Located amidst breathtaking scenery in central Greece is the Sanctuary of Apollo at ancient Delphi. It is the home to the famous Oracle of Delphi, and was considered to be the holiest site in Ancient Greece. It was also believed to be the center of the world; according to the Greek mythology, Zeus released two eagles from opposite ends of the earth and they met in the sky above Delphi. Impaling one another with their beaks, they fell to the ground on the very center of the world, and was marked by the sacred Omphalos, or “navel stone.” Later, Apollo killed the serpent Python (son of Mother Earth), guardian of Delphi’s sacred Castalian Spring. The sun god then established an oracle at the spring, promising to provide counsel to all who needed it.
Temple of Apollo is the most important structure in the sanctuary of Apollo. This is one of the most influential temples in Ancient Greece where the statues and other offerings to the god were located, and where the cult rituals took place. The Doric peristyle temple, with six columns at the end and fifteen at the sides is made from stones and marble. Antenor was known to have decorated the temple with impressive sculptures (sadly only a few survived today) – the east pediment depicted Apollo’s epiphany when he arrived at Delphi with his sister Artemis and his mother Leto; the chariot of the gods occupied the center and was surrounded by male and female figures, and the west pediment, which depicted the Gigantomachy, only the figures of Athena, a fallen giant, a male figure and two horses have survived.
You need to be a bit imaginative to be able to picture how majestic everything was before the sanctuary was destroyed. When you’re walking along the sacred way, all you’ll be able to see are stones everywhere. Our guide was very helpful in really explaining how the rocks were actually grand dedications to the god and helping us picture the entire area. I found this photo on Google which I hope helps giving you a better picture of the site before I show you actual photos:
Here are some photos I took while I was at the sanctuary: