Portara, Naxos island, Greece

Portara, Naxos island, Greece 1

Portara, Naxos island, Greece.

Portara is the Symbol of Naxos. It is a huge marble gate, a remnant of a temple of Apollo of 530 BC, which remained unfinished in its construction. It consists of 4 pieces of marble weighing 20 tons. It was built by Tyrant Ligdamis in the 6th century BC, according to the specifications of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens and Hera in Samos.

Portara, Naxos island, Greece
Portara, Naxos island, Greece

Portara, roughly 6 m. high and 3.5 m. wide, is made of four blocks, each weighing 20 tonnes. A Christian church was built on the temple’s ruins, and its building blocks were reused by the Venetians for the castle of Naxos. However, Portara remains intact and continues to greet visitors arriving at Naxos.

While its entry was on the western side, unusual in temples of this type. The monumental gate that survives today was led by the precursor inside the temple and consists of four marble sections weighing tens of tons. There are traces of its foundations and the foundations of the perimeter colonnade that has never been completed. The Palatia islet has been linked to the worship of Ariadne and Dionysus – the legend wants Ariadne’s rapture from Dionysus to their shores and is considered the place where the first “Dionysia” was celebrated.

Is said that in 530 B.C., the ruler of Naxos at the time, Lygdamis, had a goal to build one of the largest buildings in all of Greece. He ordered that a temple be built on the islet of Palatia. While construction of the temple was underway, Naxos entered into a war with the island of Samos. Because of the war, construction ceased. In fact, construction actually never started up again because Lygdamis was actually overthrown as their ruler.

Portara, Naxos island, Greece.
Portara, Naxos island, Greece.