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You are about to discover one of the most famous architectural structures in all of Greece, the Church of the Blessed Virgin Paraportiani.
This is the most important and most visited church among the more than 400 hermitages and chapels scattered throughout the island. Along with the windmills, of course, it is also one of the most important symbols of Mykonos.
Located near the main entrance of the harbour, Paraportiani is the centre of the
Castro District, the oldest quarter in Mykonos town, where the Venetians built a medieval castle, though of this only a few ruins remain. Among these ruins is one of the entrances that lend this church its name.
The Church of Paraportiani is surprising even from the outside. The pristine white silhouette outlined against the blue sky and sea is of a beauty and plasticity that will impress anyone. In reality, however, this is not the silhouette of just one church, but rather a series of five chapels.
Indeed, no less than five small churches were built over the centuries on two distinct levels. Construction began in 1475 and ended well into the seventeenth century. Four churches -Agios Sosontas, Agii Anargiri, Agia Anastasia and Agios Eustatios- were built on an initial level, together forming the foundation on which the fifth church, which served as the central dome, was later added.
Just looking at it you have probably already you guessed why it's the most photographed church on Mykonos, right? Without a doubt the church is extremely photogenic, especially at sunset