Located at Cape Sounion, the Temple of Poseidon is one of the most important monuments from the Golden Age of Athens. It is perched on the edge of a cliff, located 70 meters above the sea.
Built in the 5th century BC, the temple is in the typical Greek hexastyle - featuring six doric columns on the front portico. 16 out of the original 38 columns are still standing today, and they were 20 feet tall.
Location: Cape Sounion, Greece
Period Of Origin: 5th Century BC
Temple Architecture Type: Doric architecture
Elevation: 200 feet
No Of Columns: 38 (originally), 16 (currently)
Name Of The Architect: Ictinus (unconfirmed)
First Excavation By: Wilhelm Dorpfeld, Director of German Archaeological Institute
The Temple of Poseidon was constructed between 444 and 440 BC, with 38 columns that rose 20 feet into the air. It also housed a 20 feet tall bronze statue of Poseidon in the hall of worship. The Temple is located at Cape Sounion, which is about 80 kilometers away from the capital of Athens, offering spectacular views of the Aegean Sea. The site was cited as holy ground by Herodotus and Homer, with inhibition of the area dating back to 2800 BC.
According to Greek mythology, Poseidon’s power is second to only Zeus. As the god of the sea, the mariners and fishermen of ancient Greece prayed to Poseidon to keep them safe from storms and shipwrecks and often left animal sacrifices and other gifts at the temple.
The Temple of Poseidon is located at Cape Sounion at the southern tip of mainland Greece.
The easiest way to reach the attraction is by bus since numerous bus services are operating from Athens. It is also possible to reach by car, but the last stretch from the highway to Cape Sounion can be a challenge.
Catch serene views of the Aegean Sea from your vantage point at the Temple of Poseidon. The sunset views are unmatched and guarantee to give you the memory of a lifetime.
The temple is built with a hexastyle layout, featuring six Doric columns on the front portico. The columns are made of white marble quarried from the Laureotic Olympus hill. The Doric columns are more slender at the top than at the bottom, making them appear taller than they really are. There are 6 columns on either end and 13 columns on each long side of the temple.
The temple resembles the well-preserved Temple of Hephaestus. It is rectangular in shape and has a frieze that depicts the tale of Theseus and the Battle of Centaurs. At the center, just beyond the colonnade, is the hall of worship, a windowless rectangular room. The room also housed a 5-meter tall bronze statue of Poseidon.
The Temple of Poseidon has several myths and legends surrounding it.
It is believed that the King of Athens, Aegeus killed himself here by jumping off the cliff. The King had waited at the cliff looking out to the sea for the return of his son, Theseus, and his army. On seeing black sails on the ship, he mistakenly thought that Theseus had been killed by Minotaur. Young Theseus, however, had won the battle but had forgotten to replace the black sail of the ship with white ones, leading to the King’s death.
According to the Greek epic Odyssey by Homer, Sounion is the site where King Menelaus of Sparta buried his helmsman.
Sailors also believed that making animal sacrifices and offerings at the Temple of Poseidon would save them from Poseidon’s wrath, and keep them safe from storms while they were out at sea.
A. The Temple of Poseidon is located at Cape Sounion, the southernmost point of mainland Greece.
A. The cloation was cited as holy ground by Herodotus and Homer, and it has been inhabited by people dating back around 2800 years.
A. Yes, the Temple of Poseidon is a must-visit for anyone visiting Athens and interested in Greek history.
A. The best time to visit the Temple of Poseidon is in the evening, just before sunset.
A. As the name suggests, the Temple of Poseidon is dedicated to the Greek God of the Sea, Poseidon.
A. The Temple of Poseidon was constructed between 444 and 440 BC.
A. The Temple of Poseidon is located about 50 kilometers from Athens.
A. From the Temple of Poseidon, you can catch panoramic views of the Aegean Sea.