Delos: Roaming the Remnants of a Forgotten City
You’ve heard of Mykonos
for it’s round white and blue topped buildings, curling alleyways and stone paths serving as a picturesque backdrop on many a computer screen. During the summer months the entire island is filled with party goers and beach seekers as if a throwback to the times of the ancient Greeks where Dionysus themed parties and free flowing wine were a staple of the everyday life.
And yet, in a sleepy forgotten island off the coast of Mykonos lays the island of Delos
. Considered the birthplace of the Sun God Apollo, Delos was at one time Greece’s largest travel port connecting trade routes from Italy, Greece and Asia. It’s access to the sea allowed for ships from all over the world to come and trade. Patrons from all over the world came to live and trade on this island, and even holds the oldest known synagogue.
The island of Delos became so wealthy that giant mastiffs and golden statues decorated the island. A must see is the Stoivadeion, an enormous phallic statue built for the Temple of Dionysus (might be awkward with your parents though). You can also visit the Temple of Isis, as you hike up to the top of Mount Kynthos to get an all encompassing view of the island. Visit the amphitheatre that once fit thousands of theatre goers from all over the world. This came in place with hotels with views of the city from the top of the hill. The Terrace of the Lions is one of the most famous sights here, and was built for Apollo. Today only 9 of the 12 original remain inside the Museum. Replicas sit outside where they once stood.
Probably most impressive was the plumbing and air conditioning system that was in place. A complicated fortress of underground tunnels brought water and acted as sewers for each individual house. Wealthier houses like the House of Dionysus even had an air conditioning and refrigeration system that was created from an underground well of cool waters that chilled the marble tiles on the ground and created a “cooling” effect across the entire house. Murals on these tiles can still be seen today.
article by Chau Mui
for more please visit www.chaufornow.com