Naxos is the largest and most fertile island of the Cyclades. Dominating its geography is Mount Zas (1,022 m.), whose name alludes to the ancient worship of Zeus. According to myth, it was on Naxos that Dionysus wed Ariadne, abandoned there by Theseus on his way back to Athens from Crete. The island is rich in mineral resources, notably marble and emery, mined since antiquity. In the Bronze Age, Naxos was a major centre of the Cycladic Civilisation, while in the Classical Age it fell into the sphere of Athenian influence. After the Crusaders partitioned the Byzantine Empire, the Venetian Marco Sanudo occupied the island in 1207 and established the Duchy of Naxos, which came to comprise most of the Aegean islands. Following the Greek War of Independence, Naxos was included in the first Greek State. Today, Naxos is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors with its exquisite beaches, traditional villages and renowned local produce.
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