*This is for college purposes only.
On the Greek mainland, Delphi is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Built on the lower slopes of Mount Parnassus, overlooking a dramatic ravine, the site was sacred to the ancients, who came here on pilgrimages to worship Apollo (god of light, prophecy, music, and healing) and to ask advice from the mythical Oracle. It is made up of the crumbling ruins of numerous temples, a theater, and stadium, dating from between the 8th century BC and the 2nd century AD. Nearby, stands the Delphi Museum Archaeological Museum, displaying an impressive collection of finds from the site. Delphi lies 180 kilometers northwest of Athens.
Many people don’t even know why they are going to Delphi. It’s just something they know they are supposed to do when they go to Greece. But for those people who read, Delphi has a special meaning, more then just another collection of ruins in a country that is full of them. Delphi in ancient times was considered the center of the known world, the place where heaven and earth met. This was the place on earth where man was closest to God. In Mythology, Delphi was the meeting place of two eagles, released by Zeus and sent in opposite directions. Where they met indicated the center of the earth. Delphi is known as the center of worship for the God Apollo, son of Zeus who embodied moral discipline and spiritual clarity. But even before the area was associated with Apollo there were other deities worshipped here including the earth goddess Gea, Themis, Demeter and Poseidon, the well known god of the sea. By the end of the Mycenaean period Apollo had displaced these other deities and became the guardian of the oracle. Delphi was to become a panhellenic sanctuary, where every four years, (starting in 776 BC) athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, one of the four panhellenic games, precursors of the Modern Olympics.