Its name literally means “Our Lady of the Side Gate” in Greek, as its entrance was found in the side gate of the entrance to the Kastro area.
The lovely church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) Paraportiani is among the most photographed churches not only in Mykonos, but in the whole world. It is located at the entrance of Kastro neighbourhood, right by the sea.
The white-washed building is in fact a complex consisting of five chapels divided into two levels. The five churches were not contructed at once, but gradually along centuries. The oldest church is Agios Anargyros, which was built in late 14th century. The other churches were built in the 16th and the 17th century, while there were renovations till 1920. The church of Agios Efstathios is the centre of this complex, surrounded by the churches of Agios Anargyros, Agios Sozon and Agia Anastasia. On top of these four churches, there is the church of Virgin Mary, which looks like a dome.
Panagia Paraportiani is one of the most characteristic images of Mykonos and it cannot go unnoticed thanks to its dazzling white color and its Cycladic plasticity. Virgin Mary was named Paraportiani after “paraporti”, which is a tiny entrance to the castle, while as for its 300 years old miraculous icon.