Our last two days in Greece were spent in Delphi, an ancient site dedicated to Apollo, once home to the most important Oracle in Greece. The Oracle was a lady who breathed earthly vapours, which supposedly caused her to become enspirited by the god Apollo. People came to the Oracle to obtain answers to questions of both personal and public importance. She would mutter incomprehensibly in reply and these mutterings were deciphered by the priests of the temples (who probably knew what they were talking about). To thank the Oracle for her advice, a number of cities constructed treasuries within the Delphi Sanctuary, where they left offerings of statues and bronze treasures. Whilst many of these offerings were taken by the Romans, some staggering examples were excavated from the site in the late 1800’s. A number of these can be seen in the Delphi Archaelogical Museum, which is well worth a visit.

On Wednesday we visited the museum and the Sanctuary of Athena. This area includes a gynmasium (running track etc…) and the Tholos which was built in 380 to 360 BC and reconstructed relatively recently.

The Gymnasium
Richard in the baths (that were deemed to have magical powers)
The Tholos

Across the road from the Athena Pronaia Sanctuary is the main archaelogical site at Delphi. This area contains the remains of the Temple of Apollo, the Athenian Treasury, the stone where the Oracle stood and the remains of many other treasuries.

Reconstructed Treasury of Athens. The accurate reconstruction was made possible by aligning inscriptions on the outer face of the stone work.
Remains of the Temple of Apollo

Above the temples, is the Delphi theatre that was built in the 4th century BC and has capacity for 5000 people! It has a fabulous view over the Sanctuary and across the valley.

Delphi Theatre

Above the theatre on a flat piece of land on the hillside is the stadium built in the 5th century BC. This stadium was used for the Pythian Games; a forerunner to the Olympic Games. Richard and I noted that the finish line on the running track was not at all straight!

Upper stadium used for the Pythian Games.

After walking around the archaelogical sites, we headed up Mount Parnassus in search of the Corycian Cave. It was a lovely walk with fabulous views. We weren’t sure that we would make it to the cave given that we had to be back in the valley at 4 pm to catch a bus back to Athens, however we were quicker than the time stated in the guide book (by a rather large margin) and hence we reached the cave and had a good look around. Richard was eating lunch when the photo below was taken, hence the odd expression!

View from the top of the mountain
Corycian Cave on the slopes of Mount Parnassus

[All historic information was sourced from the Oracle that is my husband]

I’ve added some pictures of the statues in the Archaelogical Museum specifically for Anna:

The Charioteer was erected in 474 BC and buried after the 4th century AD to possibly protect it from looters. He was found in 1896.

The Charioteer has preserved inlaid copper detail on his lips and eyelashes and also glass eyes! Unfortunately he's missing an arm 🙁

Statue of a Greek female

Statue of Socrates

If I hadn't met Richard, I would be looking for a man like this!

6 thoughts on “Delphi”

  1. OMG, all that blue sky looks fantastic! 😀 It’s just pouring with rain today here, so depressing… 🙁

    Hmm, I though you’d taken pix of those statues because they looked like Richard… 😈

  2. What an amazing place… and it looks like you had it all to yourselves.

    As Richard is now the Oracle, have you left him a suitable offering of thanks… perhaps a cake? 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *