The Portara of Naxos

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The Portara of Naxos or Naxos Temple Gate called fragment of the Temple of Apollo on Naxos, an island of the Cyclades, is considered the landmark of Naxos. The gate is located on a peninsula in front of the city of Naxos.
The Portara of Naxos or Naxos Temple Gate called fragment of the Temple of Apollo on Naxos, an island of the Cyclades, is considered the landmark of Naxos. The gate is located on a peninsula in front of the city of Naxos.
The Portara of Naxos or Naxos Temple Gate called fragment of the Temple of Apollo on Naxos, an Greek island of the Cyclades ( The Cyclades  are an archipelago in the Aegean Sea – Greece  ) , is considered the landmark of Naxos. The gate is located on a peninsula in front of the city of Naxos.

On the harbor of the former island of Palatia stands the Portara of Naxos marble. It is 5.95 meters high and 3.65 meters wide and the only surviving component of the temple. The temple gate consists of a doorway and a lintel, each made of a piece of island marble from the quarries of Flerio. Each of the two soffits has a weight of about 20 tons. The lintel weighs a little less. These workpieces were transported from the quarries of Flerio about ten kilometers away.

The construction of a large temple began in the Archaic period around 530 BC. At that time the tyrant Lygdamis Naxos had to rule the island. He seems to have wanted to build a very large temple on the island, which was to become over 100 feet long. However, construction did not complete when Naxos ended the war with Samos. The work was finally abandoned after Lygdamis was overthrown in 506 BCE.
The temple is generally believed to have been dedicated to Apollo. However, according to some researchers, it might have been dedicated instead to Dionysos, the patron of the island. The ambiguity is due to the fact that the temple is not mentioned in the preserved ancient sources, and no drawings have been found there either. In modern times, the gate has also been called the gate of the Ariadne Palace.  This is also where the island gets its current name, referring to the palace.

Despite its incompleteness, the temple was in some use in ancient times, but this seems to have ended already in the 400s BC. During the Ottoman rule, the Turks continued to use parts of the temple. By 1628, only the large doorway of the temple was still standing, apparently because it was too heavy to be demolished.  It is reported that in 1769 a Russian warship tried to shoot the gate, but it still failed due to a missed shot.

In Greek mythology, the place of the temple on the island of Palatia was the same place where Theseus rejected the Ariadne he brought from Crete. Dionysus later found Ariadne and built a palace there.  During the Cycladic culture in the 21st century BC. there has been some kind of settlement there.

Today, The doorway is the symbol of the city of Naxos and the whole island and is known as Portara. that gate is a very important attraction for the Cyclades and it attracts many visitors to admire the sunset and  stroll along the sea.

Access : Coordinates: -37.110298, -154.62774 / The Temple of Apollon is located on the island of Palatia on the northern edge of the city of Naxos, less than a kilometer from the city center. , The temple gate can be reached via a narrow strait , which can be overflowed by wind in the wind. The gate is a tourist attraction, which is often visited in the evening, as it highlights the glittering marble gate from the blue sky or against the setting sun clearly.

Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities – photography  / landscape observation

Go next : Chora – Naxos city  /  The Castro – old, walled city section / Apiranthos village

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