Ancient Roman, Greek history, history and travel, History in Time, In the footsteps of the Ceasers, Italy, Lost and Found, Palaces, Roman History, Sites to see in the world, Still Current, The Caesars, The Isle of Capri, Travel, Uncategorized, World history

The Isle of Capri: Resort of the Caesars

 

A view of the harbor

Marina Grande, the main harbor of the Isle of Capri

 

 

Ron Current

Ron Current

Part of our tour was a daytrip to the magical and romantic Isle of Capri, which is only a short forty minute ferry ride from Sorrento. Capri is one of three islands located just outside the Bay of Naples: the others are Ischia and Procida. But the most famous of them all is Capri. As we cruise there I’ll give you a brief history of the Isle of Capri.

Although it’s known that Capri was settled by Bronze Age Greeks it is now thought that the island was inhabited at a much earlier time. The first record of this comes from when the Emperor Augustus was excavating for his villa where large bones and stone weapons were unearthed. Modern archaeologists now believe that the island was indeed inhabited during the Neolithic period, from 10,200 BC till around 2,500 BC.
However the most famous settlers of the island were the Romans, and two of their emperors. As I mentioned above the first emperor to build a villa on Capri was Augustus. Augustus needed a place to get away from the heat and crowds of Rome, he chose Capri for its mild climate, remoteness and its rocky cliffs that offered him protection from would be assassins. But it would be his successor Tiberius that would out do him in the scale, grandeur and numbers of villas built on the island. Tiberius constructed twelve palaces on Capri, the largest being Villa Jovis.

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Bust of Tiberius Caesar, the Romisch-Germanisches Museum in Cologne

During his rule Tiberius began spending more and more time at Villa Jovis than he did in Rome. Fear of assassination became such a paranoia for him that he self-exiled himself to Capri were his personal security was much better than in Rome. It was at Jovis that he spent the rest of his life until his death in 37 AD.
Villa Jovis sits atop Monte Tiberio, the islands second highest peak. The palace covers almost 1.7 acres and was built at different levels. Water was an issue for such a large complex, with all the servants and solders serving and protecting the emperor. To solve that problem four huge barrel roofed cisterns were built to collect and store water, providing more than enough even for hot baths.

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The ruins of Villa Jovis

Today only eight levels remain of the Villa Jovis complex, but it does give visitors a feeling of what it must have looked like when Tiberius Caesar ruled from there. Sadly, since this was just a day trip there wasn’t time to visit the site.

Our ferry docked at the port of Marina Grande on the island’s north side. As you disembark you’ll notice that the harbor is a mixture of small colorful fishing boats, day cruisers and multi-million dollar yachts. Unlike many other island ports Marina Grande isn’t the main town, it’s Capri sitting 800 feet above the harbor.

The port of Marina Grande

The harbor of Marina Grande

To get to the town of Capri you can: walk, take a bike, take a taxi, or the funicular. We decided on the funicular. Capri’s funicular is a cable car that holds 70 passengers and pulls itself up a steep incline to the town. As you’re riding up you get a great view of the harbor and its surrounding cliffs with white washed houses clinging to their sides.
The funicular station lets you off on the Piazzetta, the center of town. If you are a people watcher Capri is the place to be, for this is the place where the who’s who of Europe come to stay and shop, and if you’re a shopper Capri has the largest selection of exclusive brand name shops in one location.

 

 

street of Capri street one

Street in Capri

 

Our next stop was a little higher up the mountain, the town of Anacapri. We choose one of the island’s buses to get us there. The buses on Capri are not like the buses we think of, they’re more like minivans. I have been on many thrill rides but nothing compared to this bus ride. The road up to Anacapri is very, very narrow and full of traffic going up and down. Add to that they all drive at Italian speed. Our seat was near the front and all we could see were cars, motor scooters and buses coming right at us. It was surprising that we weren’t involved in a head-on collision. Finally arriving at Anacapri we quickly got off, and I found a shop where I could sample another Limoncello.

Narrow road

close call on the road to Anacapri

Anacapri is a little less fancy and more laidback that Capri, and the shops are not as high end as in Capri. Things to see in Anacapri: the small church of Chiesa di San Michele with its eighteenth-century majolica floor, which is a form of painted ceramic. Also there’s the Villa San Michele built by the Swedish doctor Axel Munthe. If you like antiques this is the place to visit.
Just a little past the Villa San Michele is what is known as the La Scala Fenicia or Phoenician Steps. This steep rock stairway was the only way to get from Marina Grande, Capri and Anacapri for centuries. Although called the Phoenician Steps they were most likely constructed by the ancient Greek colonist.

The ancient stairs

the top of the Phoenician Steps

Another popular thing to do while in Anacapri is go to the top of Mount Solaro, the island’s highest peak. From up there they say the view is spectacular. However there’s only two ways to get to the top: walk or take the chair left. And when I say a chair lift, I mean a chair. It’s a single seat chair that hangs on a cable with your legs dangling in the air.

the Chairlift to the top

The chair lift to Mount Solaro

 

I wish that we had time to see the other sites that Capri had to offer, especially the world famous Grotta Azzurra or Blue Grotto. But it gives us something to go back for.

 

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Ancient Roman, Greece, Greek history, history and travel, Homer, In the footsteps of the Ceasers, Italy, Mount Vesuvius, Myths and Legends, Roman History, Sites to see in the world, Sorrento, Still Current, The Odyssey, Travel, Uncategorized, What to see in Rome

The Sorrento Coast, Italy: the song of the Sirens

 

Ron Current

Ron Current

Leaving the ancient ruins of Pompeii we journeyed down the northern side of the rugged peninsula that frames the south side of the Bay of Naples to the beautiful town of Sorrento. Our hotel was just north of the town on the water, where across the bay Mount Vesuvius commanded our view.
Sorrento is part of what is commonly known as the Sorrento Coast, the region near the tip of the peninsula that is dominated by high and sheer cliffs that plunge down into the blue Mediterranean. It, along with its sister region the Amalfi Coast on the opposite side of the peninsular, are famous destinations for those seeking fantastic panoramic views and a mild climate.

Vesuvius seen from Sorrento

Vesuvius as seen from Sorrento

 

So exotic and enchanting is this coastal area that it’s said to be the site of an legendary place in one of the oldest works of Western literature, Homer’s the Odyssey.
The Odyssey is the Greek poet Homer’s sequel to his the Iliad  about the Trojan War. The Odyssey tells of the Greek King of Ithaca Odysseus’ (Ulysses in Roman) ten year quest to get home after the war. One of his trials was an encounter with the beautiful and hypnotic Sirens, whose songs would cause sailors to run their ships onto the rocks. It is believed that it was the Greeks who colonized the Sorrento region that attached the area to Odyssey’s sirens.
After the Greeks came the Romans who would make these shores one of their favorite playgrounds. Still today it continues the have the reputation as being an exclusive resort area, not only for the Italians but all of Europe as well. Sorrento 4
Besides the town of Sorrento the area is dotted with small hamlets that stretch along the coast and into the surrounding hills. The Sorrento region is noted for its fresh seafood, olives, grapes, oranges, and lemons; it’s from these lemons that they make their famed liqueur, Limoncello. Shops offer free tasting, and when I sampled one the fumes burned the inside of my nose by just bringing the glass to my mouth. In other words it’s a little too potent for me.
The actively on the streets of Sorrento doesn’t slow down with the setting Sun. The buildings are lighted and music fills the still crowded streets. Even with the scores of tourists and locals you never feel closed in. The crowds move freely from shop to shop, and restaurant to restaurant.

Plaza in Sorrento

The Plaza at the center of Sorrento

If Sorrento is where you’re staying during your visit there’s easy transportation to other points of interest along the peninsula and the bay: Naples and Pompeii are a quick train ride away, buses can carry you other picturesque villages along the Sorrento and Amalfi Coasts, and a ferry can whisk you away to the romantic Isle of Capri, our next destination.

Street in Sorrento at night

Sorrento in the evening 

Sorrento, and its coastal area, may be the most idyllic place to visit with its seaside splendor, mild climate, colorful villages, great food, friendly people, and the most amazing and gorgeous rugged cliff lined shores. In Homer’s story Odyssus had himself tied to his ships mast and his crew’s ears plugged to avoid the siren’s song, but perhaps in reality it was the overwhelming and the awesome beauty of the cliffs that caused the ancient sailor to venture to close and crashed on its rocks.

 
Next: The Isle of Capri, resort of the Caesars.

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Akrotiri, Atlantis, Greece, Greek history, history and travel, History in Time, Lost and Found, Myths and Legends, Santorini, Still Current, Travel, Uncategorized, World history

Atlantis; maybe not so lost?

Ron Current

Ron Current

 

In 360 BC, approximately 1,300 years after the massive eruption of the island Thera, the Greek philosopher Plato wrote in his Timaeus of a great sea power that had attacked ancient Athens. He wrote that this sea power was the greatest power that the world had ever seen. These invaders, he wrote came from a giant island beyond “the Pillars of Hercules” which he called Atlantis. In his story Athens repealed the attack, the story ending with Atlantis falling out of favor with the Gods and sinking beneath the sea after a great calamity.

Although the Atlantis story was of minor importance in Plato’s work, believed to have been used as a metaphor, the tale of Atlantis has grown to legendary status. Present day philologists and historians agree that the story presented by Plato is fictional in character, but there is much debate on what might have inspired his tale, and where this mythical island may have existed. After reading many of these theories I personally lean toward the ones putting Santorini/ Thera as being ancient Atlantis, or at least part of it. I also think that Plato was not just using the one island in his tale, but was referring to an entire advanced civilization that had occupied the Greek islands for his Atlanteans. I also believe  that it was the eruption of Thera that led to the destruction of that civilization and also was  used by Plato for the destruction of  his Atlantis.

Solid gold statue of a goat from Akrotiri, discovered in 1999- Museum of Prehistoric Thira

This gold goat is the only item of value found at Akrotiri

In presenting my thoughts I will be looking at two aspects of the Atlantis tale: first, it’s probable location and second, who could the Atlanteans have really been, if they actually existed.

First, what would the probable location of Plato’s Atlantis have been? In his Timaeus Plato puts Atlantis “beyond the pillars of Heracles (or the Roman spelling, Hercules).” Today the most commonly referred to landmass known as the Pillars of Heracles is the Straits of Gibraltar. This has led most theorists to place Atlantis’ location as being out in the Atlantic Ocean. However the ancient Greeks had referred to many locations as being “the Pillars of Heracles.” The mythical stories of the hero Heracles, and the other Greek gods and heroes, had been oral tales told before the beginnings of the Aegean Bronze Age, which started at around 3000 BC. These early settlers, which would become the Greeks, had come into the Grecian peninsula from Eastern Europe after the last great Ice Age. Their world view was limited to the region around the northeastern Mediterranean. They would not have known about the Straits of Gibraltar. There are two landmasses in the world of these ancient Greeks that were also called the Pillars of Heracles in that period. These are the two southward pointing headlands on each side of the Gulf of Laconia on Greece’s Peloponnese. Using this Peloponnesian Pillars of Heracles would put the island of Thera (Santorini) beyond them.

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A casting of a Minoan table from the buried city of Akrotiri

It has also been theorized that Plato could have been referring to Atlantis as a group of people on many islands instead of being just one giant island. This brings me to my second though as to whom the Atlanteans could have been. There had to have been an advanced Bronze Age Mediterranean civilization that Plato could have used for his Atlantis. And there was a such a civilization, more advanced than those of the early Greeks of the mainland in the early Bronze Age. We know them today as the Minoans. The Minoan civilization sprang up on the island of Crete and then spread throughout the eastern Mediterranean islands, including the island of Thera. Historians agree that the Minoans and the early mainland Greeks had conflicts. Greek mythology is full of tales of these conflicts. One of the most famous is of the Greek hero Theseus’ killing the Minotaur in the Labyrinth on Crete. This myth tells of King Minos of Crete demanding from King Aegeus of Athens, that every nine years King Aegeus would send seven boys and seven girls to Crete as an offing to the monster called the Minotaur, who had the body of a man and the head of a bull. This story depicted the power that the Crete King had over mainland Athens at that time. Plato’s description of the conflict between the Atlanteans and the Athenians, although a different tale, is similar to what was going on between these two people.

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One of the beautiful wall art taken from Akrotiri

There are no records telling us what the name of this Bronze Age island civilization was in ancient times. It was the twenty century archaeologist Arthur Evans who gave this civilization the name Minoan, taken from the name of the mythical Crete king Minos. So, could the people we today call the Minoans have been known as the Atlanteans by the early Greeks?

So what does history say happened to the Minoans? And how does it compare to what Plato says happened to the Atlanteans? Plato writes about the battle between the Athenians and the Atlanteans, in which Athens wins. History says that as the mainland Mycenaean and Athenian civilizations grew and expanded they pushed back on the Minoans, and there would have been battles, I’m sure. Plato then writes that Atlantis angered the gods, and they caused a great calamity to fall on Atlantis, sinking it beneath the sea. We know that the Minoan civilization flourished, beginning in approximately 3650 BC.  Then around 1615 BC, Thera exploded, raising havoc throughout the Minoan islands and civilization. After the Thera eruption date the Minoan civilization began to decline, and by around 1540 BC the Minoans were gone.

Santorini map

Could this map of Thera also be of Atlantis?

So, my opinion is that the Minoan’s were the model for the Plato’s Atlanteans, and that the Thera eruption was the calamity that not only destroyed the Minion civilization, but also helped to create the legend of the Atlantis.

When you now visit the island of Santorini, and you stand on the edge of the crater looking down at the sea in the caldera, you can feel that you have found Atlantis.

 

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Akrotiri, Greece, Greek history, history and travel, History in Time, Santorini, Still Current, Travel, Uncategorized, World history

The Thira Eruption; An event that changed the ancient world

Ron Current

Ron Current

The volcanic eruption of Thera is also known as the Santorini Eruption or the Minoan Eruption. It was this historic event that made stopping at Santorini one of the most anticipated of my Greece trip. What really got me excited when I read about Thera’s eruption was the magnitude of it, and how it affected history, may have been a part of a biblical story and could have also created a famous myth.

As I stood at the edge of the crater, looking down at the sea filled caldera, I tried to picture what it may have looked like before the historic eruption. Geological studies have shown that it looked very much as it does today.

Santorini map

The Archipelago of Santorini. The ring of the ancient volcano can be seen.

The caldera, as today, was filled by the sea. However instead of five islands ringing the caldera it was nearly one continuous landmass then. There was one small opening at the south end of the ring, the only entrance into the inter harbor. That opening would have been between today’s Thera and Aspronisi islands. At the center of the caldera, as today, would have been a smoldering island volcano that would be the center of the cataclysmic eruption to come. To the Minoans, being people of the sea, they were drawn to the protected harbor, making it a perfect place to build one of their main trading ports.

The Volcano Island of Nea Kameni

The island of Nea Kameni at the center of the caldera. The growing volcano that will be the site of the future eruption.

It is believed that the Thera volcano had erupted many times over the several hundred thousand years before the Bronze Age event.  It had repeated the process of building a volcano, then a violent eruption with the island collapsing into a rough circle and the sea filling the caldera. But the Minoans were unaware of this process due to the fact that there were centuries between each of these events.

At around 1627 and 1600 BC the new volcano at center of the caldera became active. First there were earthquakes. This made the residences of the island aware that something was happening. Studies suggest that there were four phases to the eruption after the earthquakes began. The first was a thin expulsion of ash. This preliminary activity most likely gave the population a few months to flee the island. This could be one of the reasons why there no human remains or valuables found at the buried city of Akrotiri. But did the Minoans flee far enough to save themselves? And what effect did the final eruption have on the Minoan civilization and that of the whole region.

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A Minoan vase from Akrotiri

So how big was the final eruption? To gage the size of a volcanic eruption volcanologists use what is called a Volcanic Exclusivity Index, or VEI. Using this index the Thera eruption is believed to have been a 7.  So how does Thera’s compare to other famous known eruptions? Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD, that buried Pompeii, is figured to have been at a 5, Mt. St. Helens in 1980 at a 4, and the famous 1883 eruption of Krakatoa is rated at a 6. An VEI rating of 7 makes the Thera event one of the largest in history.

The total volume of ejected material is estimated at approximately 24 cu mi, projecting an ash plume up to 22 miles into the stratosphere. The final explosion generated a mega-tsunamis that is thought to have reached a height from 115 to 492 feet, washing over the coasts and islands of the eastern Mediterranean. The Thera eruption would have also affected the climate of the entire northern hemisphere for years after.

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The famous “Blue Monkeys” fresco from Akrotiri.

This super eruption has been theorized to have played a part in the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt, as helping to cause the plaques and the parting of the sea.  It is also believed to have led to the collapse of the Minoan civilization, which ended at around 1400 BC. There is no way that the centers of that civilization could have withstood the destruction that would have been caused by that eruption. So even if the population of Thera had left before the final blast they would have still been subjected to the aftermath caused by it.

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Me at the edge of the carter with the volcanic island Nea Kameni in the background.

But what really fascinated me about this massive eruption was its provable connection to Plato’s Atlantis!  More on that in a later post!

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Akrotiri, Greece, Greek history, history and travel, History in Time, Santorini, Still Current, Travel, World history

Thira’s prehistoric city of Akrotiri [akro’tiri]: the Pompeii of Greece

Ron Current

Ron Current

One of the most interesting, and amazing archaeological sites in Greece is the Bronze Age city of Akrotiri on the island of Santorini (Thira).

Human habitation on Thira can be traced back as early as the fifth millennium. However it’s the Minoan period of Akrotiri, at the time of the eruption, which is the most interesting. The Minoan civilization began on the island of Crete and lasted from approximately 3650 BC, until around 1400 BC. The Minoan’s are considered to be one of the most advanced civilizations of the Bronze Age. They were sea people, spreading out from Crete to the islands in the Cyclades group. They traded with other Mediterranean civilizations, such as Egypt and Turkey. Akrotiri is believed to have been one of the main Minoan trade centers.

Prehistoric Akrotiri

The ruins of Akrotiri are protected by being enclosed in a climatically controlled building.

Between 1642 and 1540 BC, Thira exploded in one of the most massive eruptions in history. The eruption buried Akrotiri under tons of volcanic ash, freezing it in time. The city lay hidden for over three millennia until locals, quarrying pumice, began finding ancient artifacts. In 1867, the first organized excavations of the site began by the French geologist F. Fouque. Although other excavations were done in the later part of the 19th and the early 20th centuries it wasn’t until Greek archaeologist Spyridon Marinatos began working that the site revealed its full meaning. Within just a few hours Marinatos uncovered the remains of a complete buried city.  Today Akrotiri is one of the most important excavations in the Aegean region, and is often referred to as the Pompeii of Greece

On a street of Prehistoric Akrotiri

The outer wall of a building on a street on Akrotiri.

Unlike Pompeii there are no signs of human deaths caused by eruption that buried Akrotiri. Although there are pieces of furnishings that molds have been made of, there been no bodies found so far. In fact the city is void of even articles of value. This suggests that the population of Akrotiri, and the entire island as well, may have had time to evacuate before the final blast took place.

Effects of the earthquakes during the 1615 BC eruption.

The magnitude of the earthquakes before the final eruption can been seen by these broken steps.

Another unique difference between Pompeii and Akrotiri is that the entire excavation is inside a covered building, protecting it from the elements. You view the ruins from an elevated walk, which gives you a birds eye view of the streets and rooms. On the tour you are able to go down onto one of the ancient streets, a street were people walked almost seventeen hundred years before Pompeii.

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The molds of two bed frames that were found in one of the houses.

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Greece, Greek history, history and travel, Santorini, Still Current, Travel, Uncategorized, World history

Santorini? Thira? Or is it Atlantis?

Ron Current

Ron Current

The last stop on our tour was the island that travel agencies call Santorini. This Greek island was one of the most anticipated stops for me, because of its geological formation and history, both real and mythical.  Santorini has another name, and perhaps even a third that is even more famous.

The name Santorini comes from when the island was part the Latin Empire in the thirteenth century. Today Greece has officially restored the island to its classical Greek name, Thira, or also spelled as Thera. The island has also been attached to an even older, mythical name and legend that I’ll cover in a future post.

Thira is part of a small archipelago of islands at the far southern end of the Cyclades group. The Thira archipelago is made up of five islands, with the named island being the largest. The others are the inhabited island of Therasia and three uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni and Aspronisi. Nea Kameni and Palaia Kameni are the newest islands of this group, because this is an active super volcano. Santorini 6

When you sail into the volcanic caldera of Thira the first thing that you see is the amazing sheer side of the main island. This western side raises more than nine hundred feet above the sea, with its white stucco buildings, and their colorful roofs, hanging on its top edge.

There are three ways to get to the top: one is to walk up, two, take a donkey, or three, some type of motor vehicle. Ours was by motor coach, and that was an experience. Remember this side of the island is almost straight up, nine hundred feet. And to drive up this winding, narrow road with a 60 passenger travel bus, my hat is off to the Greek bus drivers of Thira.

DSC_0172As I mentioned Thira is a super volcano. Its two major cities sit on the western rim of the crater.While the east side the the island slopes gently down to the sea.

Thira, like all of Greece, has beautiful churches to visit. There are big ones and small one all over the island. The number of churches reflects how devoted the Greek people are to their religion.  DSC_0142

Greece, and its islands, have a national religion- Christian Greek Orthodox. Over 90% of all Greeks passionately practice this religion. The Greek Orthodox is a branch of the Eastern Orthodox Church. DSC_0233And the Eastern Orthodox Churches make up the second largest Christian church group. It is also are one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, claiming that their practicing dates back to the original faith passed down from the Apostles.

In future posts I will explore the volcanic, archaeological and mythical history of this beautiful Greek island of Thira.

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Delos, Greece, Greek history, history and travel, History in Time, Mykonos, Still Current, Travel, Uncategorized, World history

The Greek Islands of Mykonos and Delos

Ron Current

Ron Current

Mykonos
Mykonos is one of the most popular Greek islands for vacationing Europeans. This is due to its warm weather and its world famous beaches. Mykonos sits at the center of the Cyclades archipelago that runs up the eastern side of the Greek mainland. Mykonos is roughly 33 square miles in size and rises to an elevation of 1,119 feet. The population is a little over 10,000, with most living in its main town that referred to as Chora. Chora in Greek means “the Town”, with its official name being Mykonos, following the Greek practice of naming the major town after the island.

A street in Mykonos

A street in Mykonos

Archaeological findings have shown that the first residences of Mykonos were a Neolithic tribe known as the Kares, dating at about 3,000 BC. The first real settlers were the Ionians, who came from Athens in the early 11th century BC. Although the Ionians lived on Mykonos their major population was on the island of Delos, a short one mile away.
When you see photos of Mykonos you’ll most likely see its windmills. These windmills, standing in a row on the hill overlooking the main town are its defining feature. However they were not built by the Greeks, but rather the Venetians when they controlled Greece in the 16th century AD. The windmills today are still used to mill flour, with some even used as homes or for storage.

Windmills of Mykonos

Windmills of Mykonos

The harbor has been called little Venice, with its rows of fishing houses, there balconies hanging over the sea. The streets of Mykonos are bright and pleasant with colorfully painted doors and trim on white washed building.

 

 

Delos
To be honest the one stop on our tour that I was lest interested in visiting was Mykonos. For me the tour was visiting the ancient Greek sites and all that I knew of Mykonos up till then was the beaches and windmills. . Then I found out about the Island of Delos, the largest Greek archaeological site in the world. Delos is one of the most important historical and mythological sites of the ancient Greeks.

The archaeological site of Delos

The archaeological site of Delos

This island is believed to have been the birthplace of the Greek gods Apollo, and his twin sister Artemis. Because of this myth it was one the most sacred places in ancient Greece, right up there with Delphi and Olympia. Delos was so important that it was mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. Delos was also a successful seaport, being at the center of the Cyclades archipelago, for ships traveling between Syria and Egypt.
The first to settle the island were a people known as the Carians. These people were later expelled by the legionary King Minos of Crete. Delos was already a famous pilgrimage site by Homers time. The site was a major cult center spanning time between 900 BC till 100 AD. To make the island purer for worshiping the gods in the 6th century the Athenians, who controlled the island, had all the graves dug up and moved to another island. As these “purifications” expanded no one was allowed to die, or even be born on Delos.

A street on Delos

A street on Delos

Since Delos is a few miles from Mykonos you need to take a high speed ferry to get there. What awaits you when you arrive is a massive ancient ruined city spreading out as far as the eye can see. Ancient streets with shops along them, columns were temples stood, mosaic floors and statuary everywhere.
In the 8th Century BC close to 25,000 people had lived on Delos, even though it had little natural resources and is barren for the most part. In the first century BC the island was attacked many time and the shipping trade routes, so important to the island people changed, and since Delos did not have a self-supporting community it became uninhabited.
Today excavations at Delos are among the most extensive in the entire Mediterranean. Many of the artifacts found there are ether on display at the islands museum or at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.
What really catches your attention on the island the rocky Mount Kynthos.

Mount Kynthos

Mount Kynthos

In ancient times there stood a temple to Zeus on its summit. Although the hill is not that tall (367 ft.) its rockiness and the steep trail adds to the challenge of climbing to the top.

The rocky trial to the summit of Mount Kynthos

The rocky trial to the summit of
Mount Kynthos

But is it well worth the effort, from there you can not only see the massive archaeological site below, but also the far off islands of Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Syros and Rhenia.

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