Terrace of Lions
Public Art: Terrace of Lions
Description: The Terrace of Lions originally
consisted of between 9 and 16 marble lions standing in a row, facing eastwards towards the Sacred Lake (birthplace
of Apollo) and guarding the Sacred Way. Each lion is in the crouching position, atop a stone pedestal,
with its tail between its legs and mouth ajar, as though ready to pounce. Today, only 6 of the
originals remain, while an additional 3 are in varying stages of ruin. The 6th lion, which was originally
headless, stands outside the Porta Magna in Venice, Italy.
Date: The Lions were carved just before 600BC and
were dedicated to Apollo by the people of Naxos.
Location: The original Terrace of Lions were replaced
by replicas in 1999 and moved to the Archaeological Museum of Delos due to wind and sea air
Trivia : One of the Delos lions can be found
outside the Venetian Arsenal's main gate, the Porta Magna, in Venice, Italy. The gate was built in 1460
by Antonio Gambello from a design by Jacopo Bellini. The originally headless Delos lion was restored
and placed there in 1716 to commemorate Venice's reconquest of the island of Corfu. The other lions outside
the gate are also Greek, but they were added in 1687.
The Sacred Lake has been emptied for hygenic reasons.
The lions were discovered between 1886 and 1906.
The lions were considered the eternal guardians of the Sanctuary and they lined the avenue in a
manner only encountered in the Orient and Egypt.