Almost the vast majority of the buildings of the pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi were build in order to host sport activities. The stadium of Delphi is one of the best-preserved monument of its kind. It is situated north-west of the theatre, above the sanctuary of Apollo, in the highest part of the ancient city. The word “stadium” or ‘stadion’ was literally referred to a measurement of distance, a foot-race. As years went by its meaning changed to a place where sports activities were held. Spectators were present and its importance rendered the stadium a holy space. In honor of Apollo of Delphi, the so called “Pythian Games” were held two years after each Olympic Games, and between Nemean and Isthmian Games. According to inscriptions found during excavations, Pythian Games included four track sports such as stade, diaulos, dolichos and hoplitodromos -racing encumbered with pieces of Hoplite armor-. Later additions were wrestling, boxing, pankration, and the pentathlon. Musical, dancing and art performances or contests were another part of the institution. The final day of the games was dedicated to equestrian races. This is where the famous Charioteer won the chariot race!
The stadium probably constructed around the second half of the 4th century B.C while it was abandoned in 394 A.D. It lies on the highest spot of the site, deploying the natural slope, with a marvelous view to the Delphic Landscape. It is the best preserved stadium in Greece, with a total capacity of 6,500 spectators. It is hairpin-shaped, with two parallel blocks of seats. As far as its construction, four building phases are obvious through the passage of time. According to each of the them, new architecture, structural and functional additions are creating the final phase of the stadium. The final length of the stadium was measured on 178.35 meters, fact that was not constant during the ages.