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The Magic of Snowcapped Mount Parnassus in Greece

Mount Parnassus Greece
Mount Parnassus was sacred to Dionysus and Apollo according to Greek mythology. Credit: EVcollie, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikipedia Commons

A drone video has recently captured the mesmerizing magic of Mount Parnassus in central Greece after the November snows covered its craggy peaks.

Parnassus, measuring 2,457 meters (8,061 feet), is one of the highest mountains in Greece, towering above the ancient site of Delphi and the winter destination Arachova. It provides spectacular views of the surrounding mountainous countryside and olive groves.

The significant biodiversity, both in flora and fauna, led Greek authorities to the establishment of the National Park of Parnassus in 1938, the year when the systematic mining of the mountain’s bauxite also began.

The park itself comprises a stunningly-lovely and undisturbed landscape of fifteen thousand hectares (36,000 acres) spreading across the mountainous region between Delphi, Arachova, and Agoriani. The park is home to wolves, wild boars, and various birds of prey as well as badgers and weasels.

The slopes of the massive mountain are also home to two ski areas, Kellaria, and Fterolakka, which together make up the largest ski resort in Greece.

The ski resort operates sixteen lifts, two hybrid ski lifts which combine an eight-seater cabin and a six-seater chair, an eight-seater Cabin, a four-seater chair lift, a two-seater chair lift, six drag lifts, and four baby lifts.

It boasts twenty-five marked ski runs and about fifteen ski routes of thirty-six kilometers (twenty-two miles) total length while the longest run is four kilometers (two miles).

Mount Parnassus’ melting snows provide water to the surrounding communities, reaching out as far as Athens. The mountain is composed of limestone, and its rock contains bauxite, ore that is rich in aluminum. In war, Parnassus was a center of resistance in times of need, providing cover and refuge to partisans.

Mount Parnassus and Greek mythology

Parnassus is commonly represented in early Ancient Greek literature. Many of its ancient communities are cited in Homer’s Iliad.

From a linguistic perspective, it was home to states of the Dorians, such as the Phokians, who spoke a Doric dialect, Phokian.

According to Greek mythology, this mountain was sacred to Dionysus and the Dionysian mysteries. It was also sacred to Apollo and the Corycian nymphs and was the home of the Muses.

However, there is a significant gap in the proto-history of the name Parnassos. Mycenaean settlements were abundant to the south and east. They had good views of Parnassus and climbed some part of it frequently. Yet, the name remains obscure in what is known of their language, Mycenaean Greek, which is written in Linear B script.

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