Delphi was a significant place for the ancient Greeks. For them, it was the center of the world. The sacred island of Delos may be the birthplace of Apollo, but Delphi was his home and the most important shrine for those who worship him as god. Delphi was also the home of the famous Oracle as well as of numerous deities, gods and goddesses. As such, Delphi was also a significant spiritual center of the ancient Greek world. But even today, pilgrims flock to ancient Delphi to soak in its mysticism. They say that people who visit Delphi would feel the presence of gods. Did we feel it?
Maybe we were tired, feeling hot or simply overwhelmed by the bus loads of tourist around us, but we didn’t feel the presence of gods in Ancient Delphi or the sense of mysticism it supposedly vibrate. But then, we did not come to be spiritually mystified. We came to witness what remains of the so called navel of the ancient world.
This is the Sanctuary of Apollo, the center of Ancient Delphi and the home of the Oracle whose famed peaked between 6 th and 4th centuries BC. Rulers, royalties and ordinary people of ancient Greece and other countries flocked to Delphi to consult the Oracle called Pythia. No important decisions on matters of state or simple affair were made without a nod from the Pythia, who channeled the spirit of Apollo for advice.
The Romans ceased Delphi in in 191 BC, plundered the Sanctuary and shipped a lot of its treasures to back toRome. The oracle’s influenced started to dwindle and was completely abolished by a Christian roman emperor in 4th century AD.
This is the stadium of Delphi, said to be the most preserved stadium in Greece. It was built for the Pythian Games which took place every four years to honor Apollo. The games were first organized sometime in the 6th century BC.
The Athenian Treasury of Delphi built in 490 BC.
Ancient Delphi sits on a slope of Mount Parnassos overlooking a spectacular lush valley filled with cypress and olive trees. We may not be blown away by the ruins of Delphi but its scenic surrounding took our breath away.
Delphi has a museum worth visiting. It contains the considerable treasures that Delphi managed to amass. One of its celebrated exhibit is the Bronze Charioteer which commemorates the victory of the Pythian Games in the 4th century BC. The Charioteer’s eyelashes are remarkably well-intact.
The marble Sphinx of Naxian dating back from 560 BC. It was a gift from the people of Naxios and used to sit on top of one of the columns in the Sanctuary.
Then statue of Antinous, the lover of Emperor Hadrian. While traveling with the Emperor in Egypt he fell into the Nile and died. The Emperor then ordered to have a statue of Antinous to be erected all around the Roman Empire.
The Twins of Argos dating back from 6th century BC
Delphi is 130 km/80 miles north of Athens. On how to get to Delphi, click here.
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