Delphi stands high on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in the heart of Phocis at the crossroads of important routes of the ancient world. It is one of the most famous cult sites in Greece, renowned throughout the ancient Greek world and beyond as the sanctuary of Apollo and the seat of his oracle. It was at the end of the Mycenaean period that Apollo, an Olympian God and guarantor of universal harmony, is supposed to have overcome the old underworld deities. A hymn attributed to Homer tells how, after his birth on Delos , Zeus' son came to Delphi, killed the snake Python with his bow and arrow and in accordance with divine law, he went into exile for eight years to atone for the killing of the snake and on his return he took his place, becoming the god Python who gave oracles through the intermediary of the Pythia.
DELPHI APOLLO ORACLE
We visit Delphi/ Apollo as travelers, not as tourists
The site of Delphi is located in upper central Greece, on multiple plateau/terraces along the slope of Mount Parnassus, and includes the Sanctuary of Apollo, the site of the ancient Oracle. In myths dating to the classical period of Ancient Greece (510-323 BC), the site of Delphi was believed to be determined by Zeus when he sought to find the center of his "Grandmother Earth" (Ge, Gaea, or Gaia). He sent two eagles flying from the eastern and western extremities, and the path of the eagles crossed over Delphi where the omphalos, or navel of Gaia was found. Earlier myths include traditions that Pythia, or the Delphic oracle, already was the site of an important oracle in the pre-classical Greek world (as early as 1400 BC) and, rededicated from about 800 BC, when it served as the major site during classical times for the worship of the god Apollo.
A festival comprising of dramatic and lyric contests was held in the sanctuary theater, and the stadium was home not only to the athletic games, but also to musical events.
Despite the rise of Christianity across the Roman Empire, the oracle remained a religious center throughout the 4th century, and the Pythian Games continued to be held at least until 424 AD however, the decline continued. The attempt of the emperor Julian to revive polytheism did not survive his reign. The site was abandoned in the 6th or 7th centuries, although a single bishop of Delphi is attested in an episcopal list of the late 8th/early 9th centuries.
Early in the 6c BC, when the Athenians were the major power in central Greece, they reorganized the Pythian Games at Delphi at which sports and poetic contests were held. This was the heyday of Delphi as a Pan-Hellenic sanctuary attracting pilgrims from all over the Greek world, from Spain to the Black Sea. The sanctuary was maintained by the dues paid by those who consulted the oracle and enriched by offerings from both Greeks and barbarians. The gods still watch over Delphi Silent and invisible or in the form of strange, anthropomorphic clouds
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ATHENA'S THOLOS. To the south-east of the sanctuary of Apollo is the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia. The most important buildings in it are the goddess's two temples, dating from the 5th and 4th c. and the Tholos, which was built about 380BC. A jewel of the first half of 380 B.C. the famous Tholos of Delphi is a work by Theodorus of Phocaea in Athena Pronaia’s sanctuary. View our virtual tour http://youtube/O5ZSCU1lwN4?hd=1
Archaeological Museum. Entries to the museum and to the main complex are separate and chargeable, and a reduced rate ticket gets entry to both.
Few statues have ever acquired so great and well deserved a fame as the bronze charioteer which originally belonged to a larger group which represented a chariot with four horses from which only small fragments survived. Its height is 1.8 m and is made up from six separate cast parts. Dedicated by Polyzalos, tyrant of the Sicilian city of Gela, for his victory in the race at the Pythian Games, probably in 474 BC. it is admired for its superb art.
The Delphi Archaeological Museum is at the foot of the main archaeological complex, on the east side of the village, and on the north side of the main road. The museum houses an impressive collection associated with ancient Delphi, including the earliest known notation of a melody, the famous Charioteer, golden treasures discovered beneath the Sacred Way, and fragments of reliefs from the Siphnian Treasury. Immediately adjacent to the exit (and overlooked by most tour guides) is the inscription that mentions the Roman proconsul Gallio
Korykion Andron - Corycia Cave. The Birth place of Greek Mythology
The Corycian Cave is located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in Greece. In the mythology of the area, it is named after the nymph Corycia; however, its name etymologically derives from korykos, "knapsack". This cave was sacred to the Corycian Nymphs and the Muses, and a place of worship for Pan.
King Otto and Queen Amalia made a royal tour with 100 torchbearers to view the two chambers of the cavern which is enormous at 90 m long, 40 m wide and 20 m high.
Pausanias in his Guide to Greece writes: On the way from Delphi to the summit of Parnassus, about sixty stades distant from Delphi, there is a bronze image. The ascent to the Corycian cave is easier for an active walker than it is for mules or horses. I mentioned a little earlier in my narrative that this cave was named after a nymph called Corycia, and of all the caves I have ever seen this seemed to me the best worth seeing.... But the Corycian cave exceeds in size those I have mentioned, and it is possible to make one's way through the greater part of it even without lights. The roof stands at a sufficient height from the floor, and water, rising in part from springs but still more dripping from the roof, has made clearly visible the marks of drops on the floor throughout the cave. The dwellers around Parnassus believe it to be sacred to the Corycian nymphs, and especially to Pan.
CORYCIAN CAVE / KORYKIO ANDRO
The famous bronze charioteer which originally belonged to a larger group which represented a chariot with four horses from which only small fragments survived. Its height is 1.8 m and is made up from six separate cast parts. Dedicated by Polyzalos, tyrant of the Sicilian city of Gela, for his victory in the race at the Pythian Games, probably in 474 BC. it is admired for its superb art.
Organized in fourteen rooms the museum mainly displays statues, including the famous Charioteer of Delphi, the Sphinx of Naxos. The Kouroi of Delphi, archaic male statues known also as Cleobis and Biton, the silver Statue of a Bull and the chryselephantine statues which are thought to represent the Apollonian triad, namely Apollo, Artemis and their mother, Leto.