Naxos is an island that combines beauty and history, but at the same time hides a special mystery that seduces visitors. One of them is the famous Portara of Naxos, famous and unique all over the world. This is the large marble gate that stands high on the islet of ‘Palatia’, which today is connected to Naxos town and is the most photographed site on the island, as visitors can enjoy the sunset from there.
According to the mythology, this is where Ariadne, the Minoan princess was abandoned by Theseus after he killed Minotaur on the island of Crete. After that, God Dionysus found her at the Temple and fall in love with her. Later, Ariadne got married with God Dionysus and the people worshiped her as a goddess for centuries on the island.
Since the beginning of Greece’s history, God Apollonas, with Delos as its religious center, had spread to all the Cyclades. Embassies from all the islands arrived on the sacred island of God Apollonas to celebrate him.
According to archaeologists and scholars, the temple began to be built according to the specifications of the temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens and of Goddess Hera in Samos. A few years later, Lygdamis lost his power and the plans for the completion of the temple were stopped.
Later, the ancient temple of Portara turned to Christianity with the faithful building a church on its ruins. This was until the Venetian occupation, when it was completely destroyed, with its marbles being used in other constructions, such as the Castle of the town. The only part that was not destroyed was the Portara!
The monumental gate of Portara welcomes you the moment that the ship arrives to the port. The temple is located on the islet Palatia which is at the left side of Naxos port.
The islet was not connected to the mainland until 1919 where locals decided to build an artificial causeway. From the first moment of your visit to this point, you will feel an intense energy penetrating you and transporting you on a journey through time!
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