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Kouros at Melanes
The ancient historian Herodotus described Naxos as "the happiest of islands." It’s certainly hard not to have a good time on the largest of the Cycladic islands, with its antiquities, medieval watchtowers, mountain trails dotted with Byzantine churches, and miles and miles of soft, sandy beaches. Hidden in the hills are three marble kouroi―giant anthropomorphic statues over 32 feet long. Nobody knows why these 2,500-year-old statues were built or how they ended up there. Two of them lie snoozing in a shady lemon and oleander grove near Melanes. The third, unfinished kouros has been lying in a marble quarry near the seaside village of Apollonas since the 6th century B.C.E.