Paraportiani is a remarkable architectural complex, and the weathering over time has contributed to its extraordinary beauty.
"Paraportiani" got its name from the fact that it is located next to the small gate, the "paraport" of the medieval wall of Mykonos. In fact, it is a two-storey complex of five (5) churches, the four of which are on the ground floor and only one is elevated. It is precisely this church that bears the name of Panagia Paraportiani.
It was built between the 16th and 17th century due to its unique architectural heritage, it has become an important monument not only for Mykonos but also for the whole of the Aegean. It is, without a doubt, one of the most photographed sights of Greece.
Post-Byzantina Era Churches
The cathedral, Zoodoxos Pigi(Mitropoli), and Panachra, Agia Kyriaki, Agioa Nikolaos of the Harbor and Agia Eleni are a few of the many noteworthy post-Byzantine era churches found in the Chora, with characteristic architecture, beautiful icons and elaborately worked rood screens (there are more than 70 churches in the town, the majority of which have been declared historical monuments by the Ministry of Culture).
The large number of chapels and churches on the island is the result of both a plethora of votive offerings and the Mykonian custom of enshrining the bones of their dead in the walls of family shrines. The 17th century church of Panagia “Lozaria” in Alefkandra square (bearing the crest of the Bourbons as a sign of the protection offered to Catholic church in Mykonos and regular worship services are held there.
Panaghia Tourliani Monastery
Founded in 1542, this monastery was built in the place where there originally was an old church of The Virgin. From 1757 to 1767, consecrated/ dedicated to the church of The Presentation of the Virgin, it was renovated by the holy monk lgnatio Basoula and achieved its present day from The marvellous, carved- wood “baroque” rood screen in the three-chambered church, the bishops throne and the ambonas…(late 18th century) are said to have been made in Florence; the beautiful icons on the rood screen are attributed to the icon painter Ioannis “of Korfu”.
The architecture of the complex, by the simplicity of its grandeur, impresses the visitor who will carefully observe the marble belfry and the water spigot in the courtyard which are elaborately decorated with carvings, typical examples of traditional marble sculpture. The monastery’s collection includes many old tools and utensils, important religious relics, priests’ robes furnishings (old carved wood epitaph, post-Byzantine icons, and various other offerings.
The main settlement of present day Ano Mera has extended (from its’ centre) in the area surrounding this monastery which formerly was very significant to the island.
Located to the north of Ano Mera, this 18th century nunnery is a typical example of the monastic architecture of the Cyclades. It takes its name from “Paleokastro”, the neighbouring hill, crowned with a medieval castle (early Byzantine, occupied until the time of Gizi), which has its foundations on the remains of an ancient fortress.
This area is also known as one of the two major settlements of the island in ancient time. One can see here, among other things, the old church of Agios Vlassis with its neighbouring large dovecote and a prehistoric grave-marker consisting of a single 3-meter-high granite slab.