Delphini

The most ancient place in the area is Delphini, which derives its name from the old city Delphinoupoli, a colony of Ions. It has to do with the worship of Apollo Delphini- who was considered as the protector of seamen and was celebrated in most of the coastal cities-even though building relics of any sanctuary were never found.

As it is reported by the historian Giorgos Zolotas, the Delphini of Chios, is distinguished to that of Athens , where there was the sanctuary of Apollo. Korais believes that the sanctuary in Chios was created according to Delphini of Athens.

Thoukidides reports that they fortified in many ways the area of Delphini, which was already powerful, had ports and was close to the city of Chios , and thus, he mentions, the fertile valley where on the edge of the valley is Delphini and it is protected from the winds, natural port. Entering the port, there is the rocky island Taurus which derives its name from its shape or because fossilized heads of bulls were found there. Also various buildings and coins have been found in the rocky island.

The port of Delphini is known from the events that took place in the last decade of the Peloponnesian war. In ancient times, Chios used to be a great naval force, so Athens as well as Sparta wanted to go into partnership with Chios . When Chios rebelled against the Athenian Alliance, the Athenians, who tried to keep the rebelled Ionian cities, occupied Delphini with soldiers from Lesvos in 412 B.C. The conditions were the best for the creation of a naval base since there was a spring of water, it was a natural port with deep waters protected from the winds. Thus they fortified it anyhow and they controlled the marine channel between Chios and the peninsula of Eritrea . The fact that the wall was built quickly is testified by its careless way of construction. Some years later in 407B.C. Delphini was occupied by the Spartans and was destroyed by the Spartan admiral Kallikratida.

There are no signs of habitation of Roman ages in the area, but in the western side of the islet Tauros we can see walls, going into the sea.

In the Byzantine Era the entry was permitted only to those who had authorization, while a shipyard was founded.

The Genoas named it ‘Bellofano’, because they had built a beautiful big lighthouse of red stone in the southern side of the port.

The importance of the bay is obvious from the vigla that it is preserved in a good condition. You can go to the vigla of Delphini, which is found on a rough cape, on foot in about 90 minutes and you should be careful when climbing, even if you wear appropriate shoes. In order to control the area, the vigla had visual contact with the one of Kardamila in the north and with the vigla of Aipos in the south.

The port of Delphini was also competing that of Chios . As it is reported in 1448 certain ships preferred this port, but due to its location a new city could not be developed.

 

Excavations

In 1938, archaeological excavations brought the remains of the wall to light, which the Athenians built in the north side of the port and which covers an area of about 15.000m2, and even a farmhouse of a more recent era.

The wall consisted of at least seven towers- three towers were found in the south and four in the west side- from where land and sea were kept under control. The archaeological findings indicated that the area of the hill was not inhabited before 5 B.C., but after the Persian wars and till the Hellenistic times.

In the north of the Acropolis in the valley, the remains of a farmhouse and other small outbuildings even pieces of pots and other domestic vessels were found.

In particular, as it is reported in a research of the archaeologist and scholar Athina Zaharou-Loutrari, a large tile with a circular stamp of a Sphinx was found in the outbuildings of the farmhouse, which is on the right on an urn with a sharp bottom. This kind is found on measures and posthumous coins between 190-160 B.C. On the tile there was the state emblem showing that there was a public property in the area of Delphini.

During the German occupation, when the inhabitants were forced to plough the land, many remains of vessels were found, which were unfortunately destroyed due to the locals’ ignorance.

On the maps of the sea, Delphini was known as ‘Kolokothia’and due to its location, even nowadays, it is of great importance. Few years ago, there were so many caiques and boats that there was no space left in the port, so they laid up in the port of Delphini.

Many shipyards and boatyards were in the area, but nowadays it is abandoned. There is the big Plain of the village full of citrus trees – the locals traded the citrus fruit and they promoted them to other markets- the draw-wells and the watermills. Ô he last watermill in use was the one of Stratis Papas, the Kordis’ watermill as it was called in the village.

In the summer they used to carry (carried) hay and watermelons from Delphini to Samos island.

Nowadays, there are fish farms in the bay. Since 1974, a military force operates in Delphini and the access is difficult for individuals.

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This website informs of folklore and cultural events of the Cultural Society of Lagada “Kydianta” and are co-funded by the Cultural Society of Lagada “Kydianta” and European Union, Europian Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) Program “Rural Development (2000-2006) - Reinforcement of Local Events connected to the preservation of local cultural heritage of regions as well as local agricultural products”