Delphi is perhaps the most magical classical site in Greece, its ruins on the lower slopes of Mount Parnassus framing a sweeping valley of olive trees that drops away to the distant sea. Built in the 4th century BC, visit the Tholos or Rotunda and the striking Temple of Apollo, the third built on that site, above which rises a 5,000-seat theatre. Also see the Treasure of the Athenians, built of marble by the Alkmeonides in 510BC after the defeat of Hyppius. The Delphi museum houses the beautiful "Charioteer" statue, along with other treasures discovered during the excavations.
Considered by the ancient Greeks to be the centre of the earth, Delphi was once the site of an oracle of the earth Goddess Gaea. According to mythology, Apollo defeated the monstrous serpent Python, which guarded Gaea, and expelled her from the sanctuary, which he then shared with the Goddess Dionysus. The oracle that believed to have been founded here, in a cleft on the rock face, was the religious and moral capital of the classical world for many centuries.
The following 2 cruises call at Delphi.
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