May 27, 2009
Delphi is an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis. Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, when it was a major site for the worship of the god Apollo after he slew the Python, a deity who lived there and protected the navel of the Earth. His sacred precinct in Delphi was a panhellenic sanctuary, where every four years athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, one of the four panhellenic (or stephanitic) games, precursors to the Modern Olympics.
Delphi was revered throughout the Greek world as the site of the omphalos stone, the centre of the earth and the universe. In the inner hestia("hearth") of the Temple of Apollo, an eternal flame burned. After the battle of Plataea, the Greek cities extinguished their fires and brought new fire from the hearth of Greece, at Delphi; in the foundation stories of several Greek colonies, the founding colonists were first dedicated at Delphi.
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.