About Delphi

Delphi was a famous oracle in the antiquity where people from all over the Mediterranean would come to seek prophecy from god. The prophecies were delivered by Apollo through the words of Pythia, the high priestess of the temple. Today, Delphi is a major archaeological site with well-preserved ruins and inscribed in the UNESCO list.

Myth and Legend

Ancient Greeks considered Delphi to be the navel of the earth, meaning it is the central point of planet earth. According to legend, the oracle at Delphi originally belong to Gaea, the earth goddess and was guarded by her child Python, the serpent. Apollo is said to have slain Python and found his own oracle at Delphi. As time went on, Delphi also became the base of a political and military association.


Priests from Knossos brought the cult of Apollo to Delphi in the 8th century BC. The site contains the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, the temple of Apollo, and other buildings. Rituals to the god were staged at the Ancient Theatre. Athletic events to honour the god were held at the Ancient Stadium. The Archaeological Museum features statues and findings from excavations on the site.

Interesting Facts

  • Delphi sits on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, overlooking a valley of olive groves.
  • According to ancient myth, Zeus released two eagles, one from the east and one from the west, and caused them to fly toward the centre. They met at the future site of Delphi. The spot was marked by a stone called the omphalos (navel) which was later housed in the Temple of Apollo.
  • In 393 AD, the Byzantine emperor Theodosius outlawed the practice of pagan religions, putting an end to the power of the oracle. The temples and statues of Delphi were subsequently destroyed.

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