After your tour at the archaeological site of Delphi and the most renowned oracle of the ancient world, make some time to visit the Archaeological Museum of the area. It is one of the most important museums in Greece and it was built at first at 1903, in order to house the findings from the “great excavation” that had started from 1892. You can enter with your entrance ticket and bear in mind that you will need at least 1 to 2 hours in order to explore it. The new archaeological museum, though, was enriched with new exhibits and remodelled to a contemporary and organised venue. According to the big number of visitors per year, it is ranked in the second place in footfall after the Acropolis Museum.
Inside the archaeological museum of Delphi
The tour at the museum is easy and the descriptions existing below every exhibit renders it highly clarifying.The history of Delphi and the famous oracle of the ancient Greek world is being illustrated in the best way, through a rich collection of sculptures, jewellery and many other findings. Surely I can not guide you around, but what I can do for you through my post, is to give you some information from our pictures, regarding some of the exhibits that are in the Archaeological Museum and are considered to be very important. (The information is from the tags that are below the exhibits, which I use to photograph together with the exhibit)
The entrance to the museum is via the entrance ticket to the archaeological site of Delphi.
The Charioteer of Delphi
The statue of the Charioteer of Delphi has a prominent position inside the museum, grabbing the eye of all visitors. With a height of 180 cm, it is made of copper and illustrates a young man that has taken part at the celebrations of Delphi, the Pythian Games. The Charioteer is part of a big cluster and holds in his hand the horse’s headstall of the chariot he was driving. This whole formulation was dedicated to God Apollo by a Sicilian family.
By standing in front of the Charioteer statue, its view will surely mesmerise you. The posture of the Charioteer and the folds of the chiton will give you an impression that he is moving. But what will impress you the most are the “bright” eyes, that have black stones as pupils, making the statue look real.
The Sphinx of Naxos
The Sphinx of Naxos is a statue. offered around 560 B.C. from Naxos, a wealthy island of Cyclades, as a dedication to the Sanctuary of Apollo and the oracle of Delphi. It was placed on a pillar with a total height of 12,5 meters, showing at the same time their economic and political power during that era. The Sphinx if a mythical creature. It has a woman’s face as head, with an enigmatic smile and long hair, and as body it has a the body of a lion, while it has eagle wings on its sides.
As it is stated in the inscription found, the priests of the temple, in order to show their gratitude for this votive offering from Naxos, they gave the privilege to all the devoted from the island to come first, when they were asking for a prophesy. Today at the island of Naxos (Cyclades) there exist the ruins of the temple of God Apollo of the 6th B.C., the renowned Portara, that was worshipped by the citizens of the island.
The Kouroi of Argos
Wonderful though, are also the two kouroi that were found during the big excavation, at 1893, near the Athenian Treasury, with a height of 2 metres. It is speculated that they were dedicated by the citizens of Argos to God Apollo at 610 B.C. and are made of marble from Paros.
Historically, according to the great Greek historian Herodotus, the two young men were brothers that dragged their mother’s carriage,in order to go to the temple of Hera, because the oxen that were supposed to drag her weren’t coming. Their mother, deeply moved by this act, asked Foddess Hera for a peaceful death for them, since in Ancient Greece, a such death was considered to be a godly reward to the mortals. And so it happened. The two young men, most tired, went to sleep and their life came to an end inside the sanctuary of Hera, thus gaining immortality for the love and respect they showed to their mother. Their fellow citizens, in order to honour the two respectful brothers, dedicated to Apollo the two Kouroi.
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The Siphnian Treasury
There may not exist the whole building of the Siphnian Treasury inside the archaeological site of Delphi, but a lot of its components are placed as exhibit in the museum of Delphi. The Siphnian Treasury (535 B.C.) was a small building-offering to Apollo by the citizens of Siphnos. It was built by the earnings of the island, through the utilisation of the gold and silver mines that existed.
During the excavations lots of gold jewellery, necklaces, crowns and more were found, indicating the wealth and glory of Greece during antiquity.
During the excavations at the archaeological site of Delphi lot of gold items and jewellery were found.
At the archaeological museum of Delphi though, except for these afore-mentioned important exhibits, you, as visitors, will have the opportunity to see and admire a rich variety of ancient findings, such as ancient statues, votive offerings from the cities’ treasuries, small statuettes, pottery and more.
Museum of Delphic Festivals
Except for your visit at the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, during the time of your stay in Delphi, you can also visit the Museum of Delphic Festivals, located in the modern town of Delphi.
In the early 20th century, the great Greek poet Aggelos Sikelianos together with his wife, Eva, envisioned the “Delphic Idea” and wanted to create a new spiritual navel of the Earth, based in Delphi. For the implementation of the idea they organised the first Delphic festivals, that had a worldwide impact.
At the first Delphic festivals in 1927, the Delphic Idea was reborn, with two performances of ancient drama, that were held at the ancient theatre of Delphi. In the museum of Aggelos and Eva Sikelianos, which is in the settlement of Delphi, there are on display costumes inspired from the ancient vessels, photographs of the Delphic Festivals, handwritten texts, written communication, personal items of Aggelos Sikelianos, and the loom of his wife, Eva, with whom she was weaving the costumes for the performances.
Other places to visit and things to do if you stay in Delphi
The area of Delphi offers many choices of visiting other towns, as well as engaging in many activities depending on your hobbies. I recommend you to visit:
Modern town of Delphi
The modern town of Delphi was built next to the archaeological site, and it is true that you may not come across an iconic town with lovely cobbled streets, but you surely will enjoy your walk at the pulsing central street and perhaps you will pick a traditional tavern to eat or even a café to relax and have a drink. There are of course a lot of shops with items of traditional ceramic art, and exact replicas of ancient jewellery and other findings from the archaeological site of Delphi.
The cosmopolitan Arachova, is a big town with great tourist growth and it is deservedly called “Mykonos of the winter”. It is the queen of Parnassos! Amphitheatrically built in the hills of Parnassos, in a height of 960 metres, Arachova is so vibrant. It is justly ranked on top of Greece’s winter tourism, as well as on top of the list with the best travel destinations all year long.
In Arachova you will find traditional products, like the round shaped cheese formaela, which is produced only there, the feta from Parnassos, hand-woven textiles, handmade carpet and more.
In a distance about 10 km. from Delphi and with view to the olive grove of Amfissa and the bay of Itea, there is the village Chrisso. The beauty of its manor houses, its churches as well as the beautiful square with the large sycamore will charm you. Small taverns and traditional cafeterias will relax you and give you a flavour of our Greece. Don’t omit to visit the Ethnological and Folklore Museum in Chrisso.
Galaxidi – Itea
You can also visit the picturesque Galaxidi and the beautiful Itea
Activities in the area of Delphi
If you stay at the area of Delphi, there are a lot of activities that can keep you interested and have a nice time during your vacation.
- During winter you can ski at the beautiful and modern pistes of Parnassos Ski Center. It is located in a height of 1,640-2,260 meters and has 23 pistes in total. Ski lovers will find here for sure the piste that suits them depending on their skill level.
- There are paths for mountain biking.
- If you are into extreme sports you can “fly” with a paraglider.
- If you love hiking, Delphi is a sufficient destination for hikers. The European path E4 is a part of the ancient path for people visiting Delphi, walking up from the port of Kirra.
Getting to know this great cultural heritage of Greece, the mystery and energy you will experience there, the delight you will get from the amazing view of the valley of Delphi, the sights and the infrastructure of the area, will let you totally satisfied.It is also sure that the area of Delphi will become for you, and for many other visitors that were guided in Delphi, to a remarkable tourist destination and it will let you with the best travel memories from Greece.