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|Putopisac:||Ana80 [ Sre Apr 20, 2011 5:22 pm ]|
"The grandeur of Delphi has to be seen to be believed. Nature and ancient ruins blend in an extraordinary way enhancing the beauty of one another against a setting of mountains, terraces and trees. Situated at a height of 700 metres and at a distance of 164 km from Athens, Delphi is impressive in all seasons. It has none of the garish quality and noisiness that are so much a part of popular tourist centres. It is still a village with some very good hotels and restaurants and the usual souvenir shops.
The history of Delphi began when the first mysterious fumes, rising from the earth below the Phaedriades rocks, gave a sacred character to the site. Originally, the place was sacred to Gaea or Themis, the earth goddess. Later, seafarers from Crete introduced the cult of Apollo Delphinius. In time, the mysterious prophecies of its oracles exercised great influence in the ancient world.
The sanctuary of Apollo was surrounded by a wall and within it the sacred site was filled with monuments, statues, and some twenty treasuries - replicas of temples - which housed valuable trophies from wars, archives and treasures. Also in the sanctuary there was a small theatre, with a seating capacity of 5,000 and the Temple of Apollo (510 BC). In its "Adyton", the "Holy of Hollies", Pythia (the High Priestess) sat on a tripod and delivered oracles in a state of intoxication from the fumes emanating from the chasm below. Delphi was consulted on all matters concerning religion, politics, and even individual morality.
Delphi was also the centre of meetings of the Amphictyonic League (the neares equivalent to the United Nations Organization for isolated ancient Greek city-states.
Just below the main road and opposite the sanctuary there is a group of ancient ruins called Marmaria, or the Marbles, which consists of the remains of two temples of Athens, and a Tholos, a round Doric temple. There are also traces of the Gymnasium where athletes taking part in the famous Pythian Games trained.
Delphi was plundered and its treasures were carried away to adorn the capitals of uts invaders, but the final blow came in 385 AD, when the emperor of Byzantium Theodosius ordered its abolition."
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