Posted by: Leap of Faith | November 22, 2009

Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia

Remember the sleepy town I mentioned in my previous entry?  Nah?  Well, it is called Delphi town and it used to be situated over the ruins of another sacred place called the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, which is a few hundred meters away from the Temple of Apollo. 

Athena Pronaia was the gateway to Delphi.   Based on what I remember from what our tour guide  said, its rediscovery only came by chance.  The archeologists were looking for the sanctuary but could not find it until they noticed that the foundations of the houses in the town looked liked solid ancient rocks.  Because of this, they decided to relocate the whole town to another location so they can excavate the site.  Needless to say, what they found was undeniably another important section of this sacred place.

This sanctuary was located near the Castallian Springs (a portion of which is shown above).  It is where worshippers bathed or cleansed themselves before entering Delphi.

Many of these boulders have been unearthed but still remain unidentified as to which part of the puzzle they belong to.

This circular thing on the ground used to be an ancient “jacuzzi” where the athletes bathed after they did their workout.  The Greeks also developed a special water heating system using small underground water passages that were, if I remember correctly, heated by coal.

By the way, aside from being a sanctuary, this placed was also the official “gym” of athletes who would compete in the stadium of Delphi.  During its prime, the place housed a track and field and wrestling arena among others.

 An ancient olive tree, which is believed to be as old as this whole place.

Ionnis, our tour guide, explaining ancient Greek to us.  These texts, engraved in stone, helped archeologists understand how life was back then.

More explaining… surprisingly, our boys were listening intently while I was wondering around taking pictures!

The reconstructed ruins of the Temple of Athena.  This used to be a circular monument decorated with intricate ornaments and stone carvings.  What is interesting, though, is how they built this.  If you notice the small round things on the top portion of the columns, these were used to connect the stone pieces together – much like the modern-day “lego.”

One thing we realized about Greece is that most of the places of interest can only be reached by walking a through a rough, dirt terrain like this one.  Okay, picture me now walking through the same path but with Marga in my arms!  Damn – workout to the max!

Thankfully, we had refreshments like these to cool us down.

After checking the ruins, we then headed to the Delphi Museum where the original priceless artifacts are kept.

Like this Sphinx, which was originally placed on top of a column several meters high!

Or these twin stone statues of Greek brothers, importance of which escapes me now. Notice the scale of these statues – Luigi looks like a dwarf standing at the background.

These are the Greek gods – which usually adorned the top of their temples.

This is the statue of the Dancing Ladies, which, if I am not mistaken, is a symbol of Pythian (priestesses of the Oracle).


More ancient artifacts. I specifically love the Greek warrior helmets since it really reminds me of the 300 movie – cool!

My whole family loved Delphi and the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia but we had to move on to our next destination – Meteora!  Pictures of this spectacular place will be coming soon.  Until then.













  1. nice to see you have a male tour guide, for a change. had disturbing flashbacks of anna maria (yes, how could one forget her name) — our tour guide in firenze — and her unmentionables as she pointed up on david’s statue. need help remembering? 😉

    • Oh my! Those bushy things on her pits were so distracting. Gosh, I wanted to look for a Gillette that moment and do the shaving myself – and she had the nerve to wear short sleeved/sleeveless clothing!

      Our tour guide this time was very good. My only complaint is his “Winnie the Pooh-like” shirts, which often showed his hairy abdomen to the women in our group – Pinky included! Hmm.. now I know why Pinky was insisting that I give the man a big tip after the tour – and she said he was good! Damn, what is with tour guides and unwanted hair!

      By the way, hope all is well with you.

  2. Me-oh-my… Yannis (our tour guide – not too sure about how his name is spelled) would have been proud of you – you actually remembered a lot – and you were even taking photos or carrying Marga most of the time – hahaha! 😀

    Looking forward to the next “tour blog” installment 🙂

    • It’s called Wikipedia, hon…hehehe! Naku, I don’t even know if what I am saying in my blog is correct. I justify it na lang by thinking that this is my site and if there is anything wrong eh no one will care. Anyway, kaunti lang naman kayo who read this eh…hehehe!

      More to come!

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