Regarded as among the significant historical, mythological, and archaeological sites, the remote island of Delos is nestled in the heart of the loop of islands known as the Cyclades close to Mykonos in Greece. It is a lovely, small islet that is the avenue of some sacred events in the past. As per the legend, Delos was brought to light by Poseidon to facilitate the mistress of Zeus to give birth to a son. Further, the Greek mythology reveals that it was on this tiny island where Apollo was born in the Cyclades archipelago. This is the reason why the sanctuary of Apollo’s always pulled the pilgrims from throughout the nation.
In its golden days, Delos was a wealthy trading port. It looks as if because of this reason, the island today shows the traces of the subsequent civilizations of the Aegean race right from the 3rd century B.C. The site of archaeological excavation is remarkably widespread, wealthy, and reveals the impression of a famous Mediterranean port.
Besides mythology, the island is filled with a lot of other highlights. You will come across a myriad of ruins of which the most ancient one is the Hellenistic Agora that belongs to the 2nd century B.C. The most popular Terrace of Lions is from the 1st century (600 B.C.).
As the island is currently inhabited by only 14 people, visitors mostly plan to come during the day time. Listed below are the highlights of the Delos Island.
This is a small lake whose round bowl is purposefully left empty. This is done by the caretakers so that the bacteria spreading diseases do not get a chance to dwell.
The Minoan Fountain:
This was a rectangular well cut in the rock for the public, which also boasted a central column. It was the official structure made in 166 BC to dignify the sacred spring of the 6th century BC as per an inscription. Tight courses of stonework compose the walls and even today, the water can be seen by climbing the steps.
These are many in numbers here. The Hellenistic Agora still preserves the postholes in the stone paving, which act as the canopies for the market. Here, two influential Italic merchant forms devoted statues and columns.
The Temple of the Delians:
This is a typical example revealing the Doric style. It illustrates a pen-and-wash reconstruction of the religious edifice.
The Terrace of the Lions:
This is devoted by the folks of Naxos to Apollo just prior to 600 BC. Initially, this had 9 to 12 crouching and snarling lions in marble as guard by the side of the Sacred Way of which one is seen above the Venetian Arsenal’s main gate. These lions form a monumental path similar to the avenues of sphinxes. Currently, you can only see 7 original lions here.
The Meeting Hall of the Poseidoniasts of Beirut:
This was where an association used to take place including a merchant, ship owners, warehousemen, and innkeepers at the time of Roman rule in the late 2nd millennium B.C.
The Platform of the Stoivadeion:
This structure is devoted to the Dionysus and holds a figurine of the wine god as well as of the life-force. On one of its sides, there is a pillar holding a giant phallus that is recognized as the symbol of Dionysus. Also, have a look at the southern pillar that is adorned with the reliefs depicting the Dionysiac circle and was built in 300 BC to commemorate a victorious theatrical show. The marble theatre that you can see is a remade one and stands here since 300 BC. The statue of Dionysus is now in the Archaeological Museum of Delos.
The Doric Temple of Isis:
This holy shrine was erected on a soaring hill at the start of the Roman era for worshipping the trinity of Isis, Anubis and the Alexandrian Serapis.
The Temple of Hera:
Originally erected in 500 B.C, the current temple is a remake of a former Heraion shrine.
The House of Dionysus:
This is an opulent private house of the 2nd century named so because of the floor mosaic wherein Dionysus is over a panther.
The House of the Dolphins:
This is also named due to the atrium mosaic in which erotes is over the dolphins.
The Delos Synagogue