.
In the northern part of the town visitors will find the Palaikastro monastery. A site that is well worth visiting as a fine representative example of monastic Cycladic architecture. Built in the eighteenth century by the rulers of the island, the Gyzi, the monastery took its name from the nearby mountain known as Palaikastro.