There’s one thing that you don’t always hear about the Greek island of Mykonos: they love their churches! So much so, in fact, that around the end of World War II people liked to say that there was a church for every day of the year, but even that wasn’t enough; the estimated number of churches on Mykonos is now close to 800, or enough for one per local family.
Of all these churches, the most famous is Panagia Paraportiani, and probably because it embodies the vision everyone holds in their heart of Cycladic architecture, but also the variations upon it that are unique to Mykonos. Typical cycladian architecture is a story of necessity. A scarcity in building materials, paired with strong winds, helped to create the cubic shapes and flat roofs so characteristic of the region. The whitewashing? A means to reflect the sun and keep interiors cool. How things got asymmetrical and more rounded on the island of Mykonos, however, is anyone’s guess. Maybe the island just always liked to do thing a little differently.
Panagia Paraportiani actually isn’t just a church; it’s 5-churches-in-1, built together during the period from 1425 until the 17th century. Built over 2 levels, the asymmetry of this conglomerate is especially highlighted from some angles by its ocean backdrop. Like with all things architectural, you just can’t fully experience it in photos. Why not go see Panagia Paraportiani for yourself? It’s just a 5 minute walk from White Line Hotels edit Mykonos Theoxenia Hotel.