Churches of Mykonos Island
The Orthodox religion takes an important role in the make up of Greek culture and its presence on the island of Mykonos is without exception. Spreading over the entire island with the thickest concentration built in the main village, the vast abundance of various sized churches make this fact truly evident.
Of all the churches in the town of Mykonos, the most famous internationally is the majestic structure of Paraportiani. From both an architectural and photographic point of view the organic lines that make up this building are truly unique.
More traditional to Cycladic construction are the three main cathedrals of Agio Kiriaki, Metropolious and Panachrou which hold regular services throughout the year. In addition, it is interesting to note that throughout the main town of Mykonos, there are over 40 smaller churches, all well maintained and holding a specific importance within the Orthodox calendar.
From this calendar the most celebrated day after that of Easter, is the Feast of Saint Mary on the 15th of August. In the central village of Ano Mera a wonderful monastery style cathedral, dedicated to this saint, welcome visitors to view its famous icon and impressive bell tower. There is also a small museum display that reflects the church's history.
The only religious denomination to establish itself on the island other than Greek Orthodox is that of the Catholic Church. This chapel is centrally located in the main town of Mykonos.
Along with its share of monasteries, convents and cathedrals the island is very well known for its profusion of small family churches. Originally built as a tribute to aid in the safe return of the island's sailors, the celebrated number of these chapels is said to be 365, one for each day of the year. In reality and lately more of a sign of affluence, these churches number closer to 500 in total. In some cases these private chapels not only house the remains of family members and ancestors but also are the scene for yearly religious festive celebrations called "Panagiris" which take place on various days throughout the religious year.