But the monument that makes an impression on the visitor and is considered the "emblem" of the island, is Portara, on the islet of Bacchus, at the edge of the port. "Portara" has long been called "Portara" by the locals, due to its large size. This monument that time forgot here, is the gigantic, marble gate of a temple, dedicated to Apollo. The temple was built in the 6th century BC, at the time of the Tyrannus Lygdami, when Naxos was a great naval, commercial and cultural center. Today the island that hosts it is called "Palaces". The Christians built a church on the ruins of the ancient temple, according to the custom of the time, while an important settlement developed around the church. During the period of the Venetian occupation, many parts of the temple were used for the construction of the Castle.
Here, according to tradition, under the "Palaces", Theseus abandoned Ariadne and from here she was abducted by Dionysus and his entourage. In this area, according to tradition, the first "Dionysia" were celebrated. The myth of the abduction of Ariadne by Dionysus on the beach of "Palaces" inspired musicians, sculptors and painters who, with their works, made Naxos known all over the world.
The view of a sunset from Portara is an unforgettable experience!
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou