Marmaria is the name of the complex of temples, the most famous of which is Tholos, a temple on the plan of a circle. Beginning with the period of early Christianity, all pagan temples were considered to be those to be rid of. Without reflection, the buildings were dismantled into prime factors, and the resulting stone blocks were stored here in a place called Marmaria.

The tholos of Athena Pronaia in Delphi

 

is the most characteristic object in all of Delphi. Although the exact destiny of the building is unknown, it is known that in times of splendor the sanctuary in this place began a visit.

It is assumed that it was created in 380 BC Crepidoma, the three-part base, was shaped like a circle. On the stylobate, or platform, there were 20 Doric columns. All at the top were connected by a circular beam and a frieze with triglyphs and metopes. Further, the round wall was also topped with a frieze, but more modest. Inside the cell, the main chamber of the temple, was a stone bench from which ten pilasters in the Corinthian style grew, all attached to the inside of the wall. The whole was covered with a conical roof decorated with a woman-shaped acroteria. The temple was multicolored, which was obtained due to the use of various materials.

The temple's decorations are subject to constant research. It is known that they were made with unusual craftsmanship and diligence. However, deep carving of the friezes made it easy to tear them away from the plate. During the early Christian period, they were used as cheap building material or after sanding as a tombstone. Today's three columns, entablature and frieze can be admired thanks to the enormous work of archaeologists who sought fragments on a fairly large area to merge what we admire today.

Ancient gymnasium in Delphi

 

Currently, it is not available to visitors,

It comes from the 4th century BC Originally used only for training athletes. First of all, athletics was practiced here, while boxing, wrestling or pancration (combination of boxing or inventory, introduced to the program of the ancient Olympic Games in 648 BC) was practiced inside the palaestra. In the Hellenistic period, the gymnasium became the center of intellectual development. Various cultural events took place here. In the Roman period, bathhouses were added.

The longest building is a gymnasium, adapted to weather conditions. In the cold and rain, the athletes practiced on the closed upper terrace, 7 m wide and 178 m long. With a favorable aura, they were trained on a parallel track but in the open air.

Palaestra, there were rooms for balls, supplies, locker rooms.

The round basin had a diameter of 10 m and a depth of 1.8 m.

In 120 The Romans added thermal baths, powered from the Castilian spring.

A few centuries later, a Byzantine monastery was erected here.

ticket price:

12,- € normal / 6, - reduced price

children under 18 enter free

prices include a museum and all archaeological excavations available to visitors

 

opening hours:

every day 8:00 ÷ 15:50

Sources of Castile in Delphi

 

Aside of to the great monuments, the Castilian springs played an important role in antiquity. Both Pythia and the priests had to wash in the local water before the start of the day of the drudgery. Each pilgrim also had to complete the ritual. It was believed that the symbolic flushing of the body also purified the soul.

The place marked on the map as a thematic source is the crowning of the Phleboukos rock ravine. Here, according to the myth, he had his Python lair defeated by Apollo. Set here in about 600 BC. the fountain has been renewed many times. Today's stone structure has a rectangular shape with dimensions of 8.2 x 6.64 [m]. The water here was and is still being imported by the underground rock waterworks.

In the first century, e. so during the Roman rule, a bit deeper up, and thus closer to the source, a new and independent fountain was erected. It is impressive in a rock of 11 m in length and 12.5 m in height. The niches, and thus the recesses in the rock, were intended for votive sacrifices. In the Christian period, the largest of them was the chapel of St. John the Baptist.

The rock pool was very elongated, because the width of 0.5 m was 10 m in length. Covered, he only had, at one end, a hole to clean himself. The pipe supplied water to seven brown spouts. The stone terrace and benches were a place where one could prepare for the ritual.

Both independent fountains have been discovered and restored; the sixth century BC in 1878, and the one from the first century e. in 1960.

Archaeological Museum in Delphi

 

A two-story building, in 14 exhibition halls, houses architectural sculptures, statues and votive objects found in the area of ancient Delphi. The museum also covers 558 m² of warehouses and laboratories where discovering and conservation activities are carried out.

Temple of Apollo in Delphi

 

The most important place of the Holy Circle in Delphi. Here sat the Pythia fairy, to answer with the voice of the oracle to the most difficult questions of ordinary people, but also rulers seeking advice about the state.

According to the legend, the first temple was made of laurel branches, the second of feathers glued with beeswax, the third of bronze, the fourth - stone, designed by famous architects with the participation of the god Apollo. However, destroyed in a fire in 548 BC, it was rebuilt around 510 BC.

 

Architecture of the temple demolished by the earthquake in 373 BC

 

The building was built mainly in the Doric style. The outer walls were surrounded by columns in an amount; six each along shorter and fifteen long sides. The building was stone, marble-lined richly decorated by the then famous artist Antenor. The Pantheon, or the triangle formed from the slope of the gable roof, had sculptures depicting important events in the life of Delphi. East presented Apollo with his sister Artemis and mother Leto, as he rides in four horses and enters the city. On their left (for us right) stood three young men called Kouros, to their right, young and beautiful women called Bark. At the ends of the pantheon are presented lions with prey. The western pantheon presented gigantomachy, or the battle of Olympic gods with giants. To this day, the figure of Athena, the fallen giant, a man and two horses has been preserved.

 

Architecture of the temple completed in 330 BC

 

The building whose ruins we can admire today is the work of architects from Corinth, Xenodoros and Agathon. It has a shape and dimensions very close to the previous one, surrounded by columns in the same amount. The most important room of the temple, called cella or naos, was divided into three naves. The divisions were rows of eight Ionic-style columns. The divination ceremony took place in an underground chamber called Aditona. Only Pythia and the priests, who interpreted her predictions, had access here. Little is known about the interior design. Probably there was a statue of Apollo and omphalos. However, if you believe ancient writers, pronaos, or vestibule, he had written on the walls of the aphorisms of the seven ancient sages, for example, "get to know" or "everything in moderation".

The eastern pantheon was decorated with Apollo and the Muses.

 

Temple of Apollo today

 

From the distance, the visible remains of the six columns are a reconstruction from the 19th century. They stand on the stylobate, or the upper surface of the stone base, which has partially survived. The foundations testify to the size of the temple.

Stadium in Delphi

 

In the highest part of the ancient Delphi there is a stadium, one of the best preserved monuments here. This place is closely related to the history of the Pythia competition, there were regular, every four years athletics competitions.

There is an inscription in the southern part of the stadium saying that the first came from the 5th century BC. He had wooden seats, or they just were not. Existing till today, with white marble, they come from the 2nd century AD Their founder, but also the triumphal arch decorating the entrance, was Herod Atticus, a wealthy Athenian.

Although the stadium was built on a natural hill, in order to obtain a shelf of appropriate width, it was necessary to drill the rock from the north, and from the south make a embankment surrounded by a retaining wall. The entrance was a triple arch, supported on four pillars, two of which had niches for statues.

The route is 177.5 m long and 25.5 m wide. Both the starting point, the so-called the scandal, as well as the end pole, or term, had stone steps with a hollow for the athlete's feet. Among the seats for the public, from the north there was a rectangular bench with backs for the judges. The stadium housed five hundred spectators located on twelve levels on the north side and six on the south side, divided by stairs.

Ancient theater in Delphi

 

Not a lot we known about the prototype and the date of its creation. It is assumed that viewers sat on wooden benches or directly on the ground. In the 4th century BC the first stone theater was built, which underwent many reconstructions and repairs. Today's form comes from the early Roman period, or about 160 BC. The founder was Eumenes II, King of Pergamon.

It is known with certainty that the theater as a cultural zone, together with the stadium located above, was a very important zone of life for the ancient Delphi. The cyclic vocal-instrumental performances taking place here, in other words music, on a par with the sports ones, were second in terms of the importance of spiritual and artistic events, just after the famous Olympia.

During the construction of the theater, a partial elevation was partly used, while an artificial embankment was also made. This testifies to the large undertaking and the importance of the facility intended for five thousand spectators. The auditorium was divided into a horizontal platform into two zones, the lower one containing 27 rows, and the upper one for only eight. In the vertical direction, six communication lines were placed, thus dividing the audience into symmetrically arranged seven zones. The stage was made in the shape of a horseshoe, it was probably divided into a proscenium, or a podium on which the action and the proper stage took place, i.e. a part for the orchestra. There were inscriptions related to the emancipation of slaves, but to this day they have become illegible, almost unnoticeable.

Today, the theater, although it looks quite good to tourists, is not in the best condition. Limestone stone blocks break and the seats are systematically and temporarily degraded.

A polished column in Delphi looks like a blue candle

 

By the left turn all the way to the main Temple of Delphi, the Temple of Apollo, on the right, there is a strange, serpentine blue column. I have been looking for information for a long time and I am asking for forgiveness if I misread the information. However, according to reports, it is a copy of the original, which is currently on the Hippodrome in Istanbul, where it was brought, in 324, e. By Constantine the Great. Unfortunately, this one in Delphi is a copy of the original, made in 479 BC. The column was to symbolize the victory of the Greek Polis, mainly Athens, over the Persians in the Battle of Plateje. The column initially had the shape of three snakes clasped together, holding on the heads of a huge vase, 2 meters in diameter. The casket itself was lost before transport to Constantinople, and in the 17th century, the snakes' heads were destroyed.

The column initially had a height of 8 meters, today only 5. It consists of 29 scrolls. In Byzantine times it was used as a fountain.

The Stoa of the Athenians in Delphi

 

The Athenians built not only a treasury in Delphi. In 478 BC Pericles placed here a stoa, i.e. an oblong, roofed portico, hiding along one side of the room, along the other space supported by a series of columns. The location was not accidental. Because the setting directly under the main temple dedicated to Apollo, where the prophet Pythia was conducting divination, just below the impressive polygonal terrace wall strengthening the heart of Delphi, was the place in every respect the best. War spoils were stored here, mainly from fighting against the Persians. Stoa consisted of a three-stage platform, eight monolithic columns, which is not without significance, because usually the columns consisted of overlapping rings, here monolithic, that is, made entirely, they were marble, ribbed and set in Ionic style. The roof was wooden.

The Polis authorities also thanked Delphi for the so-called treasuries

 

The first during the visit and at the same time the richest was funded by the inhabitants of today's Sifnos. In the 6th century BC it was the richest of the islands, thanks to the gold and silver mines. The building in the shape of a temple was made of expensive marble and very richly decorated. Two columns in the shape of a cortex, the rich frieze crowning the facades, tympanums and acroterions constituted the art of architects and wealth of donors. Maybe that's why the treasury was robbed. Today, the splendor of the building is an engraving and fragments of decorations that can be admired in the local archaeological museum.

The most-photographed vault which, due to the fact that it has been renovated, is the one that was built by the Athenians. Built at the turn of the 6th and 5th centuries BC. it was probably a symbol of the victory of democracy over tyranny, although it is also recognized that it can be a gift of thanksgiving after winning the Marathon. The frieze depicted the exploits of Hercules on the rear and north façade, and of Theseus, on the front and south facade. The juxtaposition of these two heroes from Greek mythology is not accidental, because according to archaeologists, this connection symbolizes the change of the regime to Athenian democracy.

Delphi - monuments, or the most interesting places that you must not only see, but also visit

 

Delphi is a different story. Every day, so many tourists come here that it is difficult to compare with any other place in Greece ... well, maybe Mycenae, Olympia or Acropolis. Seeing everything in Delphi, it can be tiring, because there is a lot to see, moreover, on a very large area. And because the most visitors are in the summer, we have to know that the whole day we are exposed to strong sunlight. So you can be tired. For example, my 14-year-old daughter, she just waited for us, parents, in a cafe with a cold drink and an interesting book, (anyway we were so distracted that we left her for too long time - we were in a hurry and only been there for three hours - it's very short for this sightseeing) .

Today's Delphi are crossed by a road running from the famous Arachova skiers. Sightseeing consists of four parts, of which it is difficult to determine which is the most important; Holy circle, Marmaria, Castalia source, or small but nice Archaeological Museum.

The whole was led by men priests. They made sure that the pilgrims' gifts were good enough and then they decided who could be accepted by Pythia. A man standing in front of the temple could ask only one question, which then the priests passed on to Pythia. This bent over the omphalos was prophesying. And because, under the influence of hallucinogenic vapors, she spoke very vaguely, the priests explained the divination and passed on to the pilgrim.

The answers were ambiguous. If, then, it turned out that the oracle was wrong, the priests blamed the wrong interpretation. For the oracle has never been wrong.

The last divination was given by Pythia in 393.

Today, Delphi is considered a symbol of feeding on human naivety, but in antiquity it was one of the most sacred cities.

Delphine Oracle

 

According to Greek mythology, Zeus was very interested in subordinate earth and human life. He wanted everything to be arranged. Because of that, he released two braw white eagles from the opposite ends of the world. Both of them met in Delphi. According to the god of Olympus, this meant that here is the center of the earth, the most important place in the world. The memorial of this event is Omphalos (Greek omphalos, meaning navel), meaning a stone artifact from ancient times, found in Temple of Apollo underground. It was thanks to him that people could contact with the gods. A copy of stone can be admired over in the museum in Delphi.

In ancient times, the famous Delphic Oracle worked here. It was famous not only in Greece, the powerful and rulers people from Egypt or Lidia came here. The Oracle originally operated once a year, exactly on February 7, the birthday of Apollo. However, as the popularity grew, and with it the need for the oracle, the period was extended to the seventh day of the month, from February to November. At one time, three prophets were active at the same time. The oracle function was performed by a woman born in Delphi. The only requirement for her was the lack of visible physical defects and the duty of sexual abstinence on the day of ministry.

Priestess, meaning Pythia, began divination from washing herself in the holy stream of Castalia. Then she had to go several hundred meters up to get to the temple of Apollo. There she went down to the underground chamber called Adyton, where she sat on a tripod, near the omphalos stone. There is a tectonic fault from which ethylene was released at that time, which is a hallucinogenic vapor.

Holy Road in Delphi

 

The road that we follow today when visiting Delphi is very similar to the one that, almost three thousand years ago, pilgrims followed to hear the prophecy of the famous oracle called Pytia. The prophecy always worked on the ninth day of the month, from March to November, or nine months. The 'walk' measured from the entrance to the Sanctuary of Apollo was ritual and at the same time procedural. Ritual, because the sacrifice of the most mature sheep or goat was accepted. The more wealthy also funded a statue. It was believed that the marble figures had souls, that were able to appear behind the donor and support the confession of a favorable prophecy. During the heyday of Delphi, there were a lot of statues here, the holy road was literally strewn with them. Unfortunately, over the years, plunder was widespread here, practically only UNESCO suspended the practice. Returning to the subject ... the holy path was also of a ritual nature, because the pilgrims who came had to set up according to their arrival, go through the designated trail and wait for the opportunity to ask the Pythia question. Of course, people who are well-off and have political influence, had the right, or the right to bypass the queue.

The beginning of the holy path is a small agora, or square. The area was surrounded by shops and stalls, hidden in the portico, called stoa. The rest of the road was literally strewn, on both sides, with statues of gold, bronze or marble. They were gifts of thanksgiving for, for example, the victory of Sparta over Athens or the conquest of Lakonia in 369 BC.

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