Welcome To The Temple Of Poseidon!
My wife Alex and I were able to finally embark on our Greek adventure, 13 months after we were originally scheduled to go…on this edition of our tour, I’m going to take you on a tour of the southernmost piece of land on continental Europe!
Europe’s Southernmost Point!
That’s right: from here there’s no place to go but into the Aegean Sea and over to Africa – with hundred of Greek Islands in between of course…and it was standing on this spot where we saw what lie ahead: The Temple Of Poseidon.
We love this shot: how it shows the “edge of the world” vibe that the temple exudes..that’s Cape Sounion, on the south-east tip pf Attica – rising about 200 feet above the sea – in fact, those who follow my wife’s Instagram got a taste of this the day we were there:
That’s a hike indeed!
However, helped by our terrific Guide – , we decided to forge ahead, even in 93 degree temperatures!
A Trip Back In Time!
When you arrive, there is a nice parking lot – and a ticket booth where you pay a small fee to walk up to the temple, which was built between 444-440 BC.
That’s quite a while ago!
It’s not a difficult hike at all – although you are rising a few hundred feet in direct, broiling sun – but it was worth it to be sure!
The temple of Poseidon at Sounion was constructed in 444–440 BC, during the rule of the Athenian statesman Pericles – who also rebuilt The Parthenon in Athens!
Here is all of the technical information you crave, courtesy of wikipedia:
The Poseidon building was rectangular, with a colonnade on all four sides encompassing the Peristasis. The total number of original columns of the outer colonnade was 34, of which 15 still stand today (with the addition of 1 out of 4 columns of the inner naos).
The columns are of the Doric order, made made of white marble 20 ft tall, with a 3.1 foot diameter at the base and 31 inches at the top.
At the center beyond the colonnadevwould have been the hall of worship (naos), a windowless rectangular room, similar to the partly intact hall at the Temple of Hephaestus. It would have contained, at one end facing the entrance, a colossal, ceiling-height 20 ft bronze statue of Poseidon.
The Tragedy Of Poseidon…
The terrific website “Greekmythologytours” has the story of what happened here:
“One of the most famous Greek heroes was Theseus. No one was sure who his father was, with some people thinking it was the God Poseidon, and others thinking it was the powerful King of Athens, Aegeus. Brought up by his mother, he ventured into Athens when he was old enough in order to show that he was the King’s son. Once he was recognized, there was much rejoicing by his father, but it was not to last forever. In the spring of the next year, a ship with a black sail pulled into port, and the King and all the people of Athens despaired. It had come to collect 7 men and 7 women who acted as a yearly sacrifice to the fearsome Minotaur who lived in the Labyrinth of King Minos of Crete. Theseus, as a brave young man, volunteered to be one of the tributes and promised his father that he would slay the Minotaur, which would put an end to the barbaric sacrifices. His father reluctantly agreed, but said that to the Captain of the ship that he must return home with a white sail, so that he would know that he was still alive.”
The story continues, with the tragic misunderstanding:
“After many adventures, and with the help of the daughter of King Minos, Theseus defeated the Minotaur. Setting sail back to Athens with Ariadne the daughter, they stopped off at the island of Naxos where the God Dionysus appeared to Theseus in a dream. He told the brave young hero he had to abandon the Princess on the island and continue home without her. Theseus was very upset at this, but could not go against the wishes of the God. Abandoning Ariadne, he set sail for Athens but was so distraught he forgot to change the sail from a black one to a white one. His father Aegeus who had been waiting for him saw the black sail and feared the worst. Beside himself with grief, he threw himself off the cliffs and into the sea, which was then named after him- The Aegean Sea. Many people say that this happened at Cape Sounion, hence the connection between the two. ”
Of course, there are so many other classic sites in this country with other Greek myths as well – you’re encouraged to seek out more of these stories, while I chose NOT to fling myself into the sea and instead we moved on to see the skeletal remains of an uncovered village just below the temple:
These are the last outlines of a long-ago civilization perched on the edge of the world – where now you can look out, see some of the countless Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea, and enjoy the view:
The trip to The Temple Of Poseidon is about 90 minutes form Athens…we were staying just south of the city so it asunder an hour for us – well worth the effort to see some of this country’s illustrious past!
Of course, our trip began with a visit to The Acropolis and The Parthenon, located in the heart of Athens, Greece!
You can see our tour up close by clicking on my story here:
Entering The Acropolis! Up Close At The Parthenon! Our Athens Greece Begins With A Trip Back In Time!
Of course, we also explored many natural wonders as well – like Stavos Rock on Santorini’s Caldera:
It’s a wild wild trip to the top of this rock – and you can see video of how we did it by clicking on my story here:
I also shared our incredible meal when we were on the island of Mykonos:
Acclaimed Chef Jason Atherton and his team really knew how to creative culinary magic – see the entire review here:
Delicious Works Of Culinary Art! Bravo To Mykonos Social! Here’s My Review Of This New Restaurant In The Greek Islands From Chef Jason Atherton!
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If you enjoy these moments, please share on social media – and get ready for more Greek adventures….let me know if you’ve been to this incredible country and seen the Temple Of Poseidon up close!