Delphi

by Cristina on December 7, 2007

by Cristina | December 7th, 2007  

DelphiDelphi is not just yet another ancient village one should visit while spending time in Greece. It’s much more than that.

Considered the center of the world in ancient times, Delphi was the place where heaven and earth met, the closes place to God. Delphi is the place of worship of the God Apollo thus the center of the ancient village is the sanctuary of Apollo.

Today, the archeological site attracts thousands of tourists while the modern town offers lovely places to enjoy your vacation.

Location

Located about two hour and a half away from Athens (by car), in lower central Greece, Delphi spreads along the slope of Mount Parnassus. Drive north on E75 and then East towards Itea. The road is spectacular as it climbs the mountains and goes right through the winter resort of Arachova.

>>read more about Getting from Athens to Delphi

Oracle of Delphi

Most people have heard of the Oracle of Apollo. The oracle was a spiritual experience in which the spirit of Apollo was asked for advice related to people’s lives or matters of the state. The priestess Pythia, who was connected to the God, was the one pronouncing the prophecies.

Many still believe that the spirit of Apollo is still present and can still be asked questions.

Remains of the ancient village

Inhabited since the Neolithic era, Delphi rapidly became an important religious and political center of great influence among the ancient Greek states.

The center of Delphi is undoubtedly the Sanctuary of Apollo (the temple of Apollo). It was the home of Pythia, who would sit on a tripod and pronounce her prophecies while the priests translated them to the people. The temple was destroyed by a fire in the 4th century BC but was rebuilt.

Another important building is the theatre, built in the 4th century BC.

The stadium, famous for the chariot races, is located further up the hill. Initially built in the 5th century BC, the stadium has been remodeled several times.

When entering the site and walking up the hill, you will notice a series of treasuries and votive statues. The treasuries were built by states to commemorate victories and thank the oracle for her help. The most impressive is the Athenian Treasury, built to commemorate the Athenian’s victory at Marathon. The most expensive and well preserved is the treasury of Argos.

Right in front of the temple of Apollo, there is the Altar of the Chians, the main alter of the sanctuary.

Other buildings in the ancient site include: Stoa of the Athenians, Polygonal wall, Gymnasium, Castalian spring and the Tholos.

Shopping

If you like silver jewelry, Delphi is the perfect place where you can shop for interesting pieces of jewelry at very good prices. Since Delphi is a mountains town you will find really nice hand-knitted sweaters.

Modern Delphi

The modern city of Delphi is located west of the archeological site and is very popular among tourists. The town is filled with hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars. While in town it’s worth to visit Delphi Archeological Museum, which houses and impressive collection associated with the ancient village of Delphi.

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