You are next to the island of Delos, the center of the universe!
Delos is a small island (6.85 km2) situated at the center of the Cyclades - a group of islands forming a circle - in the Aegean Sea. It lies 3.5 kms west of Mykonos. Of great significance in Ancient Greek mythology, Delos is considered today to be one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in Greece.
According to myth, there was once a tiny rock floating around the Aegean called Asteria. This rock was the petrified sister of Leto. Poseidon or Zeus anchored the windswept barren rock to the seabed with diamond columns in order to provide shelter for Titaness Leto, pregnant by Zeus and persecuted by his wife, Hera. Being the birthplace of two gods, Artemis and Apollo, this little island from adelos (unknown) became Delos (obvious and renowned). Artemis was the goddess of the hunt and the wilderness, as well as of fertility and childbirth. Apollo was the god of light, music and poetry; supporting this view, contemporary scientific studies have shown that Delos is one of the sunniest spots in the world.
The sanctuary of Apollo, established in the Mycenaean period (ca. 1400 BC), began to operate on an organized basis in the 7th century BC. The Homeric Hymn to Apollo in the Odyssey, written in about 700 BC, refers to Delos as a renowned religious centre of the Ionians. In 540 BC, under Athenian rule, Peisistratus of Athens ordered the first ‘cleansing’ of Delos, while during the second, in 426 BC, the remains of all the dead of Delos were transferred to the neighboring island of Rheneia; births and deaths on the island were banned from this point onwards in order to preserve the sanctity of Apollo’s temple.
With the arrival of the Macedonians in 315 BC, the island attained independence and the ability to develop commercially. In the Hellenistic period, a large city of about 30,000 inhabitants developed around the sanctuary, evolving into a major port of the central Aegean. Later, the Romans’ presence attracted Egyptians, Syrians and Italians, spurring the island’s growth even more. The island suffered two devastating attacks, in 88 BC by Mithridates (King of Pontus) and in 69 BC by Athenodoros. These two raids pushed the island into decline and led to its eventual abandonment in the 6th century AD. The excavations on the island (which began in 1873) are among the most extensive in Greece and many of the artifacts found are on display at the Archaeological Museum of Delos and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. In 1990, UNESCO inscribed Delos on the World Heritage List, citing it as an "exceptionally extensive and rich" archaeological site which "conveys the image of a great cosmopolitan Mediterranean port".