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Delphi

Evocative Sceneries and Mountain Massifs Under the Eternal Light of Apollo and the Spiritual Ecstasy of Pythia
From the verdurous slopes of Parnassus to the sanctuary of Apollo and the oracle of Pythia, Delphi will surpass the expectations of your imagination. Determined from the eagles of Zeus as the navel of earth, Delphi is one of the most sacred places of Greece perched on the high slopes of Mount Parnassus; indeed, its cultural richness designated it as a World Heritage Site from UNESCO. People would journey here from all over the world to seek wisdom from the oracle of Pythia, a woman that served as the earthly mouthpiece of Apollo. Its was power was so influential, that no great leader and warrior would made a major decision without consulting the oracle. So, Delphi served as the religious and spiritual center of ancient civilization that contributed to the cultural development of the entire country. Three of the most mountain massifs of the country interlace on the northern edge of Delphi composing an impressive geophysical canvas. Just a glimpse on the horizon over the silvery olive groves on the craggy slopes of Mount Parnassus, the blue surface of the Corinthian Gulf over the Delphic landscape will illuminate your imagination. When you feel the special energy emitted on this part of earth, you might even understand the reason the two eagles of Zeus met here; indeed, Delphi was declared as the navel of the earth leaving an eternal legacy to it.The Delphic landscape is of extraordinary natural beauty; observing the vastness of the immense olive grove of Amfissa from the endless blue of the Corinthian Gulf to the coast of the Peloponnese, the mountain massifs that rise like castles creating spectacular sceneries of nature in conjunction with the cultural spirit of the oracle. As they say, Delphi is one of the most compelling and sensational sites on this planet, imposed as no one else in the mind of yours. Undeniably, Delphi is considered to be the most wonderful scenery of earth; the dreamy location high up on the mountains, the shadows of the crystalline blue sky and the massiveness of the green leaves of the olives will sparkle your eyes with the brightest colours of earth. The almighty view of the green valley up to the Corinthian Gulf will literally take your breath away. The evocative sceneries, the remote wilderness and the divine spirit of the Delphian landscape attest that Delphi is a cultural and natural monument for your bucket list, a destination you deserve to explore even for once in this life. The genuine colours and the perfect harmony of culture and nature lift in the fantasy world of the Olympian Gods. In Delphi, Greek mythology becomes reality. You might even hear the echoing whispers of millions ambiguous oracles with such a convincing force. Let yourself enter into the magical spirit and the divine atmosphere of the navel of this earth.
The Extravagant History of Delphi
“… Mythology has it that Zeus released two eagles, one from the East and the other from the West, in order to find the navel of the earth after he defeated the Titans. The two eagles met each other at Delphi and Zeus marked this place with a huge rock called the omphalos meaning navel. Ever since, Delphi was considered to be the most important oracle of the ancient world…”
Since antiquity, Delphi was believed to be the center of the world, widely known as the navel of earth, which is indeed the center of the world according to modern researchers. Mythology has it that Zeus released two eagles, one from the East and the other from the West, in order to find the navel of the earth after he defeated the Titans. The two eagles met each other at Delphi and Zeus marked this place with a huge rock called the omphalos meaning navel. Ever since, Delphi was considered to be the most important oracle of the ancient world. The earliest findings in the area of Delphi were found in the cave of Korikion Andron that date back to the Neolithic period. Korikion Andron was the place where the first religious ceremonies and rituals were held. The name of Delphi derives from the world dolphin, as legendary Apollo got on board a dolphin to travel from Crete to Delphi where he killed the local monster and established an oracle. Delphi’s oracle became famous all over the Mediterranean world for people who would come to seek for prophecy. The prophecy was giver from Apollo’s highest priestess, Pythia, who would enter Apollo’s temple and chew laurel leaves; while chewing the laurel leavers, she would fall in ecstasy and speak the words of Apollo. When people would come to Delphi in order to ask for a prophecy, they would always come with valuable offerings; this is the reason Delphi had many treasuries with the intention of guarding these gifts including the Athenians and the Sifnians Treasuries. The Athenians created also a Stoa to honor Apollo. Before entering the temple, pilgrims had to wash themselves in the Spring of Castalia to wipe of their sins. The Pythian Games, the most important athletic event of the country after the Olympics, would take place every four years in honor of Apollo. Athletic competitions were taking place at the ancient stadium of Delphi while drama performances and religious ceremonies were taking place at the ancient theatre of Delphi on the highest spot of Delphi.Apart from the religious power of Delphi, Delphi had a strong political influence as the sanctuary served as a political union for the cities of Central Greece from the 6th century BC; the political union was known as the Delphic Amphictyonic League. The association controlled the operation and finances of the sanctuary, as it designated its priests and other officials chosen among the inhabitants of Delphi. During the 6th century BC, the sanctuary was made autonomous under the administration and protection of the League, increasing its territory and its political and religious influence all around Greece. Delphi’s Oracle reached its peak between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, when the oracle was regarded as the most trustworthy of all. The oracle was believed to have successfully predicted events related to the expedition of the Argonauts, the cataclysm of Deucalion and the Trojan War. The fame of the Delphic oracle caused the two Sacred Wars during that period resulting into the domination of numerous emperors including the Aetolians and the Romans in the 3rd century BC. However, the rise of the Rationalist movement in philosophy greatly damaged the authority of the oracle. Nonetheless, the rituals continued unchanged during the 2nd century AD when it was consulted from Hadrian. The detailed descriptions of Delphi from Pausanias have greatly helped to the reconstruction of the entire area. When Greece was attacked from the Persians in 480 BC, Persian king Xerxes sent a battalion to steal the treasuries of Delphi; however, they did not manage to do so as a thunderstorm that came from Athena Pronea Temple caused the death of many Persians. Delphi oracle was continually operating up until the 3rd century AD when Christianity became the dominant religion of the Byzantine Empire and Delphi became an episcopal see after a decree of the Emperor Theodosius II. During the 7th century AD, Kastri village grew over the remnants of the ancient temple attracting travellers interested in antiquities of the ancient world. In 1891, the Greek government granted to the French School of Athens the permission for excavation of the site. It was that time that the village of Kastri was removed to allow the Great Excavation of Delphi. Excavation researched uncovered spectacular findings including 3.000 inscriptions of great importance regarding our knowledge of public life in the ancient world of Greece.
Once In A Lifetime Experience
“…The Great Excavation of Delphi began from the French School of Athens in 1891, which uncovered spectacular traces for our knowledge of the life in Ancient Greece…”
Characterized as the most famous oracle of Ancient Greece, the archaeological site of Delphi stands on the foothills of Mount Parnassus. The so-called navel of the world, the sanctuary of Delphi is set in one of the most spectacular landscapes of the country that was chosen from the two eagles sent out from legendary Zeus from the end of the universe to find the navel of earth. Delphi served as the cultural and religious center of the Hellenic world for many centuries, as its history begins from Greek mythology. In the beginning, the site was guarded from serpent Python who was killed from Apollo. The sanctuary was constructed from the Cretans who arrived at the port of Kirrha. The earliest findings of Delphi, which include traces of a Mycenaean cemetery and settlement, come from the cave of Korikion Andron that date back to the Neolithic period. The establishment and development of Apollo’s Oracle began in the eight century BC, and the temples of Apollo and Athena, known as Pronaia, were built in the end of the seventh century BC. Delphi was the center of the Amphictyonic League, an association of twelve tribes of Greece with political and religious significance, which controlled the finances and operation of the sanctuary.In the sixth century BC, the sanctuary of Delphi was made autonomous increasing its religious and political influenced. At that time, the Pythian Games, the most important Games after the Olympic Games, were re-organized and held every four years. Delphi Oracle, delivered from the Pythia, reached its peak between the sixth and fourth centuries BC. Conquerors, cities and individuals consulted the oracle spreading its fame worldwide, which led to the two Sacred Wars in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. However, the sanctuary was conquered from the Aetolians in 191 BC, before the Romans. Although the authority of Delphi was greatly damaged from the rise of the rationalist movement in philosophy in the 3rd century BC, rituals continued unchanged in the second century AD. The sanctuary was abolished from the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius, and became an episcopal see with the advent of Christianity. In the seventh century AD, the Oracle of Delphi was finally abandoned. The Great Excavation of Delphi began from the French School of Athens in 1891, which uncovered spectacular traces for our knowledge of the life in Ancient Greece. Today, only the Treasury of the Athenians had enough of the original building material preserved while the Chiot Altar, Apollo’s and Athena’s Sanctuaries, Delphi’s Ancient Theatre, the Sacred Way, the Gymnasium of Delphi, and the Tholos of Athena Pronaia have been partially restored.

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