Discovering Delos

Delos is one of the most important Greek sites in the Aegean. It has captured the attention of several archaeologists & tourists due to its long history. 

According to mythology, goddess Leto fled to the island while being chased by goddess Hera. There Leto gave birth to the god Apollo and goddess Artemis. It is believed that upon the birth of Apollo the island of Delos flourished and was tied at the bottom of the sea with diamond chains.

Delοs has been one of the most important political centers in Ancient Greece. Today the island is under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and is listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. Furthermore, it welcomes tourists who want to travel back in time and witness with their own eyes the most well-preserved ancient city in Greece.

Delos Archaeological Museum

It was not until 1873 when the French Archaeological School started excavations to reveal the beauty and history of Delos all around the world. In 1904 the Museum of Delos was built at the expense of the “Archaeological Society of Athens”. 

The museum was comprised of five halls to which several more were added in 1931 and 1972. Meanwhile, alternations were made at the exterior of the museum because several archaeologists wanted to remove any industrial elements of the building; They wanted to make it more distinctive as it is located among antiquities.  Today the Museum includes nine halls. Six of them include sculptures & relics found in Delos - one of the most important archaeological collections in the world. Two chambers include potteries from the Prehistoric period and the late Hellenic period whereas the last one includes small objects and items found in private residences of Delos.

The Museum is one of the most important in Greece with a rich collection of rare exhibits such as sculptures, vessels, inscriptions, marvelous mosaics, etc.

The museum includes the following collections:

  • Tombstones and columns
  • Vessels
  • Figurines
  • Jewelry and small items
  • Mosaics

Some of the most important exhibits are:

  • Α marble complex depicting Vorreas grabbing the Princess of Attica Oreithia - found in the temple of Athenians
  • Statues of Dioskouridis and his wife Cleopatra - found in a couple's home
  • A statue of Apollo - found in the theater district
  • A bronze facade of bearded Dionysos that wears a diadem and ivy wreath - found south of the Competialists Market
  • An archaic statue of a kore, which has a veil tied around her waist - found in the Sanctuary of Apollo

Monuments to see

Agora of Hermaists:

The market dates to the last quarter of the 2nd century B.C. It is paved with granite slabs whereas on the north side one can find Phillip’s Gallery and a temple dedicated to Hermes god of Commerce. On the east side, one can see where shops were situated. At the center of the market lies the statue of Hermes where merchants used to offer gifts and offerings.

Temple of Delia:

The largest temple of Apollo. The construction of the temple started in 478 B.C. and was interrupted in the middle of the 5th century B.C. The construction of the temple continued for a short period but was never completed.

The Residence of Dionysus:

A private residence in Delos built around the last quarter of the 2nd century B.C. A walkway leads from the street to the main courtyard surrounded by a peristyle that opens to the ground floor rooms. An underground tank is situated at the center of the courtyard in which rainwater was gathered. Finally, a stone staircase leads to rooms situated on the upper floor.

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