The Church of Panagia Paraportiani is situated in the neighborhood of Kastro, in the town of Chora, of the Greek island of Mykonos.
The church’s name means “Our Lady of the Side Gate”, which it was to the Medieval stone walls which encircled the area.
It is one of the most famous architectural structures in Greece.
Construction of this church started in 1425 and was not completed until the 17th century.
This impressive, whitewashed church actually consists of five separate churches which are joined.
The four churches are at ground level and together constitute the base of the fifth church that has been built above them.
The four churches were dedicated to Saint Eustathios, Saint Sozon, Saints Anargyroi and Saint Anastasia.
They are in different architectural styles, mixing Byzantine, vernacular, traditional and western style.
The oldest of the four is Saints Anargyroi, which was built in the late 14th century.
The other churches were built in the 16th and 17th centuries, and by 1920 the building underwent several renovations.
Today, the complete church is considered a leading example of traditional vernacular Cycladic architecture.
The church is notable for an almost complete absence of external decoration and the low, large dome above almost merges with the church roof, lending the whole building an air of solidity.
This is the most popular and most photographed of the 400 churches on the whole island of Mykonos. The church is an icon of both the Cyclades and the Greek islands in general.