“One of the purest joys that man can afford in this world is to visit the Aegean Sea in the spring, with a breath of light breeze; I have never been able to imagine paradise in any other way. This joy grows right upside down, but God does not allow it to escalate so that the beloved visible world does not disappear with it, on the contrary, the invisible world becomes visible, and what we call God and eternal life and bliss join us on the ship and accompany us on the voyage. In the bitter hour of your death, close your eyes, and you will see Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Mykonos.” - Nikos Kazantzakis
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The Church of Panagia Paraportiani (Greek: Εκκλησία της Παναγίας της Παραπορτιανής) is situated in the neighbourhood of Kastro, in the town of Chora, on the Greek island of Mykonos. Its name literally means "Our Lady of the Side Gate" in Greek, as its entrance was found in the side gate of the entrance to the Kastro area.
Construction of this church started in 1425 and was not completed until the 17th century. This impressive, whitewashed church actually consists of five separate churches which are joined: The four churches (dedicated to Saint Eustathios, Saint Sozon, Saints Anargyroi and Saint Anastasia) are at ground level and constitute the base of the fifth church of Our Lady that has been built above them. It is of typical island style and the exterior of the church has received hundreds of coats lime whitewash, giving it its characteristic Greek Island ‘whiteness’.