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Delphi (Municipality, Greece)

Δελφοί

Last modified: 2015-01-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: delphi | amfissa | galaxidi | itea |
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Flag of Delphi - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 23 August 2013


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Presentation of Delphi

The municipality of Delphi (26,716 inhabitants in 2011; 38,710 ha) is made since the 2011 local government reform of the merger of the eight former municipalities of Amfissa (Άμφισσα, 9,248 inh.), Delphi (1,767 inh.), Desfina (ωλκός, 1,988 inh.), Galaxidi (Γαλαξίδι, 2,989 inh.), Gravia (Γραβιά, 2,975 inh.), Itea (Ιτέα, 5,888 inh.), Kallieis (Καλλιείς, 2,328 inh.), and Parnassos (Παρνασσός, 2,668 inh.).

Delphi was thought of by the Greeks as the middle of the Earth. It was the site of the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and became a major site for the worship of God Apollo after he slew Python, a dragon who lived there and protected the navel of the Earth. Apollo's sacred precinct in Delphi was a panhellenic sanctuary, where every four years, starting in 586 BC, athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, one of the four panhellenic games, precursors of the Modern Olympics. Delphi was set apart from the other games sites because it hosted the mousikos agon, musical competitions.
Apollo spoke through his oracle: the sibyl or priestess of the oracle at Delphi was known as the Pythia, an older woman of blameless life chosen from among the peasants of the area. She sat on a tripod seat over an opening in the earth: when Apollo slew Python, its body fell into this fissure, according to legend, and fumes arose from its decomposing body. Intoxicated by the vapors, the sibyl would fall into a trance, allowing Apollo to possess her spirit. In this state she prophesied. Among the famous Buildings and structures in Delphi are the Temple of Apollo, the Amphictyonic Council, Treasuries built by the various Greek city-states to commemorate victories and to thank the oracle for her advice, the Altar of the Chians, the Stoa of the Athenians, the Sibyl rock, the ancient theatre, the Tholos at the sanctuary of Athena Pronoia, the gymnasium, the stadium, the hippodrome, the polygonal wall, the Castalian spring, and many preserved athletic statues.

In medieval times Delphi, also called Kastri, was built on the archaeological site. The residents had used the marble columns and structures as support beams and roofs for their houses, a usual way of rebuilding towns that were partially or totally destroyed, especially after the earthquake in 1580. In 1893 archaeologists from the École française d'Athènes located the actual site of ancient Delphi and the village was moved to a new location, west of the site of the temples.
Modern Delphi is situated west of the archaeological site and is a popular tourist destination.

Olivier Touzeau, 23 August 2013


Flag of Delphi

The flag of the former municipality of Delphi (Kokkonis website) was white with the municipal emblem. Even if the former municipality of Delphi was not the most populated of those forming the new municipality of Delphi, the new municipality uses the same emblem as the former one. One can think the new municipality probably flies the same flag as the former one if it has any.
The emblem shows the Pythia of Delphi, and the words "ΔΗΜΟΣ ΔΕΛΦΩΝ" (Municipality of Delphi) and "ΑΜΦΙΚΤΙΟΝΩΝ". In the Archaic period of Greek history, an amphictyony ("league of neighbors") or Amphictyonic League was an ancient association of Greek tribes. The longest-lasting amphictyony was the Delphic or Great Amphictyonic League that was organized for the protection and administration of the temple of Apollo in Delphi and temple of Demeter in Anthele, near Thermopylae. One of the founding tribes was the Pythians (Πύθιοι) of Delphi.

Olivier Touzeau, 23 August 2013


Former municipality of Amfissa

[Flag of Alsonia]

Flag of Amfissa - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 15 July 2013

Amfissa has been settled since the ancient times and was the chief town of Ozolian Locris, a region inhabited by the ancient Greek tribe of Locrians. Amfissa was organised as a polis in the 7th century BC and flourished in arts and trade, which lasted for three centuries.
During the Peloponnesian War, Amfissa fought on Sparta's side, and after the Peloponnesian War the Amfissians were allies to Thebes. During the Corinthian War, the Amfissians were on the side of Athens, Argos, Corinth and Thebes. During the Third Sacred War, 356 - 346 BC, the Amfissians, who were allies of the Thebans, cultivated part of the Crissaean plain, which belonged to Delphi, and founded potteries in Kirra.

In 339 BC, the Athenians offered golden shields to the Temple of Apollo in Delphi with inscriptions insulting to the Thebans, who provoked the deputy of Amfissa to oppose to this offer. Then Aeschines, the Athenian deputy, contradicted the Amfissians, introducing their illegal actions in the sacred lands of the Oracle of Delphi before the Amphictyonic League, which called Philip II of Macedon to interfere. In 338 BC, Philip attacked and destroyed Amfissa, expelling large parts of its population and giving the area to Delphi, which is known as the Fourth Sacred War.
The Amfissians managed to rebuild their town and give to it its former power, but in 322 BC it was sieged by Alexander of Aetolia. In 250 BC, Amfissa joined the Aetolian League as friend and relative of the Aetolians. Iin 250 BC, Amfissa joined the Aetolian League. In the period between 174 and 160 BC, Amfissa had been damaged several times during the hostilities which took place between the pro-Roman Aetolians and the nationalists of the town. During the 2nd century, Amfissa was a prosperous town which expanded outside its walls.

In the early Middle Ages, Amfissa was devastated by several foreign peoples who invaded Greece. In 1205, after the Fourth Crusade and the establishment of the Latin Empire, Boniface of Montferrat, the king of Thessalonica, conquered the region of Central Greece. Amfissa became the seat of a lordship under Thomas I d'Autremencourt. It is then that the new governors built the powerful Castle of Salona on the hill where the ancient acropolis of Amfissa existed, while the ancient name of the town was replaced by the new name Salona.
The region of Salona was conquered by the Ottomans in 1394. In 1580, a huge earthquake destroyed several towns in Phocis, amongst them Salona.

In the 18th century, Salona became the center of preparations for the war against the Ottoman Turks in Central Greece. In the Greek War of Independence, Salona was the first town of Central Greece to revolt: on 27 March 1821, Panourgias invaded the town and on 10 April the Greeks captured the Castle of Salona, the first fortress which fell in Greek hands, and extinguished the six hundred people of the Ottoman garrison in it. On 1520 November 1821, a council was held in Salona, where the main local notables and military chiefs participated. Under the direction of Theodoros Negris, they established a governing council, the Areopagus of Eastern Continental Greece, composed of 71 notables from Eastern Greece, Thessaly and Macedonia. Salona became the capital of Eastern Continental Greece and the regime existed until the Ottoman recapture of Greece, in 1825.

The flag of Amfissa (Kokkonis website) was white with its municipal seal.
The seal features the face of th town's namesake, Amfissa. The daughter of Macar, son of Aeolus, Amfissa was the mistress of God Apollo.

Olivier Touzeau, 15 July 2013


Former municipality of Galaxidi

[Flag of Alsonia]

Flag of Galaxidi - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 4 August 2013

Until the late 19th century, Galaxidi had a sizeable merchant marine fleet and was a prosperous commercial centre. It has a small harbor on the Gulf of Corinth and is a relatively popular weekend retreat for people from Athens. Galaxidi is known for the Alevromoutzouroma (Αλευρομουτζούρωμα, lit., Flour Wars), which take place at the end of the Carnival Season, when the participants throw each other colored flour.

The flag of Galaxidi (Kokkonis website) was blue with a red outer border, and the municipality seal in the middle. The main element of the seal is a sea horse of the chariot of Poseidon.

Olivier Touzeau, 4 August 2013


Former municipality of Itea

[Flag of Itea]

Flag of Itea - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 14 October 2013

The flag of Itea (Kokkonis website) was white with the municipality emblem.

Olivier Touzeau, 14 October 2013