DELPHI - UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE

 

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GENERAL INFO

 Delphi site is located in lower central Greece, on multiple plateau/terraces along the slope of Mount Parnassus, and includes the Sanctuary of Apollo, the site of the ancient Oracle. This semicircular spur is known as Phaedriades, and overlooks the Pleistos Valley. Southwest of Delphi, about 15 km (9.3 mi) away, is the harbor-city of Kirrha on the Corinthian Gulf.

 The site had been occupied by the village of Kastri since medieval times and this had to be relocated before a systematic excavation of the site could be undertaken, a relocation resisted by the residents. The opportunity to relocate the village was presented when it was substantially damaged by an earthquake, with villagers offered a completely new village in exchange for the old site. In 1893 the French Archaeological School removed vast quantities of soil from numerous landslides to reveal both the major buildings and structures of the sanctuary of Apollo and of Athena Proaea along with thousands of objects, inscriptions and sculptures.

 Four areas of the site have been reconstructed to greater of lesser extents. The Treasury of the Athenians was fully reconstructed from its original materials by the original French excavation team under the sponsorship of the Mayor of Athens. The Altar of the Chians was reconstructed in 1959 by the Greek Archaeological Services. The Tholos and Temple of Apollo have been subject to limited reconstructions

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MODERN DELPHI

Modern Delphi is situated immediately west of the archaeological site and hence is a popular tourist destination. It is on a major highway linking Amfissa along with Itea and Arachova. There are many hotels and guest houses in the town, and many taverns and bars. The main streets are narrow, and often one-way. 

The Trans European Footpath E4 passes through the east end of the town. In addition to the archaeological interest, Delphi attracts tourists visiting the Parnassus Ski Center and the popular coastal towns of the region. The town has a population of 2,373 people while the population of the municipality of Delphi, including Chrisso (ancient Krissa), is 3,511.

In medieval times Delphi was also called Kastri and was built on the archaeological site. The residents had used the marble columns and structures as support beams and roofs for their improvised houses, a usual way of rebuilding towns which were partially or totally destroyed, especially after the earthquake in 1580 which demolished several towns in Phocis.

In 1893 archaeologists from the École française d'Athènes finally located the actual site of ancient Delphi and the village was moved to a new location, west of the site of the temples.

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WHAT YOU SHOULD SEE

 The Delphi Archaeological Museum is at the foot of the main archaeological complex, on the east side of the village, and on the north side of the main road.

 The museum houses an impressive collection associated with ancient Delphi, including the earliest known notation of a melody, the famous Charioteer, golden treasures discovered beneath the Sacred Way, and fragments of reliefs from the Siphnian Treasury. Immediately adjacent to the exit (and overlooked by most tour guides) is the inscription which mentions the Roman proconsul Gallio.

 Entries to the museum and to the main complex are separate and chargeable, and a reduced rate ticket gets entry to both. There is a small cafe, and a post office by the museum. Slightly further east, on the south side of the main road, is the Gymnasium and the Tholos. Entry to these is free.

 

www.ToursInGreece.gr/Delphi.htm

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ARION HOTEL: SYGROU 29 - DELPHI - FOKIS   ΤEL: 22650 82097  FAX: 22650 83097  MOBILE: 6937 641464

 

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