Countries and cultures are defined by their history, often a specific period of it when they were maybe at their most powerful or most influential. We travel to Egypt to see the gigantic pyramids, to India to see the pristine Taj Mahal, to Rome to see the relics of the Roman Empire and the list goes on. The world is filled with places and ruins that tell us stories that have captivated our imaginations for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years and it could be said that nowhere has more of these tales filled with mystery and wonder than the world of Ancient Greece. These stories are so old that it’s hard to really know how much truth there are to the tales which is possibly what makes them so fascinating. Despite this though there are many real places where these myths and legends were said to have taken place that you can still visit today and who knows you may even find something nobody else has. So, let’s take a look at some of them.
The Oracle of Delphi
For those that know their Greek myths there is no doubt that they’ll know the Oracle of Delphi. The oracle was not a single person like say Heracles but a title, always a woman she would also be known as Pytho and she was a high priestess of the Temple of Apollo. The oracle was renowned for her prophetic visions, advising people from the world over of what was in store for them in their futures which were given to them by Apollo himself. It was the Oracle of Delphi that advised Cadmus to build the ancient city of Thebes and it was her that warned Acrisius that his grandson Perseus would one day kill him, a prophesy that would set in motion the events that would one day lead to his battle with Medusa.
The oracle wasn’t just a figure of legend but in fact a real role in Ancient Greece, and an important one at that. The Greeks believed Delphi to be the centre of the world and revered it as such. The oracles prophecies were not questioned, they were simply fact and it’s likely that she would be one of the most influential figures in world at the time. Today you can visit the ruins of the of Delphi which still give you a great idea of how important the city was. Remains of a theatre, a stadium, a hippodrome and a gymnasium can all still be found. You can visit the Stoa of Athens, a monument built to commemorate the Battle of Marathon, one of the most famous in Greek history. The real star of the show hear however is likely the Temple of Apollo itself, though it may lie in ruins you can still see its significance today. Dating back to the 6th Century BCE this would have been a site of major significance, along with the place that the prophies were given to travellers from far and wide.