Delos, the lost island

During my 2018 Mediterranean Cruise we called at Mykonos, from Mykonos it was only a small boat trip over the rough seas to the nearby island of Delos, while it currently is uninhabited (except for some archaeologists and a bunch of cats) it used to be one of the biggest and most important cities and holy places in the Greek empire. 

According to Greek beliefs it was the birthplace of Artemis and Apollo and had a big number of temples to worship them. Over the course of the years there were temples added by the Egyptians (to worship Isis) and the Romans providing for a multicultural society. At the time it was not allowed to either give birth or die on the Island, for which you were brought over to a nearby island.

 

In the centuries following the demise of the Greek and Roman Empire the island was abandoned and subsequently plundered, first to acquire building materials, late to ‘save’ Ancient art by the French and the British.

Currently only a fraction of the island is excavated as the best way to conserve things is to keep them buried since they lack funds to keep everything maintained. In the ruins you can visit you can see the remnants of some very posh houses that already included sewage and toilets. Also the theatre and a big part of the temples has been dug up and can be visited. There is also a museum on the island that is home to some of the original statues to be able to keep them from weather wear and tear, their original places on the island have been taken by copies.

 

 

Going to Delos is only possible as part of a guided tour, and we were lucky in having a very good, knowledgeable and humoristic guide. If you are in the neighbourhood you definably should pay a visit to the island as it is one of the best sites left from the ancient times.

In case you easily get sea-sick, don’t forget to take some pills as the seas can be quite rough, and we had quite some green-faced passengers on our little boat.

Have you ever been to Delos or another Greek historic site? Let us know in the comments below!

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