There are over 250 churches on the small island of Mykonos, but this one is certainly the most photographed, and I certainly recommend having a look at it. It's right in Mykonos Town (Hora). Built over 500 years ago, this church actually is "5 churches in one", as there are 5 different churches on two different levels. The four churches that combine with the main church are Agios Sozontas, Agioi Anargyroi, Agia Anastasia, and Agios Efstathios. The church is also known as "Our Lady of the Postern Gate", and architecturally it is really a unique blend of traditional, modern, and Byzantine architecture.
The main church, known as "Paraportiani" is named from the word "porta", meaning door, because it used to stand at the entrance to an old medieval castle which no longer exists.
The church is located in the Kastro district, which is the "old" center of Mykonos.
If you have seen pictures of Mykonos, then you have probably seen pictures of this unique church before. It is one of this island's most photographed buildings. Panagia Partortiani is also known as Our Lady of the Postern Gate . It was built in the 16th century and it is actually 5 churches. Four chapels for the first story and one larger chapel for the second story.
On the western side of the port town of Hora, before you get to Little Venice you will find the imposing Paraportiani. It stands in the area known as "Kastro" or castle area and it is the oldest section of the town.
Paraportiani evolved over about two hundred years beginning in 1475. Four little churches were joined together to form the lower or main area of the church and a fifth church was placed on top to form the dome that we see today.
In medieval times, the Kastro area was surrounded by a stone wall and Paraportiani which loosely translated, means inner door, was just that in terms of entry to the area past the wall.
Today it presents a formidable sight from its perch on the higher ground of the town and like the windmills, it can be seen from miles around.
This is the most popular and most photographed of the 400 churches on the whole island of Mykonos. What makes this church so unique is its construction which is an assymetrical conglomeration of 4 churches into one.
Notice the 4 different architectural styles mixing Byzantine, vernacular, traditional and western style.
The Panagia Paraportiani (Our Lady of the Postern Gate) is the most famous of the many churches on Mykonos. The sloping, whitewashed conglomeration of four chapels mixes Byzantine and vernacular architechture. Its position on a promontory facing the sea sets off the unique architecture.
This small and discreet church is a very uncommon construction: built from the 15Th to the 17Th, it is only the visible part of an ensemble of five chapels, four of them underground. Security reasons? Escaping from heat? Maybe! the thickness of the walls, and its pure white may confirm that idea.
This lovely white church consists of four chapels at ground level with another above. Part of it was built in 1425 while the rest was built in the 16th and 17th centuries.