The Centre of the Ancient World

Delphi, located in a breathtaking landscape, was considered to be the centre of the world in ancient Greece. According to Greek mythology, Apollo the god of music, prophecy and the sun, chose the site where he could communicate with mere mortals.

View from Delphi archeological site – Image: GRACIE

The high priestess, Pythia was believed to be an oracle and to have spoken the actual words of Apollo himself. People travelled from across the ancient world to seek the prophecies, keen to know the future and to seek advice on important state affairs.

Delphi – The Treasury (left) The Polygonal Wall (polished free stone) and The Stoa (part of the portico) Image: GRACIE

The sessions often lasted about a whole day. The Doric temple was built in honour of Apollo and is is where the prophecies were spoken. Originally it consisted of 38 columns, several of which survive today along with the temple’s foundations. Little is known of the interior design.

Delphi – Temple of Apollo entrance Image GRACIE
Delphi – Temple of Apollo rear aspect Image GRACIE
Delphi – The Temple of Apollo – Up close and personal Image: GRACIE

The Athenian Treasury was constructed to house dedications and offerings from the various dignitaries who came from the various Greek states. The building is well preserved given it was constructed during 507 BCE to post-470 BCE. There has been restoration work which is evident in the various colours of the stone.

Delphi – The Athenian Treasury – Image GRACIE

Delphi – The Athenian Treasury from above – Image GRACIE

There’s an atmosphere of otherworldliness about this site. It’s location so high and in a sense remote, seems to create a mystical ambiance. There is an energy – a feeling of a divine presence.

Situated much further below the steep hillside, is the well recognised site of the Temple of Delphi which was dedicated to Apollo.

No trip to Delphi would be complete without a visit to the Delphi Archeological Museum. The collection is broad and includes the booze statue – The Charioteer with remarkable details, the Sphinx of Naxos and much, much more.

Delphi Archeological Museum – The Charioteer (bronze) Image GRACIE
Delphi Archeological Museum – Statues uncovered from the archeological site Image GRACIE

Delphi can be visited as a day trip from Athens but do allow plenty of time as this post has only covered part of the site. Considered one of the long-lost wonders of the ancient world, it doesn’t disappoint.