ANTIPAROS (anc. Oliaros), an island of the kingdom of Greece, in the modern eparchy of Naxos, separated by a strait (about 1 m. wide at the narrowest point) from the west coast of Pares. It is 7 m. long by 3 broad, and contains about 700 inhabitants, most of whom live in Kastro, a village on the north coast, and are employed in agriculture and fishing. Formerly piracy was common. The only remarkable feature in the island is a stalactite cavern on the south coast, which is reached by a narrow passage broken by two steep and dangerous descents which are accomplished by the aid of rope-ladders. The grotto itself, which is about 150 ft. by 100, and 50 ft. high (not all can be seen from any part, and probably some portions are still unexplored), shows many remarkable examples of stalactite formations and incrustations of dazzling brilliance. It is not mentioned by ancient writers; the first western traveller to visit it was the marquis de Nointel (ambassador of Louis XIV. to the Porte) who descended it with a numerous suite and held high mass there on Christmas day 1673. There is, however, in the entrance of the cavern an inscription recording the names of visitors in ancient times.
See J.P. de Tournefort, Relation d'un voyage au Levant (1717); English edition, 1718, vol. i. p. 146, and guide-books to Greece.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)