Delphi is in upper central Greece, on multiple plateaux along the slope of Mount Parnassus, overlooking the coastal plain to the south and the valley of Phocis. Delphi is famous as the ancient sanctuary that grew rich as the seat of Pythia, the oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. Moreover, the Greeks considered Delphi the navel (or centre) of the world, as represented by the stone monument known as the Omphalos of Delphi. More specifically, in myths dating to the classical period of Ancient Greece (510-323 BC), Zeus determined the site of Delphi when he sought to find the centre of his "Grandmother Earth" (Gaia). He sent two eagles flying from the eastern and western extremities, and the path of the eagles crossed over Delphi where the omphalos, or navel of Gaia was found. The name Delphoi comes from the same root as δελφύς delphys, "womb" and may indicate archaic veneration of Gaia at the site. Apollo is connected with the site by his epithet "Δελφίνιος" Delphinios, "the Delphinian".
Delphi is now an extensive archaeological site with a modern town of the same name nearby. It is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in having had a phenomenal influence in the ancient world, as evidenced by the rich monuments built there by most of the important ancient Greek city-states, demonstrating their fundamental Hellenic unity.
The Archaeological Museum of Delphi is one of the most important museums not only of Greece, but also of the entire modern world. The exhibits that housed in its halls are among the most important discoveries in the history of civilisation, which come from the excavations of archaeologists in the field of the Oracle of Delphi, of the Navel of the Earth for the world of Greek antiquity. The exhibits cover the Greek antiquity from the foundation of the temple of Apollo in the 8th century B.C. to its decline in the years of late antiquity. The permanent exhibition of the Archaeological Museum of Delphi describes the story of the Delphic sanctuary and oracle based on a chronological framework. Its rich collections are composed primarily of architectural sculpture, statues and minor objects donated to the sanctuary. These reflect its religious, political and artistic activities from its early years in the eight century BC to its decline in Late Antiquity. Organised in fourteen rooms on two levels, the museum mainly displays statues, including the famous Charioteer of Delphi, architectural elements, like the frieze of the Siphnian Treasury and ex votos dedicated to the sanctuary of Pythian Apollo, like the Sphinx of Naxos. The exhibition floor space is more than 2270m2, while the storage and conservation rooms (mosaics, ceramics and metals) take up 558m2.
Archaeological Site of Delphi. The Delphic sanctuary lies on the base of the gigantic rocks of Parnassus, the Phaedriades. The rocks are split forming an awesome chasm. Its clefts emitted the vapours in which the ancients saw the spirit of God and gave way to the waters of the sacred spring of Castalia; no one was allowed to seek Apollo's oracle before washed and purified in its waters.
When approaching Delphi, the first site to be seen is the temenos of Athena Pronaia, the epithet meaning the goddess worshipped before the temple of Apollo. In this sanctuary is situated the renowned tholos of Delphi, a 4th century BC masterpiece of the ancient Greek architecture. The tholoi were circular structures, attributed to the cult of heroes or chthonic deities, an interpretation that remains uncertain in lack of ancient testimonies regarding their use. The type is found in other major sanctuaries as well, in Epidaurus and Olympia for instance.
Higher still, a path leads from the theatre to the stadium, where the sporting events of the Pythian Games were held. The stadium acquired its final form during the 5th century BC and was able to hold 7000 spectators. Its length equals that of the Roman stadium, namely 177.55 m. - the Panathenaic stadium was 184.96 m long a).