Jan 11 14
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
[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:
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