Paestum

Paestum Travel Blog

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The Basilica
Paestum is the classical Roman name of a major Graeco-Roman city in the Campania. Founded around the end of the 7th century BC by colonists from the Greece, and originally known as Poseidonia.
The main features of the site today are the standing remains of three major temples in Doric style, dating from the first half of the 6th century BC. These were dedicated to Hera and Athena, although they have traditionally been identified as a basilica and temples of Neptune and Ceres, owing to 18th-century mis-attribution.

The Temple of Hera, built around 550 BC by Greek colonists, is the oldest surviving temple in Paestum.
The Basilica and The Temple of Athena
Eighteenth-century archaeologists named it "The Basilica" because they mistakenly believed it to be a Roman building. A basilica in Roman times was a civil building, not a religious one. Inscriptions revealed that the goddess worshiped here was Hera. Later, an altar was unearthed in front of the temple, in the open-air site usual for a Greek altar; the faithful could attend rites and sacrifices without entering the cella.

In the central part of the complex is the Roman Forum, thought to have been built on the site of the preceding Greek agora. On the north side of the forum is a small Roman temple, dated to around 200 BC. It was dedicated to the Capitoline Triad, Jupiter, Juno and Minerva.

On the highest point of the town, some way from the other temples, is the temple of Athena. It was built in about 500 BC, and was for some time incorrectly thought to have been dedicated to Ceres. The architecture is transitional, being partly in the Ionic mode and partly early Doric. Three mediaeval Christian tombs in the floor show that the temple was at one time used as a Christian church.

All three temples have undergone some renovation and repair in recent years. Close access is allowed, but entry by visitors into the buildings is no longer permitted.


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The Basilica
The Basilica
The Basilica and The Temple of Ath…
The Basilica and The Temple of At…
The Basilica
The Basilica
The Temple of Nettuno
The Temple of Nettuno
The Temple of Athena
The Temple of Athena
The Old Street
The Old Street
Paestum
photo by: BarboraK