Daphni means "laurel tree," which was sacred to Apollo, whose sanctuary once occupied this site. The original temple was destroyed in AD 395 after the anti-pagan edicts of the emperor Theodosius, and the Orthodox monastery that stands here now was probably established in the 6th century, incorporating materials of Apollo's sanctuary in the church and walls. Reoccupied by Orthodox monks only in the 16th century, the Daphni neighborhood has since been host to a barracks and mental institution. The monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is once again open to the public even though restoration work is ongoing.
When there was every reason in the world to stay away and see the ruins, one woman traveled to Greece to get to work.More