Portara - Naxos - 2

 

 

© Ben Heine || Facebook || Twitter || www.benheine.com

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I took this photo in Naxos, Greece.

 

The above photo has been shot with the Samsung NX10

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For more information about my art: info@benheine.com

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Some facts: Everywhere you go you see the Portara… Close to Naxos port, on the tiny island of Palatia (Dia), the remains of a marble gate "Portara" can be found. It was built during the 6th century B. C. (530 - 540 B. C.) under the rule of the tyrant Lygdamis and was meant to be a marble temple worshiping the god Apollon. The gate is around 6m high and about 3,5m wide and was built with 4 separate columns. Now there are just 3 columns left. Some of the temple's stones were used as ordinary building materials for the Kastro. It is believed that this temple should have been dedicated to the god Apollo because the Portara is located to the west where Delos is, the island of Apollon.

 

Apollon, sun of Zeus and Leto, was the god protecting music and poets and was worshiped especially by young men because of his beauty and perfection. The temple was left unfinished after the dictator abdicated. He was the only dictator ever on Naxos.

 

Later, in the Middle Ages, when it was a habit building churches in the old temples' area, a Christian church was temporarily erected behind the Portara. Nowadays it is a popular place with foreign people getting married.

 

The ancient town of Naxos was located at the same place. Mythology says that once Ariadne (daughter of King Minos of Crete) while sleeping was left by Theseus in Naxos. Theseus (son of King Aegeas of Athens) was the one who fought against Minotaurus, son of Minos' wife Pasiphai.

 

Minotaurus was half man, half bull. King Minos built a labyrinth where Minotaurus had to live. Every ninth year they used to sacrifice 7 boys and 7 virgin girls to Minotaurus. Theseus wanted to stop this massacre. Ariadne was in love with Theseus and helped him to exit the labyrinth. They left Crete together and were planning to go back to Athens but on their way they stopped in Naxos.

 

Naxos is the island of god Dionysos, the god of wine and life. According to some version of the story, Theseus left Ariadne because he met Dionysos in his dream while they were sleeping on the little island Dia - where Portara is. Dionysos told Theseus to leave Ariadne in Naxos because she belonged to him. Dionysos and Ariadne got married and had three children in Naxos, as Apollodoros says.

 

Theseus left Naxos and continued his trip to Athens. Before he faught Minotaurus he had promised his father to hoist the white sail to let him know that he survived. But they were celebrating the victory and so they forgot to hoist the sail. King Aegeas thought his son is dead, jumped from the Cape Sounion into the ocean and the part of the sea got its name, the Aegean Sea. This myth gave Richard Strauss the inspirations for his opera "Ariadne in Naxos".

 

(article's source: allgreecetravel.com)

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Taken on August 27, 2010
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