During ancient times, the Cyclades island of Delos was the flourishing centre of Greek culture. Greece’s most extensive archaeological site covers the entire island and since 1872 has been frequented by countless archaeologists. Greek legend has it that this now-deserted island was the birthplace of the gods Apollo and Artemis.
Offering wonderful ocean views, the amphitheatre dates back to the third century BC and accommodated around 5,500 spectators. Not all of the island’s temples were dedicated to Greek gods. A particularly well-preserved sanctuary of the so-called ‘foreign gods’ formed part of a beautiful temple that was dedicated to the Egyptian goddess, Isis.
The lower plateaus on the western side of Kithos Hill contain numerous important cult sites. One of these sanctuaries was the centre of the Hera Cult, the Archaic Heraion, that established itself in 500 BC.
Beautifully restored mosaics, with the Phoenician symbol of the goddess Tanith, decorate one of the most impressively furnished houses on the island, the House Of Dolphins.
The island’s ruins indicate its former cosmopolitan nature with its Egyptian, Italian, Phoenician and Jewish traders, but due to the destruction of its buildings and the creation of new centers of trade elsewhere, Delos gradually became deserted.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.