Delphi tour: the Google of the ancient worldDelphi, Greece
An engaging self-guided audio walking tour in Delphi with credible & original stories written by top local professionals. Take your tour now & enjoy it instantly on your smartphone device.
Delphi: the Google of the ancient world tracks the footprints of ancient tourist guides and transforms the sanctuary of Apollo into a spectacular life experience. Millennia before Google appeared, this was the place where mortals could receive answers to their pressing questions. The tour highlights the unknown aspects of Delphi and uncovers the lives of the people who came here in search of guidance or simply as tourists.
This tour will take you past the information available on traditional guides or information panels. It begins at the Kastalia spring with the myths associated with the efforts of Apollo to establish his oracle (treacherous nymphs and bloodthirsty dragons be damned) and proceeds through the Roman Agora to explore the site as THE tourist attraction of the ancient world. The souvenirs and the statues are gone but the stories about Apollo as supreme fisherman or the struggle of the Athenians and the Spartans to outdo each other in bluster and bombast haunts the remains of the votive offerings.
The Sacred Way will take you past the Treasury of the Siphnians (the original Lannisters) and the Rock of the sibyl who raved relentlessly for centuries. As you approach the Temple of Apollo you can marvel at the hundreds of bills of slave sales on the Polygonal Wall (one of them allows a mother to either raise her child or kill it). The Theater offers an incomparable view and an opportunity to discuss the merits of diarrhoea as an offensive weapon in war.
1. ShopA lot has changed since the founding of the Oracle more than 2500 years ago. The illustrious monuments are gone and so are the old gods. Only one thing remains the same; the crowds of tourists attracted to this site.
2. External storageUpon entering the sacred enclosure, the visitor’s senses were attacked by commercials: masterpieces of ancient art filled the space and proclaimed the wealth and fame of Greek city-states.
3. The world wide webAsking Apollo a question was a complicated business, requiring patience, cunning, money, and the willing contribution of a goat. Being generous towards the god and his priests could serve you well in the long run.
The first tourists
ShopIn antiquity, Delphi was an excellent tourist destination offering masterpieces of classical art, elegant edifices, an idyllic location and the added mystery furnished by the presence of Pythia. Most tourists, of course, were male and wealthy since the journey was long and arduous, while the cost for provisions, accommodations, and the necessary servants who would carry the luggage, could be substantial. The majority of visitors came from the surrounding Greek regions, but scattered among them were tourists from Africa, Asia, Italy, and Gaul, who had often been to Delphi before.
Lannisters at Delphi
External storageMost treasuries were built by states to commemorate victories, display wealth and piety, or to obey the god’s command. The Treasury of Siphnos was as rich as any in Delphi. It was constructed entirely of marble from the Cyclades and the cost of transporting it to Parnassus must have been mind-boggling. The decor was without parallel: Caryatides instead of columns, an elaborately carved frieze depicting mythical scenes, and interior decorations of colored stone or precious wood that was costly enough to have been robbed (no trace remains). The people of Siphnos paid for all this with gold from the island’s mines but when they gave up sending a tithe to Delphi, the sea flooded the mines as a divine punishment.
How to skip-the-line
The world wide webAccess to Pythia was based on a strict order of consultation. Local Delphians had first rights of audience, followed by Greeks from the cities that comprised the supreme governing council of Delphi (called the Amphictyony), then all other Greeks, and finally non-Greeks. Those who had provided Delphi with a valuable service could aspire to the right of “promanteia” that entitled its holder (individuals or representatives of communities) to consult the oracle before others. The giant altar before the temple of Apollo was a gift from the island of Chios and proudly proclaimed to all who waited in line (the queue definitely went past the altar) that the Chians had the right of promanteia.
The team behind the stories at Clio Muse consists of a dedicated long-haired art conservator, an inquisitive bespectacled historian, a passionate feminist curator, and a gifted graphic designer with a permanent tan.
|Areas||Delphi archaeological site, Amfissa|
Why take a self-guided tour?
This is a self-guided tour based on the award-winning storytelling concept developed by Clio Muse and the fascinating narratives prepared by our handpicked destination experts.
You can enjoy each multilingual tour by using your smartphone or tablet at your own pace even if you are offline. The interactive map on your screen will guide you step-by-step as you explore all points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of our signature stories allowing you to tailor the tour experience to your personal interests and schedule.
After downloading Clio Muse app, you can access this tour and activate it any moment you wish and also repeat it any time. To best enjoy our multimedia self-guided tour (comprising maps, video, audio and text) we recommend the use of headphones.