The Portara of Naxos

Today, our virtual journey will take us to Naxos, the largest of the Cycladic islands. Endowed with more resources (such as arable land, emery and fine quality marble) than most of the others, the island flourished during the archaic period (7th and 6th centuries BCE) and became a major power in the Aegean Sea.

The temple of Apollo on the small island called Palatia is a testament of that time. Its construction began around 530 BCE, but the temple was never finished. Most of the building was later pulled down and its materials repurposed, but its enormous door survived for 26 centuries and today serves as the island’s symbol.

The Portara (huge door), as the monument is aptly called, is the gate to Naxos and its rich history.


The Portara. In the background Hora, the island’s largest town (whose medieval nucleus still survives) and its castle.


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