Delphi, located in Greece, is an incredibly significant archaeological site that attracts countless travelers. It holds immense historical value as the home of the renowned oracle that exerted influence over the known world for over a millennium.
The sanctuary of Delphi is situated at the base of Mount Parnassos, nestled between the impressive twin rocks known as the Phaedriades. This Pan-Hellenic sanctuary was home to ancient Greece’s most famous oracle and was widely regarded as the center of the world. According to mythology, Zeus dispatched two eagles from opposite ends of the universe to find the world’s center, which they discovered at Delphi. The sanctuary itself, set against a breathtaking landscape, served as the cultural and religious focal point, symbolizing unity for the Hellenic world throughout numerous centuries.
Delphi’s history dates back to prehistoric times and is entwined with ancient Greek myths. Initially, the site held sacred significance to Mother Earth and was guarded by the fearsome serpent Python, later vanquished by Apollo. The sanctuary dedicated to Apollo was constructed by Cretans who arrived at Kirrha, the port of Delphi, accompanied by the god in the form of a dolphin. This myth persisted through various Delphic festivals, including the Septerion, the Delphinia, the Thargelia, the Theophania, and notably, the renowned Pythia. The Pythia celebrated the demise of Python and encompassed musical and athletic competitions, adding to the vibrant tapestry of Delphi’s cultural heritage.