Paestum

Paestum is the Roman name of the former Greek colony called Poseidon. POSEIDONIA-Paestum is now the most important archaeological site greek-roman south of Naples and is the best preserved of the whole Magna Graecia.

The temples of Paestum and museums area can be reached from the farm Il Borghetto in about 15 minutes by car, in a day trip for an entire day, a visit to the archaeological site and museum of Paestum can be programmed together with a visit to the medieval villages and the coast of the territory of Castellabate or other sites within the National Park of Cilento.

Paestum was in past centuries an obligatory stop the so-called Grand Tour, as witnessed by Goethe, who described it as "the most beautiful vision that I carry with me to the north." For reasons which are not easy to understand, the fame of this site, is now far below its beauty. The area where there are the temples, unlike other archaeological sites of Campania, as the most famous ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which are fully incorporated in the Naples area, remained intact and provides a wonderful setting for a long walk in the archaeological area. Temples are among the examples of Greek architecture of the most beautiful and best preserved today. The highlights of the archeological area are the so-called Temple of Neptune, and the Archaeological Museum, which contains masterpieces of Greek art, Luke and Roman. A magnificent example of archaeological finds of the surroundings is given by the frescoes of the so-called Tomb of the Diver.

Poseidonia-Paestum: history and temples

paestum templi agriturismo

 

Poseidonia was founded by Achaean Sybaris near the mouth of the river Sele in the late seventh century BC, and dedicated to Poseidon. The Romans conquered it in 273 BC and called it Paestum. In the ninth century AD, because of the Saracen invasions along the Tyrrhenian coast, fell into decline and was abandoned. It was rediscovered in the eighteenth century.

UNESCO site since 1998, is distinguished by its three Doric temples - the cd Basilica or Temple of Hera (mid-sixth century BC.), The cd Temple of Ceres or Temple of Athena (early fifth century BC.) And cd Temple of Neptune, or Temple of Hera (middle of the fifth century BC.) - And the monumentality of the city walls that embrace the whole of the ancient city for almost 5 km, only example in Greece and Magna Grecia preserved so well. Excavations have also highlighted the hole and Roman villas, the amphitheater and the Temple of Asclepius, the Greek agora and even monuments, such as the tomb of the hero ekklesiasterion and founder. The National Archaeological Museum preserves archaeological finds from the ancient city and its territory, as the tombstones painted Lucan and the famous Tomb of the Diver, the only example of Greek painting of the fifth century. BC terracotta votive offerings, architectural fragments and sculptures.

THE TEMPLE OF NEPTUNE

paestum templi agriturismoContemporary with the Parthenon in Athens is the newest, the best preserved and the most significant example of Doric style in Ancient Greece. The name by which it is known, was given by the Grand Tour, while the Archaeological research has shown that all the southern sanctuary, which is also called the Basilica, were dedicated to Hera, the goddess of the city, as demonstrated by the sanctuary near the mouth of the Sele - among the votive offerings recovered from the excavations, many clay figurines of deities and its attributes, such as pomegranate, now aged Christian symbol the Madonna del Granato, that is located not far from the archaeological site of Paestum. The Temple of Neptune is a peripteral with six columns on the front and thirteen on the long sides. The cell or naos internal housed the votive statue and was accessible only to the cult; is preceded by two antechambers, the porch to the east entrance to the naos, and opisthodomos, accessible only from the secondary to the west. The gabled roof was supported by a double row of columns inside.

The Roman Amphitheatre

paestum templi agriturismoAt the surface occupied by the court is located the Roman Amphitheatre, in the embankment, with a terrace wall. It was built in the mid-first century. A.D. and a century later it was expanded with a colonnade of pillars to ensure the most seats in the auditorium. In 1829 he was unfortunately cut in two by the road Bourbon, a former SS 18 for Calabria, that still runs through the site. Behind the Forum, on the northern side, is a large area which is likely to gymnastics: the center stands a large natatio, a pool dated to the first half of the first century BC, with a plant probably functional to the breeding of fish, on the model those of seaside villas of Naples.

 

 

THE TEMPLE OF ATHENA

paestum tempio di atenaIt 'also known by the erroneous and traditional designation of the Temple of Cerere. The second oldest (late sixth century), is a Doric peripteral with six columns on the front and thirteen in the sides, but bears a mixture of styles, being the porch characterized by the presence of two Ionic columns, preserved in the National Archaeological Museum and among the few surviving examples of using this style applied in Ancient Greece.

 

Temple stood at the center of a small shrine, dedicated to Athena, which were brought to light evidence of the altar with the sacrificial pit and foundations of other two altars, the base of a column and a votive votive column that rises north-east of the main entrance and that, for the accentuated entasis and profile echinus, you would date to the middle of the sixth century BC, being therefore significantly more ancient Temple of Athena. paestum templi agriturismo

Its architectural decoration in sandstone were received in good condition part of a shamrock, an element of the crowning cornice and frieze of the various blocks of mum with the eaves lion's head embossed on a background of palmettes and lotus flowers deeply incised , such as to achieve a color effect vivo under the action of sunlight. These findings are all preserved in the National Archaeological Museum.

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO REACH THE TEMPLES OF PAESTUM