305-Athena Pronaia – Greece

Located roughly one-half mile from the main concentration of buildings at Delphi, Athena Pronaia was the gateway to Delphi. The site, having been occupied since the Neolithic Period (5000-3000 BCE) and later by the Mycenaeans, may actually predate Delphi as a sacred place. Originally dedicated to the worship of an Earth Goddess, the shrine was eventually occupied by Olympian deities, Athena in particular. Athena’s shrine stood near the entrance to Apollo’s; hence the epithet ‘of the fore-shrine’, which is confirmed by inscriptions. Athena Pronaia, ‘Athena before the Temple’, was also called, by a sort of pun, Athena Pronoia, ‘Athena of forethought.’ This site was also a training camp for the athletes competing in the Delphi games.