Sounio Travel Guide

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Sounio Overview

Sounio, also known as Sounion, is located on the southernmost tip of the Attiki peninsula. There are two famous relics in the coastal city: the remains of a sanctuary dedicated to Athena and the celebrated Temple of Poseidon.

Built in the 5th Century B.C., the Temple of Poseidon sits high on a bluff overlooking the Aegean Sea.

According to mythology, the god Poseidon and the goddess Athena once fought to see who would rule Athens and the Acropolis upon which the Parthenon stands. To win the city over, Poseidon threw a spear at the ground and produced the spring at the Acropolis. However, Athena won the battle and the hearts of the people by giving them the olive tree.

Poseidon was forced to look elsewhere for a temple to honor him. Since he was the god of the seas, the ancient people of Greece built a temple at the peak of a cliff in Sounio which overlooks the Aegean Sea. Even to this day, all ships wanting to pass through the Aegean must sail by Sounio and Poseidon's temple.

The English poet, Lord Byron, visited Sounio in 1810. He was so moved by the temple's location and appearance, he carved his name onto one of the columns and included its descriptions in some of his poems. Below is just one example:

"Place me on Sounion's marbled steep
Where nothing save the waves and I
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep
There, swanlike, let me sing and die."

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