Repli­cas of Apol­lo’s stone guards still guard the sacred site of Greece. Locat­ed across the street from the now-dry lake where, accord­ing to leg­end, the ancient Greek sun god Apol­lo was born, the Ter­race of the Lions keeps the mem­o­ry of what was once an impos­ing row of stone lions.

terrace of lions

Entry relat­ed to loca­tion: Greece

The orig­i­nal row of 12 (although there may have been 16) stone lions was built around 600 BC. peo­ple of Nax­os in hon­or of the god Apol­lo. The lions face east towards the Sacred Lake of Delos, where, accord­ing to Greek schol­ars of the time, Apol­lo was born. As planned, the lions were sup­posed to either sym­bol­i­cal­ly guard this place, or sim­ply instill a sense of divine pow­er in trav­el­ers head­ing to the shrine of Apol­lo in the area.

Although vis­i­tors can still walk through the orig­i­nal arrange­ment of the five remain­ing lion stat­ues, they are actu­al­ly just mar­ble repli­cas. The orig­i­nal cat fig­urines were moved to a near­by muse­um to pro­tect them from envi­ron­men­tal expo­sure and sub­se­quent destruc­tion.

To get to Lions Ter­race, take a small fer­ry from Mykonos to Delos. The island of Delos is a vis­it-only archae­o­log­i­cal site, with­out any accom­mo­da­tion facil­i­ties and hotels in Greece, so an overnight stay is not pos­si­ble.

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