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Delphi Archaeological Site

Delphi was famous in the ancient times and known as -Navel of the Earth- and place of the famous Oracle and at the same time the greatest Greek cultural centre. At the first time deity Earth was worshiped here and later the sanctuary and the oracle was established together with the cult of Apollo.

The sanctuary was under protection of the Amphictyony and was known al over Greece as a religious and political centre, In Delphi were organized the Pythian Games (something like the Olympic games) and time by time the sanctuary was becoming binger and enriched with big stadium, statues and nice buildings most of them made of fine marble. Delphi's treasures are the Castalia Spring, the theatre, the Temple of Apollo (temple of Oracle), the Arcade of the Athenians, the Sacred Way, the Treasury of the Athenians (the only monument that could be fully reconstructed from its own building material after the long time excavations), the stadium and the gymnasium. At the same area was also the sanctuary of Athena Pronaea

The excavations revealed more than five thousands inscriptions of all kinds, statues, several miniature objects, architectural decorative pieces, all exquisite works of art, representing the major cities of Greek antiquity. During the Roman occupation the site was sometimes plundered but was also favoured by some of the emperors. With the spread of Christianity, the sanctuary lost its religious meaning and was permanently closed down with a decree of emperor Theodosius the Great.

Delphi's museum is actually an integral part of the sanctuary and contains exclusively finds from the site of Delphi, mostly offerings and architectural parts. The most famous is the bronze statue of a charioteer, originally belonging to a larger group which represented a chariot drawn by four horses. It was dedicated to Apollo by Polyzalos and the marble statue of Aghias, an athlete of the pankration (a kind of wrestling), famous for his victories in the 5th century B.C. It is a copy of a bronze original, which was made by Lysippos and belongs to the group of statues offered to Apollo by the Thessalian Daochos.

The sanctuary of Delphi was built in a hidden place (not seen from the sea side and well preserved from the pirates) with a magnificent view of the greater area (valley covered with olive tries). Today's Delphi new village is built in a sort distance from the Archaeological Site and lies like a balcony with a panoramic view to the valley all the way to the gulf of Itea (about 20min away, the nearest port to Delphi). The distance from Athens is 165km. In Delphi there fine hotels of all categories for a sort or longer stay. Near Delphi are: Arachova , Ossios Loukas and Livadia.
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