Sacred Way (Iera Odos) of Delphi

Ancient Delphi Attraction

This is the ceremonial path that pilgrims and oracle-seekers had to follow on their way to the temple where Priestess Pythia performed.

The overview of the paved Sacred Way at Delphi is peppered with broken columns and ruins.
photo: Zde / CC BY-SA 4.0

"The Sacred Way" was the path that was leading from the entrance of the Sanctuary of Apollo to the Altar of Chians and the imposing temple. It was the most central path of the Sanctuary, facilitating the movement of pilgrims, while it had a ritualistic character.

All those who were coming here to ask for an amulet were walking through it, while at the same time, performing the established ritual that was including sacrifices on the big altar located at the highest point of the Sacred Way.

What was the Sacred Way like in antiquity?

Records for the existence of the Sacred Way have existed since the archaic time, while over the years it has undergone a series of variations. In ancient time the road was uphill and extended for more than 200 meters. Its entire length was dominated by statues, platforms, offerings, and treasures that were gifts from Greek cities but also individuals who had received an important amulet.

Its current form dates from the early Byzantine years when it was rebuilt to serve the needs of the settlement that was founded on the site of the ancient sanctuary. On the path, they are still visible the architectural parts of older buildings that have been used through the centuries.

In case the visitor skips getting the assistance of a guide while wandering in the archaeological site, a guidebook will help to get more information about the special features of the Sacred Way.

About Sacred Way (Iera Odos) of Delphi

Last updated: 13 Apr 2021