• ca. 530 B. C., Lygdamis, ruler of Naxos, started construction on what was to be the most massive temple in all of Greece

  • but war between Naxos and Samos broke out

  • Lydgamis was overthrown in 506, and temple was never finished
    • the tenons (‘knobs’) used to lift the stones into place were never removed
      • this was always one of the last steps in finishing a temple


  • the temple was to be Ionic in style

  • it was to be 180 ft long and 80 ft wide
    • 12 or 13 columns on the sides and 6 at the ends
    • double porticos at the end

  • converted to Christian church in the Middle Ages

  • in the 13th century, the structure was dismantled
    • the marble was used in the construction of the Venetian fortress known as Kastro

  • the stones of the entry (portara) were too heavy to move into Chora, so they were left in place
    • each column weighs ca. 20 tons


  • opinions vary on whose temple this was to be

  • some say Apollo
    • temple faces Delos, birthplace of Apollo

  • some say Dionysus
    • Dionysus was patron deity of Naxos

Portara with Chora (Naxos Town) in the background


Remains of Venetian Kastro