Project Description

Cape Sounion, also known as Cape of Columns or Kavokolones, is located at the southernmost tip of Attica. The area that extends around the temple of Poseidon was declared “National Park” because of its natural significance. The site of Sounion was very prosperous during the 5th century BC. and housing evidence since prehistoric is confirmed by the various discoveries in the region.

During a party in Athens, the gods organized a contest to see which of them would be the protector of the city. Poseidon, god of the seas, struck a rock with his trident. From this flaw came out salt water. Athena created the olive tree, symbol of peace who would later become his emblem. All Athenian women voted for Athena and all men for Poseidon. As women were more numerous than men, Athena won and became the patron of Athens. So Poseidon flooded the surrounding countryside in an act of rage, until Zeus found an arrangement: Poseidon got a temple at Cape Sounion.

Since I had half-a-day off during my visit to Athens, I took the opportunity to go visit Cape Sounion, where “ends” the Prefecture of Attica. During the 30 minute ride, we passed through several villages that still have many remnants of ancient Greece and we can admire the beautiful scenery of this region along the coastal road, including the Saronic Gulf. Temple of Poseidon dedicated to the god of the seas, which is represented in Greek mythology with his formidable trident and storms around him, is waiting for us on arrival. It is the southernmost and highest at Cape Point and the monument is surrounded on its perimeter by the Aegean Sea.

The original construction of the temple began in the early 5th century BC, but was destroyed by the Persians during the Persian wars. Thus, the Athenians built the new temple, parts of which have survived to this day. Of doric style, the temple had a frieze with carved ornamentation and it was adorned with huge Kouros. Three of them were found on the site and are on display at the National Archaeological Museum. Moreover, this sanctuary had 6 columns at its short sides and 13 in width. Today it retains many of its columns and two pilasters on the east side. The western part of the Temple was completely destroyed. In the ninth year of the Peloponnesian War, the monument was fortified and it was considered the strongest fortress of Attica. Temple of Poseidon, built in Agrileza of marble, is one of the most important site in the area.

After telling us about the history of the place, our guide takes us on a walking tour around, we take some pictures and finally go back to Athens in the end of the afternoon. What I will remember of this place if the splendid view of the Aegean Sea, as well as the history of the temple itself. However, there is absolutely nothing else to do in the area. So, the return guided trip may seem a little bit expensive for so little, but according to the fact that you’re guided by a passionate person who like to share his knowledge, you’ll still have a good time anyway.