The Temple of Poseidon
The Temple of Poseidon was built in the 5th century B.C., on a 60-meter rock fascinating to every visitor. The Temple of Poseidon was designated a Unesco’s World Heritage Archaeological Site in 2014, as part of Ancient Lavrion. Homer, in the Odyssey (c 278), calls the Cape of Sounio as “the sacred cape of the Athenians”. Moreover, Herodotus, the historian, recorded that the Athenians celebrated a great four-yearly festival in the cape of Sounio inside the Temple of Poseidon. It must be noted that the sanctuary of the Temple of Poseidon is also mentioned by the tragedians Euripides and Sophocles as well as the comic poet Aristophanes.
It is universally known that the Temple of Poseidon has attracted international celebrities and historical personalities, such as the romantic poet Lord Byron. Enchanted by the Greek landscape, the British philhellene wrote to his friend “If I am a poet, … the air of Greece has made me one”. It should be stressed out that Lord Byron was inspired by Sounio to write his poem “Isles of Greece” and until today his calligraphy signature is exposed to one of the marbles of the Temple of Poseidon, dated 1810.
Place me on Sunium’s marbled steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
There, swan-like, let me sing and die:
A land of slaves shall ne’er be mine—
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!