PAESTUM, astonishing archaeological site

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Via Magna Grecia, Paestum, Italy

PAESTUM, astonishing archaeological site Reviews

cotton_foam cotton_f…
321 reviews
well-preserved than her contemporaries in Athens Jun 27, 2017
The archaeological park in Paestum is one of the many UNESCO World Heritage sites in Italy, and it is on the list since 1998. The town was under the Greek colony for years before the Romans took over in 273 BC. Hence, the prominent presence of Greek and Roman architectural influence in ruins. When the Roman Empire collapsed, and so was the town of Paestum. Since that time, the town was pretty much buried and forgotten until rediscovered while constructing road highways was on going. Today, Paestum has been a fascinating tourist destination since it was unearthed.

If you think the archaeological site in Athens is wondrous, this one in Paestum is even more impressive than its many contemporaries. Paestum Archaeological site is one of the best preserved (if not the best) ancient ruin sites in the world.

Standing up high dating back to the seventh century BC are the three massive Greek temples -- The Temple of Athena, The Temple of Poseidonia, and the Temple of Hera. Despite the mismatched identifications of the three magnificent temples and their functions (due to constant excavated shreds of evidence,) these religious buildings stand impressively today as it was during its heyday.

The Temple of Ceres or Temple of Athena:

When entering the northern gate, it is the one nestled on the right-hand side of the ruin site. It was a temple dedicated to the Roman goddess of agriculture and fertility Ceres, or for the Greeks, it was the goddess of wisdom and war Athena. Greek occupiers built the temple in 500 B.C. The outer and inner columns are examples of Doric and Ionic, thus, the first known temple in the world to combine the two styles of architectural design in one structure. Unfortunately, this is the only temple visitors cannot enter nor walk inside. This temple is at the highest point and in the far north of the ancient center of the town. When it is sundown, it has the most atmospheric appearance as the sunset strikes against the temple pillars. That said, early evening is the best time to take that perfect postcard shot.

The Temple Neptune/Poseidon:

This temple located in the middle of the site is the third oldest among the three; built around 450 B.C. The Temple of Poseidon is the perfect example of a Doric style, both in Italy and Greece. It is also the most preserved in Paestum and perhaps among its contemporary that survived. The original columns, carved in (bright pink) limestone, are still superbly in place. This temple is pretty much a foreshadowing of the famous Parthenon in Athens (minus the scaffoldings and hordes of tourists, of course!) Here, visitors can find their way around inside the temple unlike the Parthenon in Athens, it is a no-no to walk around the temple's inner part.

The Temple of Hera:

It is the oldest among the three built around 550 B.C. and dedicated to Hera I, the goddess worshipped by men as a warrior and by women as the goddess of birth. This temple is in the southernmost of the site. It is much wider, with nine columns across the front and eighteen along the longer sides. Take note of the perfectly preserved altar. This temple has a character of solitude and solemness; almost inviting everyone to take a seat and be quiet. Together with the two temples, they were angled in an east-west direction so that the temples are facing the rising sun.

Besides the temples, there are other finds as spectacular like an amphitheater, a gymnasium, a few city walls, the Roman forums, Roman agora, mosaics floors, and numerous Roman houses walls ruins. The archeological finds are vast and yet there are still plenty that has not dug yet.

If ancient history and ruin is your thing and already on the Amalfi Coast or Naples, swinging by in this hidden jewel of South Italy is definitely worth it of your time (and the extra budget.)

The site is open from 09:00 to 16:00 everyday.

Entrance fee during our visit is eu12.00 for the both archaeological site and the museum and can be bought on the spot or right at the entrance gate.

How to Get there:

A regional train goes from Salerno or Naples to Paestum station; it takes about 30 minutes from Salerno and 1 hour from Naples. The train is probably the fastest way to arrive if using the public transportation.
The Temple of Athena
the Roman Forum
7 / 7 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
cotton_foam says:
Thank you, gentlemen!
Posted on: Oct 22, 2017
joseph98 says:
Agree with Scot, fantastic pics May, and a great write up too :-)
Posted on: Oct 22, 2017
hanleyscot says:
Beautiful photos, May! Great job!
Posted on: Oct 08, 2017
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bernard69 bernard69
202 reviews
Best preserved Doric Temples in the world Dec 31, 2006
Off the beaten path,in the region of mozzarella di buffona,,Paestum(Roman name) or Poseidonia(Greek name) is an ancient Greek and later Roman city located 40 km South of Salerna and 90 km from Napoli in the sunny Campania (the pics are from the 3 or 4/01/2007 and I was wearing only a teeshirt!),often deserted ,it could be an interesting complement of the visit of the crowded Pompei

With its impressive walls,churches,well-preserved temples,amphitheatre,Via Sacra.. Paestum is one of the most important archaelogical site in Italy and a Unesco World Heritage site.

Only a fraction of the ancient city has been excavated(only around the Temples and public buildings).

Probably founded around 600 BC by Dorians from Sybaris,a luxurious place of Ionan Sea,Poseidonia was the northernmost Greek settlement in Italy.The city grew on a combination of agriculture and trade.

At the end of the 5th century BC,Poseidona passed over to the Lucanians,an indigenous samnite tribe ,till 273 BC when the Romans renamed the city Paestum.

Entrance:4 euro,6,5 euro with the Museum.
Athena Temple Paestum Italy
Athena Temple Paestum Italy
Athena Temple,500 BC, PAESTUM Italy
Heroon,a kind of cenotaph dedicate…
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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photo by: cotton_foam