Temple of Apollo Portara, Greece

Lasting archway from Greek antiquity



CyArk digitally documenting the Temple of Apollo Portara by CyArkCyArk

Expedition Overview

In the summer of 2016, CyArk collaborated with the Hellenic Republic Ministry of Culture and Ephorate of Antiquities of the Cyclades, to document three cultural heritage sites on the island of Naxos. CyArk completed laser scanning (Faro X330 laser scanner) along with aerial and terrestrial photogrammetry (with a Canon 5D and Phantom 4 Pro drone). The documentation of the temple will be used by the Ephorate of Antiquities to complement existing documentation of the site, develop virtual tours, and monitor the structural deterioration of the temple.

A view of the Temple of Apollo Portara with the island of Naxos in the background by CyArkCyArk

Introducing the Apollo Temple

Standing offshore from the island of Naxos in the Cycladic archipelago, the Temple of Apollo or Portara is an unfinished temple facing Delos, the birthplace of the Ancient Grecian god Apollo. In ancient times, the site was connected to the larger island of Naxos but is now a small islet known as Palatia. Conceived by the tyrant Lygdamis, the temple was intended to be the largest and most glorious building in all of Greece. However, Lygdamis was overthrown before the temple could be completed in 506 BCE, resulting in the abandonment of the site. The temple was later converted into a church in the 5th and 6th centuries, but by the time the island of Naxos came under Venetian and Ottoman rule, the church was dismantled. The only part of the structure that remains today are parts of the foundation and the large monumental doorway, an important window connected to Greek mythology.

View from the base of the Temple of Apollo in Greece

Temple of Apollo on the island of Naxos by CyArkCyArk

An aerial photograph taken by drone of the Temple of Apollo Portara by CyArkCyArk

Temple Gate

Not much remains of the Temple of Apollo Potara as it was greatly dismantled and used as building material for the nearby Venetian fortress known as the Kastro. The only parts of the temple that remain are sections of the foundation and the large, six meter tall and three and a half meter wide gate known as the Portara. The two columns that make up the gate weigh 20 tons each and remain because they were too heavy to be removed and integrated into other buildings. The gateway is composed of Naxian marble, one of the most significant types of marble in Ancient Greece notable for its large crystals.

Open Heritage 3D by CyArkCyArk

Data from this project is now freely available through Open Heritage 3D.

Download the data from this project.

About Open Heritage 3D

The mission of the Open Heritage 3D project is to:

● Provide open access to 3D cultural heritage datasets for education, research and other
non-commercial uses.

● Minimize the technical, financial and legal barriers for publishers of 3D heritage data.

● Promote discovery and re-use of datasets through standardized metadata and data formats.

● Foster community collaboration and knowledge sharing in the 3D cultural heritage community.

● Share best practices and methodologies for the capture, processing and storage of 3D cultural heritage data

Credits: Story

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This project was made possible with the following partners:

Ephorate of Antiquities of the Cyclades

Hellenic Republic Ministry of Culture

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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