Villa Kerylos

Author: fraise

Sunday 12 August 2012, in La France, Travel

Villa Kerylos, Triklinos - wall and ceiling

As my vacation continues, I’ve been able to visit some local sights that I had often heard about, but not seen until now. One was the Villa Kerylos, a “reconstruction of Greek noble houses built on the island of Delos in the 2nd century B.C.” The Greek word kerylos means halcyon, a bird of good omen, also able to calm the seas, thus our English expression “halcyon days“.

The villa was built by banker and archeologist Theodore Reinach, and architect and archeologist Emmanuel Pontremoli, who was born in Nice. Imagery surrounding the goddess Nike can be found in the villa, no coincidence as Nice’s original Greek name was Nikaïia after the goddess, who is often depicted as having wings, which also fits well with the legend of Alcyone, a nod to the villa’s name meaning.

Villa Kerylos, peristyle - Nike and Phygele

Villa Kerylos, Nikai

My Villa Kerylos photoset has several other photos of the beautiful home. One of my favorite areas was the downstairs sculpture corridor, with several well-known statues. Before visiting, I was only a little acquainted with the myth of Athena and Erikhthonios / Erichthonius, depicted in this sculpture. Erichthonius, “son of Earth”, was born as a serpent when Hephaestus attempted to rape Athena, who took a scrap of wool and wiped his seed off onto the ground. Some legends speak of Gaia, goddess of the Earth, then handing Erichthonius to Athena, who hid him in a basket and raised him in secret.

Athéna à la ciste

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