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Delfoi, Fokida, near to Arachova

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About Course

History and teachings
Delphi in legend previously called Pytho, in ancient times was a sacred precinct that served as the seat of Pythia, the major oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. The oracle was international in character and also fostered sentiments of Greek nationality, even though the nation of Greece was centuries away from realization. The ancient Greeks considered the centre of the world to be in Delphi, marked by the stone monument known as the omphalos (navel). The sacred precinct was in the region of Phocis, but its management had been taken away from the Phocians, who were trying to extort money from its visitors, and had been placed in the hands of an amphictyony, or committee of persons chosen mainly from Central Greece. Adjacent to the sacred precinct is a small modern town of the same name. The precinct is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in having had a great influence in the ancient world, as evidenced by the various monuments built there by most of the important ancient Greek city-states, demonstrating their fundamental Hellenic unity. It would be impossible to remove the influence of the Delphic oracle from the written history of the times.

Cross-cultural dimensions
Before the recreation of the greek statement, a lot of issues in the field of culture were solved by oganizations of other countries really interested and involded in archaeological matters. The site was first briefly excavated in 1880 by Bernard Haussoullier (1852-1926) on behalf of the French School at Athens, of which he was a member. Then, it was occupied by the village of Kastri, about 100 houses, 200 people. Kastri (“fort”) had been there since the destruction of the place by Theodosius I in 390. He probably left a fort to make sure it was not repopulated, except that the fort became the new village. They were mining the stone for re-use in their own buildings. British and French travelers visiting the site suspected it was ancient Delphi. Before a systematic excavation of the site could be undertaken, the village had to be relocated but the residents resisted.

The opportunity to relocate the village occurred 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 Pronoia along with thousands of objects, inscriptions and sculptures. This kind of relationship between Greece and France empowered a lot the diplomatic relationship between the two countries that remains strong until today.

Useful information:
recommended for all/ general/ does not require prior knowledge/ accessible/ affordable

The two Delphis, old and new, are located on Greek National Road 48 between Amfissa in the west and Livadeia, capital of Voiotia, in the east. By car

Choose the direction Athens-Elefsina and you will enter the Attiki Odos motorway. Then take exit 9 which will direct you to the E75 National Road Athens-Lamia, heading towards Lamia. Make a right at the exit “Kastro-Orchomenos” and follow the signs leading to Livadia-Arachova-Delphi.

By bus

Take the X93 bus (KIFISOS INTERCITY BUS STATION – ATHENS AIRPORT EXPRESS) and get off at the Liosion Intercity Bus Terminal (KTEL), 260 Liosion Str. 10445.

From there you can take the bus (KTEL) heading for Delphi.

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What Will You Learn?

  • The displaying of several archeological pieces, combined with an explanation of the history of the area provides a deep knowledge of historical diversity, appreciation of the past, and enthusiasm in acquiring deeper knowledge of Greece's cultural heritage. The visit will also promote critical thinking, with seeing the ways which cultures evolve and thrive in a single area.

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