Temple of Poseidon at Sounion

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by Frank van Mierlo
published on 26 April 2012

The temple of Poseidon was constructed in approx. 440 B.C., over the ruins of a temple dating from the Archaic Period. It is perched above the sea at a height of almost 70 m. The design of the temple is a typical hexastyle i.e. it had a front portico with 6 columns. Only some columns of the Sounion temple stand today, but intact it would have closely resembled the contemporary and well-preserved Temple of Hephaestus beneath the Acropolis, which may have been designed by the same architect.

As with many Greek temples, the Poseidon building was rectangular, with a colonnade on all four sides. The total number of original columns was 36: 18 columns still stand today. The columns are of the Doric Order. They were made of locally-quarried white marble. They were 6.10 m (20 ft) high, with a diameter of 1 m (3.1 ft) at the base and 79cm (31 inches) at the top.

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