The Temple of Poseidon stands at the end of Cape Sounio. Build of white marble, it was constructed in the middle of the 5th century BC and to honor Poseidon, the ancient Greek god of the sea. It is one of the greatest monuments of the Golden Age of Athens. The Ancient Temple of Poseidon was built around during 440 BC. It sits on a rock above the sea at a height of almost 60 meters. There was a Temple at the same spot during the Archaic-period, which was made of tufa.
It is believed that Xerxes, the Persian King, destroyed it at 480 BC during the first invasion of the Persian Army in Greece. There is no curtain evidence for the destruction of Sounion by Xerxes. Though he certainly had destroyed the temple of Athena and all the monuments on Acropolis. This was a punishment for the Athenians’ defiance and his defeat. After their victory over the Persians in the naval Battle of Salamis, the Athenians placed an entire captured enemy trireme at Cape Sounion as a trophy dedicated to Poseidon.
The Temple of Poseidon was part of the great building program of Pericles, the legendary Athenian leader, who also rebuilt the Acropolis and the Parthenon in Athens. The new Temple was built over the ruins of the previous one from the Archaic period. The design of the temple is a classic hexastyle. The front portico had six Doric columns. Only 16 out of the 38 columns are still standing today. Four of them were re-erected during the 20th century.
The temple of Poseidon simulates the later Temple of Hephaestus which stands beneath the Acropolis. It is thought to be the best preserved ancient Temple.
During your visit you will be hypnotized by the endless blue of the sea and the breathtaking view. The Temple in the afternoon, during the sunset, gets “painted” with red and orange colors that will fill your eyes and hearts.