The Archaeological Museum of Delphi

The Archaeological Museum of Delphi, one of the most famous in Greece, houses the extensive history found from excavations in the Delphi Sanctuary and the surrounding area.

Constructed in 1903, next to the archaeological site, it is a museum that should not be missed because of its impressive exhibitions covering a period of over 1000 years (from the Mycenaean to the Greco-Roman era). The museum has had several changes and extensions added over the last 100 years, with the latest made in 1999, to meet the new international museum standards. The museum comprises of a rich collection of architectural sculptures and statues, donations to the sanctuary which reflected its importance as a religious, political and artistic centre since the 8th century B.C, when it was at its peak.

The museum has the exhibitions arranged in chronological order and by context in 14 rooms, each representing various periods or parts of the sanctuary. Visiting the museum helps the tourist acquire a picture of the ancient site of Delphi, how it appeared with the offerings brought by the different city-states to place in their treasuries.

The first rooms have articles from the start of the sanctuary and the early offerings. The next room has articles from the Archaic era. The Sacred Way, the Siphnian Treasury, the Temple of Apollo, the Athenian Treasury and the Tholos, all have rooms exhibiting articles found in the above monuments. In the rooms we also find frieze and fragments of metopes depicting ancient myths, kouroi (statues of young men) and in a separate room, there stands the famous full size Bronze Charioteer of Delphi, a remarkable and well preserved statue.

The Charioteer, a statue which defines the change from two periods, from the Archaic to the Classical, shows a charioteer soon after his victory in the Pythian Games of 478 or 474 B.C. Named Iniohos (he who holds the reins), the charioteer was part of a complex of four horses, chariot and driver. Although he was victorious in the race his facial expressions as he faces the spectators, shows that he has full control of his emotions, a sign of a civilized man in Classical Greece.