Situated beautifully between the mountains and the ocean, Delphi was once considered the center of the known world by the Ancient Greeks. (Pronounced delf-ee not delf-eye like the town in Indiana) People from all over the world would come here for trade, information, and the wisdom of the Oracle.
Legend has it that Zeus sent two eagles from either end of the world, and where they crossed each other was the center of the earth. That was Delphi, or Δελφοί. Often called “the navel” of the world because of the stone that marked the exact center of what the Greeks knew as the world.
In ancient times, Delphi was known to be the seat of the Oracle. People would ask the Oracle a question, and after pondering it, she would give an answer that would be interpreted by the priests. The Oracle was always a woman with an “unblemished past.” She was kept in a crevice where “vapors” would give her wisdom. We now know that the oracle was breathing in hallucinogenic gasses — so basically she was high.
Delphi is also home to the temple of Apollo. It now lies in ruin, like many ancient temples. But even more so, Delphi is located over two tectonic plates (source of future-telling psychedelic happy vapors) and was rebuilt several times before the site was abandoned as having lost its religious significance (largely after the rise of Christianity). People then stopped coming to Delphi.
It’s built on a hill, of course, and after climbing most (not all) of the stairs, I took this picture of the temple (entrance on the left) and the amazing scenery surrounding it all. Honestly, I do not understand why people left Greece. I supposed, you know… population stuff… but really! Why would you leave this place? It is beautiful!
Here is the view from the opposite direction:
Also, the amphitheater (which is not accessible to the masses for preservation sake)
And the Athenian Treasury building – the only building that still stands in some semblance of wholeness. But you can see the places that are much newer where there was an attempt to keep it upright.
This was a beautiful day! The weather was just right – and we enjoyed the outdoors as well as the museum close by with more of the relics and artifacts from the area.
Next week’s blog post will be our first day in Athens!