Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon

The main city temple of Athens was the Parthenon on the Acropolis, but the temple on Cape Sounion, dedicated to the god Poseidon, was also of great importance. The place had a deep emotional meaning for the Athenians. This was the last bit of Athenian land they saw on their journey to the Aegean. This was also the first piece of native land that greeted them upon their return. That is why the ancient Athenians decided to build a temple dedicated to the god Poseidon in this place, which would protect them and bring them luck during their sea voyages.

Description: Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon /picture source:;

Cape Sounion is the southernmost point of the Attica region. It is located 70 km. south of the Greek capital. The temple rises majestically on the shores of the Aegean Sea on an imposing coastal cliff. It is believed to have been built during the Archaic period and was destroyed by the Persians during the second Greco-Persian war of 480 BC. The famous Athenian translator Pericles restored it in 440. The temple had a rectangular shape, with colonnades on its four sides. Only fifteen Doric columns of the original 34 remain today. They had only 26 ribs, instead of the 20 typical for this style, which made them more resistant to wind and rainwater. On one of them you can read the word “Byron”, written by the famous poet during his visit in the early 19th century. The friezes were made of marble brought from the island of Paros and recreated the battle of Theseus with the Minotaur.

The best time to visit the Temple of Poseidon is at sunrise or sunset. The sight of the massive marble columns combined with the dark blue waters of the Aegean Sea and at a time when the sky turns violet-blue or fiery red is really worth it.

You can see the exact location of the temple at the following link.


Find More