In the Kastro, which is the original nucleus of the present-day town of Mykonos (on its northwestern edge), stands the Paraportiani, a group of building impressive for its shapes' plasticity.
Historic religious sites on Mykonos can also be found along the coastline, and Panagia Paraportiani is one of them. Located at the entrance to the Kastro neighborhood of Chora, the whitewashed walls of this seaside church form a unique shape due to the building’s unusual construction. Five small churches that were built on top of each other beginning in the 14th Century became the Panagia Paraportiani that can be seen today. The asymmetrical shape and rare combination of architectural styles combined with the ocean view have helped to make Panagia Paraportiani one of the most photographed sites in the world.
In this location, during the Middle Ages, there was a tall, fortified tower, side by side and above one of the entrances to the Kastro. Now there is a complex made up of five churches altogether, four on the ground level and on the floor above, the church of the Virgin, which is the oldest of all. The Paraportiani, and the windmills are the island’s trademark.
Places near Panagia Paraportiani
The characteristic "Mili" (Windmills) are found south of Chora, in between the picturesque Alefkandra and Neochori. They impress visitors with their all-white overwhelming massive shapes, in a row facing the sea.
The presence of windmills in insular Greece is documented in the beginning of 15th century. Later, during the late 18th century to the mid 19th century it is established that 28 windmills were functioning in Mykonos. Apart from the town, windmills functioned also in Ano Mera. Generally, high winds frequency in Mykonos favored this milling operation and marketing of cereals.
The ownership of the mills was generally cooperative. Their owners were wealthy landowners, merchants, sailors, etc., which means they were people who held power and authority in each local community. Mills also belonged to monasteries, such as the Virgin Tourliani , mainly as occasional effect of religious donations. During the 20th century, the final phase of the windmill history, several mill owners were millers themselves.
There are many reasons why windmills are popular in Cyclades, because Cyclades are the most windy areas of the Mediterranean. Mykonos is especially windy, as there are no more than ten windless days per year, on average. By having a windmill, the residents were able to take advantage of an abundant source of energy,wind, and as a result they were able to improve the conditions of their lives in their small and remote island communities.Additionally, during times when wheat and barley were the basic ingredients of the local diet, the windmill served as a time and labour-saving machine.
Today, seven, out of the ten mills which until beginning of the 20th century, would process the local wheat, using the unfailing power of the wind, have been preserved. The windmills of Mykonos, contributed to the economic growth of the island, as it became a necessary stop, for the purchase of paximadi (ship’s biscuit), for ships playing the Aegean. The “Bakery of Yiora”, in Neochori, with its wood-burning over, is a working example of the bakeries of past time.
As the name suggests, Little Venice Quarter is a section of Mykonos where the barrier between the buildings and the sea is nonexistent. Waves lap the sides of the charming houses, cafes and restaurants that sit elegantly perched on the water’s edge. Built during the 16th and 17th Centuries by wealthy sea merchants, Little Venice Quarter is situated on the western edge of Chora near Alevkantra beach. The romantic atmosphere and ethereal beauty of Little Venice Quarter make it a favorite hangout for artists who have recreated the scene in countless paintings.
The Archaeological Museum, located alongside the harbor, was built circa 1900, mainly to house finds from the excavation of the “Pit of Purification” (dating from the 5th century B.C.) and the necropolis of Rhenia.
It was designed by Alexandros Lykakis and paid for by the Ministry of Education and the Archaeological Society of Athens, while the land was donated by the Municipality of Mykonos. The original Neoclassical building assumed its present, "insular" form in 1934, and the large, eastern room, was added in 1972.
The exhibition of the museum includes a large number of vases, ranging from the prehistoric to the late Hellenistic period (25th-1st century B.C.), grave statues, stelae and funerary urns from Rheneia, and very few finds from Mykonos. The museum contains collections which include funerary statues and grave stelae dating from the 2nd/1st century B.C., pottery dating from the 25th to the 1st century B.C., clay figurines dated to the 2nd/1st century B.C., jewellery and small objects of the 2nd/1st century B.C.
There is a large collection of vessels especially represented of Cycladic ceramics dating from the Geometric period until the 6th cent. B.C. Also on exhibit are wonderful black figure and red figure pottery and diverse finds, including Hellenistic period gravestones and other sculpture.
Among the finds from Mykonos, especially impressive is the “Pithos of Mykonos”: a large jar, (made in a workshop on Tinos the 7th cent. B.C.) Richly decorated with bas – relief zones of bas-relief depicting various scenes from the Trojan War (the central composition shows Achaian warriors with the Trojan Horse).
Open 8:30 a.m to 3:00 p.m, daily except Monday and major public holidays.