2 hours northeast of Athens, Greece, lies the “center of the universe”, otherwise known as Delphi. Considered by the ancient Greeks to be the center of the universe, Delphi was a place sought-out throughout history by visitors from Greece and from other territories further afield. They would come to trade, speak about philosophy and learn from other cultures.
The site was believed to be determined by Zeus when he sought to find the center 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. This story is very beautiful and dramatic, an important part of Greek mythology of course.
Earlier myths include traditions that Pythia, or the Delphic oracle, was already the site of an important oracle in the pre-classical Greek world (as early as 1400 BC) and, rededicated, served as the major site during classical times for the worship of the god Apollo. Apollo’s sacred precinct in Delphi was a panhellenic sanctuary, where every four years, starting in 586 BC, athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games.
Today, the ruins stand as a testament of time as they barely survived war and were buried under mountains of dirt before being uncovered in the 20th century. Nearby is the Archaeological Museum of Delphi which houses relics – made from marble, gold and ivory – all found at the site as well. Delphi is truly magical and is an absolute “must” for anyone visiting the greater Athens area.