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Churches to Visit on Mykonos

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Mykonos is known for being an island rich with opportunities to enjoy a bustling nightlife scene. It is also known for its many gorgeous beaches. However, there is also another side of the island that is worth exploring – its ties to the Greek Orthodox Church. While here, you might consider visiting these churches:

Panagia Paraportiani

The church Panagia Paraportiani is made of one church built on top of four other churches alongside each other. The oldest church is dedicated to Saint Anargyros, close to the end of the 14th century. The other churches established in the 16th and 17th centuries are devoted to St. Efstathios, St. Anastasia, and St. Sozon. At the top rests the Church of the Virgin Mary in the shape of a dome.

Panagia Paraportiani sits by the sea and adjacent to what used to be a castle. The name “Paraportiani” stands for “Our Lady of the Side Gate” in the Greek form. In ancient times it was common practice to build a church next door to the castle gate.

Panagia Tourliani

The Panagia Tourliani Monestery is located in the village of Ano Mera. It was originally built in the 15th century and remodeled in the 17th century. To this day the Virgin Mary watches over the village and is honored every year in August with a celebration.

Inside the church is a series of beautiful screen paintings of the beloved saints and apostles from the bible. The screen has ornamental framing of gold, green, and red blossoms. The exterior is inspiring with its mission bells and defending tower.

Mykonos Catholic Church

The Mykonos Catholic Church of Panagia Roderio is a rare little gem found in Alefkandra Square just beyond Chora town. Built in the 16th century and revamped in the 17th century, this church holds a special painting representing the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus up above the holy table. Traditional masses are held for the townspeople and tourists.

Outside is a tranquil courtyard to rest and meditate. Inside is filled with time-honered catholic history. A visit to this tranquil sanctuary will leave you feeling at peace and whole again.

Paleokastro Monastery

Paleokastro Monastery was built in the 18th century on a hill overlooking Ano Mera, a lush green village in Mykonos. The old castle was used as an abby for nuns. Inside is an eleborate wall painting of the saints and Jesus framed in golden decoration. Nearby are the famous old windmills that sustained agriculture long ago.

There is a large, granite wedge outside of the monastery that is also worth viewing. It has intrigued people because they don’t quite know its purpose. However, it could be a shrine or ancient grave site.  The Paleokastro Monastery is a great illustration of Greek architecture.

The Greek people mostly identify as Greek Orthodox Christians, and taking the time to stop and view these churches gives you a feel for this side of the culture. However, there is a Catholic Church that is worth visiting on the list, as well, and that is also a piece of the island’s history and culture.

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This post was written by GreekBoston.com

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