Delphi: The Centre of the World
The site of Delphi was believed to be determined by Zeus when he sought to find the centre of his "Grandmother Earth" (Gaia). He sent two eagles flying from the eastern and western extremities, and the path of the eagles crossed over Delphi where the omphalos, the navel of Gaia or the centre of the world was found.
A Bit of History
The first traces of inhabitation in Delphi go back to around the 14th - 11th centuries B.C. when the deity worshiped in Delphi was the mother earth Gaia or ‘Ge’. However, from the 11th to 9th centuries B.C. the worship of Apollo established at Delphi and in the following centuries the temple devoted to Apollo and Athena, the theater and sports stadium, being important parts of the Greek civilization and religion were built in Delphi. Blending harmoniously with the superb landscape and charged with sacred meaning, Delphi in the 6th century B.C. was indeed the religious centre and symbol of unity of the ancient Greek world, where every four years, starting in 586 BC athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, precursors of the Modern Olympics.