Sounion: Temple of Poseidon: Extant Doric columns of the long side of the temple
Some of the 18 extant columns.
Site at the furthest south-east point of Attica, about 70 km east of Athens, Greece. The ancient town occupied the headland of Cape Sounion, with its acropolis on a steep promontory, and its most important remains are those of the Sanctuary of Poseidon. The surviving temple dates from around 440 BCE and is one of a series of four temples built to related designs and possibly the work of a single architect. It can be interpreted as a thank-offering for the defeat of the Persians in 480-479 BCE. The temple at Sounion is Doric and peripteral (6 x 13 columns) and was built from marble quarried locally at Agrileza. The columns have only 16 instead of the usual 20 flutings, and the shafts are straight-edged, without the usual slight outward curve (entasis), features that may simply reflect reasons of economy. The porch façade is aligned with the third columns of the flanks, and a continuous Ionic frieze, replacing the normal triglyphs and metopes, extends across the porch and to the back of the outer entablature.