Cape Sounion~

Cape Sounion, the southern tip of The Attica Peninsula in Greece, is the site of the stunning Temple of Poseidon built-in 440 BC on top of an earlier temple destroyed in a prior war.

Archeological finds at The Cape date from as early as 700 BC.

According to Greek Mythology, Poseidon God of the Sea, was second in importance only to Zeus, the supreme Deity. For an ocean reliant society like Ancient Greece, the God of the Sea, controller of storms and shipwrecks, was critically important to appease. This temple was the site of many ceremonies in Poseidon’s honor, often attended by entire city states, that sometimes included animal sacrifice.

The temple stands 200 feet above the sea, is rectangular in shape, and originally had 34 columns, supporting an exterior colonnade on all four sides.

A 20 foot tall statue of Poseidon stood inside the structure made of bronze and covered in gold leaf.

Lord Byron made at least two trips to The Temple, reportedly signed his name at the base, and mentioned it in his poem, The Isles of Greece:

“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:”

Sounion is an upscale summer home location for Athenians, with some of the most expensive real estate in Greece, some villas reportedly worth 20 million or so euros. The town is lovely, with quiet beaches, quaint restaurants, and a variety of wonderful places to stay, that thankfully are not as expensive as the surrounding real estate.

We are home at The Holler now, and I am posting at home about places we visited on our last trip, so it is still:
Cheers to you from beautiful Cape Sounion & Poseidon’s Ancient Temple~

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196 thoughts on “Cape Sounion~

    1. Oh, I apologize. I need to clarify. I am at home now and have been for about six weeks. I will add this clarification at the end of the post. We travel about 4-5 months a year max.

      1. Please don’t apologize! I wouldn’t dream of critizising you or in fact anyone who is travelling even all year round. (As long as these wonderful pictures are shared 🙂 ) Four/five months of traveling? I envy you! I love traveling myself and I know how much joy it brings. So travel on. Let the world be you playing ground.

  1. I love the old temples and ruins of antiquity. Every now and then we all need a place to worship. If you’re home you probably heard of the tragic circumstances of my very best friend-RSF-LBD, and his son, occurring Tue. morning.

    1. What an incredible experience that must have been! There certainly are many marvels to capture in Greece. Two trips haven’t even scratched the surface. Three years would be much better!

      1. Yes, hard to believe now. I told some friends recently about one aspect of our life there. Our son was fascinated to read this, having children of his own who are close to the age he was during that experience. Our daughter has been back visiting her kindergarten teacher, Miss Ismene, more than once. One granddaughter is planning a similar trip. Travel is such a good teacher. I’m glad that you have the interest and resources. Καλό ταξίδι!

        1. What an incredible life experience for your whole family! Once travel becomes an embedded part of your life, it is as normal as staying home. In some wonderful way, the world becomes your home. I can tell by how you write that you feel the same. <3

    1. Thank you very much! I love virtual travel too. There is no expense, no plane travel, no hassles, just traveling in your mind, which is an awesome way to go!

  2. Interesting history of the Temple of Poseidon there. The view of the temple from the sea side is fantastic. I am wondering what it looked like in the original shape. It must be magnificent. Nice captures of the place!

    1. These classical temples are sprinkled all over Greece. They are simple yet visually powerful structures, that influenced all subsequent architecture, most notably the Romans.

        1. I think it is a good thing, to see your infinitesimal place in the bigger whole, and these temples were, amazingly, built to withstand all our traffic~

  3. Simply breathtaking Cindy. You are a temptress indeed and tease us into dusting off the passport… Greece has long been on my wish list and I am invited to visit someone in Crete so who knows what the future will bring. Bisous, Lea

    1. Go! Greece is a magical place to visit and a travel bargain too. I would recommend off season, but then I always do. Wonderful to hear from you Lea and hope all is well with you~

  4. Pingback: A gorgeous post by: Cindy Knoke…Poseidon’s Ancient Tempe…Cape Sounion~ — | Rethinking Life

  5. Beautiful vistas – must have been something back in its day. What happened to the 20′ statue?
    Love the funky yellow flowers – looks right out of Dr. Suess!

    1. I don’t know what happened to the statue. And yes to the flowers. I took a lot of photos of them AND I found the flowers that grow wild all over The Holler growing all over here. I took photos of them, but I still can’t find anyone to identify them. I will post photos of them in a subsequent Greece post and hopefully someone from Greece will tell me what they are.

  6. I see stuff like this, and I think “what are archaeologists/anthropologists gonna find thousands of years after this epoch in human history ends–a bunch of plastic junk? LOL. So lovely!

    1. I think exactly the same thing! Plastic, freeway remnants, and nuclear waste will be our legacy. I also think, about all these advanced civilizations, all over the world, that disappeared into the dirt, and I wish people would realize how vulnerable and impermanent we are.

    1. They tease us don’t they! What happened to you? Did you walk where I am walking? What was your life like? It touches us deep, helping us sense the mysterious connectivity of all human beings over time.

  7. There’s a lot of beauty in this world, especially in your eyes through your camera’s lens. Beautiful post, Cindy! ♡♡

    1. And in your artistic mind dear friend. I think you and Georgian (sp?) should start a blogging campaign, Women over 40, anyone who wanted to participate, capturing and controlling their own images, and putting them out there in the world, showing that the true nature of beauty, is not some anorexic, airbrushed, child model, but real women who have lived and experienced. It would be incredibly powerful. I would love to take the portraits. I would love to see blogdom flooded with images of these gorgeous women, starting with your beautiful self in that amazing gown!

  8. The post was like i am travelling with a tourist guide who is giving information and clicking images
    at the same time.But i rather ask a question intentionally, and you are the first person i’m asking this to , Imagine you don’t have no camera or internet or any other electronic device but rather a paper or a pen and you are just feeling the beauty of such a beautiful place, then what will you be
    doing? And I guess writing poetry rather than facts, am i right : )

    1. This is the second time I have been in a place where Byron scratched his name. The first was at Chillon Castle. Both left a powerful impression, about how much these places moved him, and what they inspired him to write.

  9. Hi Cindy– isn’t it amazing that the remains of that temple are still standing?? so exciting to see it… and loved the photos of the town set along the bay. Would love to spend a few days there… thanks Cindy!!

  10. oh well, Greece is a beautiful country. I studied the history of Greece and Cyprus 21 years ago when I was in Cyprus. It’s history did not really stay within the four walls of my brain, thanks for bringing them back for a lil while haha! I never got the chance to reach Cape-Sounion, though I have always wanted to visit. Hope one day I will.

      1. yes Cindy, not only you, I have always thought of Meteora, Wish I could live on top of that big boulder rock and just watch the world go by at the bottom of my world haha! Hope one day life will take me there. “don’t plan, just make it happen” like I always say!

  11. Makes you wonder how many cities have been built atop ancient cities, how many have been buried, and if they’ll eventually be consumed by the Earth’s core should they sink enough… If they do and if they are, there’s no telling how long humankind has existed here. Recently, archaeologists found the remains of a hammer dating to 100 million years ago, but
    scientists discovered that nuclear explosions disrupt carbon dating. Seems we’ll have to consult the Akashic Records to know for sure 🙂 Beautiful as always, Cindy 💚

    1. Cities on top of cities. It is sad to see how they rise and fall. Someday we will be buried amongst the rock with remnants our civilization, nuclear waste and weapons, plastic, freeway remnants……I wonder what our record will say about us.

  12. Cindy, the views are breathtaking and the Temple of Poseidon is magnificent. It is hard to believe anything could survive weather, wars, and time and still exist in all its splendor for so many years. As always, I enjoyed coming along for the tour. <3

    1. The presence of these ancient ruins seem to encourage us to reflect on ourselves and the temporal nature of entire cultures and civilizations, what we will leave when we are gone, and what this will say about us, and our culture and contributions. Think of the Egyptians, the Incas, Mayas, the Greeks, and the beauty they left to speak for them. What will we be leaving to speak for us?

      1. I often wonder about that. I hope whatever it is shows that the majority are good, kind people who’s good qualities are reflected in what we left behind.

    1. Danke mein Freund. Antiken Griechenland trugen so viel in die westliche Welt. Ich denke, dass sie heute in unserer Welt enttäuscht sein könnten. Ich bin sicher.

  13. Hi, Cindy. I’ve never been to Greece, but your photos certainly are inspiring me to go there with our Greek/American friends who have family on several islands. So many places to go! Thanks as always for your travel inspiration.

  14. Cindy, I’m glad you had a safe trip and are recuperating from your journey back home. I’m looking forward to seeing photos of the places you went. These shots of Greece are beautiful — love seeing all this clear water!!

  15. The ruins are impressive, especially through your lens, Cindy. The rock used to build them is beautifully striated, not to mention the labor involved in building this ancient temple is impressive.

    1. Yep. It looks like they built them in segments and stacked them on top of each other. I wonder if they carved them after stacking to align them so perfectly.

  16. What a stunning location and I can feel the atmosphere from your photos. I love how this ‘newer’ temple from 440BC stands in the ruins of an even older one! Glorious pictures and as a sea-lover I have the greatest respect for Poseidon! 😀

    1. How cool is that! There was no wind when I was there. Maybe Poseidon was sleeping when you were there, and thus not on top his people protecting tasks. The weather was calm when I was there, so he was clearly awake.

  17. Bonjour ou mon bonsoir CINDY

    Je ne suis pas présent tous les jours

    Mais notre amitié est comme une fleur ou

    comme une orchidée ou celle-ci fleurit parfois

    Dans des endroits insoupçonnés

    Cette fleur il faut savoir la cultiver et en prendre soin

    Avec tendresse et patience

    Je te souhaite une belle journée ou soirée bisous

    de même pour tous les tiens

    Bernard bisous

  18. Girl I’m so jealous​! I’m excited when I get to go to Target nowadays! 😉 These pics are absolutely gorgeous. What wonderful sites to see. Love love love!

    1. Laughing…..I hear you! If it makes you feel any better, I waited a long time to be able to do this. Reading this comment did make me realize, I need to go check out Targette’! I am certain there must be things there I need, and just haven’t realized until I go! It’s great how that happens isn’t it! Especially for Target. 😉 😉

    1. I feel like I am missing your posts. I was just over at your blog and can’t tell if I am following you. I will head over again and see if I can figure out what is going on. <3

      1. I just saw your comment and replied. 🙂 WordPress is playing nasty again. 🙁 You do know I’m self hosted? That means there’s no ‘follow’ button but a sign up for emailed posts once a week. But you should still be able to see me in the reader. <3

        1. I didn’t know you were self hosted. I will keep my eye open for you in the reader. I also didn’t know that self hosted bloggers weren’t given a follow button. Thank you for letting me know! <3

  19. I like the idea of quiet beaches and quaint towns. Plus, I love travel that affords interesting lessons in ancient history. Mr B mostly enjoys relaxing on holidays, so Greece sounds very appealing. Thanks too for sharing that poem by Byron. Wouldn’t it have been posh to travel there in his day and stand there in your wrinkled linen travel attire whilst he rambled on. Seems he was a bit of a scoundrel too ;/ Most likely a better travel mate than husband 😀 What on Earth is that growing in your last photo? Is that at home? It’s spectacular! Cheers, Boomdee

    1. Mr & Mrs B should go to Greece! The islands are idyllic , with quiet, small beaches, often with little covered restaurants right on the sand. And every island has ruins of temples, old cathedrals, and ancient towns to explore. You can travel from island to island by high speed ferry which is easy and gorgeous!

    1. It is fascinating and wonderful and thought provoking too. All these ancient civilizations that rose and fell. There is a lesson here somewhere for us I think.

  20. Excellent work and presentation,I wish my posts on Ancient Olympia & Sounion were as brilliant as yours,dear Cindy!Delighted you appreciated and enjoyed your visits to my country.Sending hugs & respect your way 🙂 <3

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