The Stadium – Delphi, Greece
Delphi Stadium is one of the best preserved stadiums from the ancient Greece period. The Pythian Games were held here every four years and after the Olympic Games, these were the most important sporting event in the Greek calendar. The Pythian Games developed out of a musical festival that was held in the theatre every eight years to celebrate Apollo’s mythical slaying of the serpent Python. Although musical recitals and poetry were the main activities of the festival, atheletic events were added in the Stadium from 582 BC onwards and the event then became known as the Pythian Games. Winners of the games were presented with the traditional laurel wreath as well as the right to have his statue in the statuary.
The stadium is located high up the hill, beyond the Sacred Way and the Theatre. It was originally built in the 5th century BC but was altered in later centuries. The last major remodelling took place in the 2nd century AD under the patronage of Herodus Atticus when the stone seating was built and an arched entrance. It could seat 6500 spectators and its track is 177.55 m long and 25.50 m wide.
It was a hot day and there was very limited time to get up there and back so many of us did not make the climb, not knowing how long it would take. Tony, laiden with his camera bag, made the climb and from his photos, it appears that the effort was well worthwhile. Seeing how beautiful the track is, I regret not having made the climb myself.