Delphi, which was formerly known as Pytho, is known for being the ancient sanctuary that become rich as the seat of Pythia. Pythia was an oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. Greeks considered Delphi the navel (center) of the world. This was represented by the stone monument known as the Omphalos of Delphi. The marble monument was found at the archaeological site of Delphi.
Delphi has inspired much in the way of literature. In his 1814 work “Greece, a Poem,” W. Haygarth refers to Delphi. Delphi was also used in Rob MacGregor’s Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi. Many Greek poets have also showcased Delphi in their works including: The Delphic Hymn by Kostis Palamas, Delphic Festival by Kostas Karyotakis, and Return From Delphi by Nikephoros Vrettakos. Delphi has also inspired art. In addition to the landscape being used in works of art, Pythia (a high priestess at the Temple of Apollo who was an oracle) was used as a subject on tarot cards. From the 16th on, West Europe developed a passion for Delphi. Travelers would visit Delphi through the 19th century. They would create books from their diaries, sketches of Delphi and the coins they came across. Often the sketches would depict the spirit of romance.
In 1893, the French Archaeological School began removing soil from landslides. This would reveal the major buildings and structures of the sanctuary of Apollo and Athena Pronoia and thousands of objects, sculptures, and inscriptions. Excavations would also reveal a southeastern mansion that dates back to the 5th century. The would uncover four levels and private baths. Large storage jars that held provisions, pottery vessels, and luxury items were also found. The mansion was first a private house and then served as a potters’ workshop.
Administrative Region for Delphi, Greece
Area of Delphi, Greece
Population of Delphi, Greece
Top Attractions in Delphi, Greece
Temple of Apollo – Located at the ancient site. The temple is dedicated to Apollo the god of light and music. Inside the temple was the oracle where the high priestess would give her prophecies.
Sanctuary of Athena Pronea – Located at the ancient site. Can be found southeast of the Temple of Apollo. The sanctuary features several altars, temples, and two treasuries.
Ancient Theatre – Located next to the Temple of Apollo. Dates back to the 4th century BC. Features stone seats and a rounded theatre, you can truly get a sense of the past here.
Archaeological Museum – Located next to the ancient site. Here you find coins, marble statues, golden jewelry, and more displayed. A couple of the popular exhibits include the Sphinx and Charioteer.
Ancient Stadium – On a hill above the Temple of Apollo and Ancient Theatre. Built around the 5th century BC. This would be the site of the Pythian games, Panhellenic Games, and more.
Castalian Spring – Located close to the Oracle of Delphi. During ancient times, it was thought this spring had cleansing powers and would cleanse the souls of those who came to visit. Believed to be older than the Temple of Apollo.
Treasury of Athenians – Built in the 6th century BC. The site would host offerings to Apollo and the oracle of Delphi. The inside of the treasury had hymns to Apollo carved on the walls.
The Stoa of the Athenians – Dates back to 478 BC. This is where trophies of Athenians would be hosted. Considered one of the most important offerings of the Athenians.