Friday, November 25, 2011

2011 Amalfi Coast Adventures: Paestum . . .

Yesterday I had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday traveling by a combination of bus and train to the town of 

Paestum
or “Poseidonia” as it was known.  It was founded by Greeks from Sybaris in the sixth century BC and later in 273 BC colonized by the Romans who then Latinized the name. 

But by the ninth century a combination of malaria and Saracen raids led to the gradual abandonment of the city where it was overtaken by forests.  This site was rediscovered again in the eighteen century when Charles III was building a road through there.  When the trees were cut down, there were three intact Greek Temples. 

The three impressive Doric temples are in the large area situated nearly in the centre of the town and constitute its sacred area. 

The Temple of Hera also known as the “Basilica” is the most ancient of the three temples and dates back to the middle of the VI Century BC. It is dedicated to Hera, wife of Zeus. Archaeologists judged that it belongs to the Hellenistic age.  It has nine columns on the front and eighteen along the side.



Standing north of the Basilica stands Temple Hera II also known as the Temple of Neptune.  It is the largest and best preserved temple of the city.  It has 6 x 15 columns and can be dated about 450 B.C.  It was called the Temple of Neptune by the archeologists of the XVIII century because it was considered the oldest and therefore the first one to be built in honor of the divinity from whom the city took its name and under whose protection it had placed itself, as Poseidon is the Greek name for Neptune.
 



 
 
The Temple of Ceres is located near the entrance.  It is a hexastyle Doric Temple of the end of the VI Century B.C.  It is believed that this temple was dedicated to goddess AthenE-Minerva as evidenced by uncovered fragments of clay statuettes of AthenE and the name of the Goddess inscribed on the fragment of a vase. 




My trip to Paestum was super long and involved taking two buses and a train, but I can't imagine this trip having missed such an opportunity to visit here.  Seeing these amazing Greek Temples and in such a wonderful setting and at times with just me on the site was amazing!  It was a very special way to spend this year's Thanksgiving!  

Here are more photos and I hope to post more either later on this trip or once I get home.

Entrance to Museum and where you buy your entrance tickets.

Entrance to Scavi Site

Wide shot of the grounds.

Walkway around the site.

Close up of some finds uncovered.

Many thanks to everyone for leaving such cool comments and for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you all had a very wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday celebration.

Ciao for now...



4 comments:

  1. What a great way to spend Thanksgiving! Those temples are amzing. Glad you're got blue skies above them too. Wonderful photos!

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  2. I am getting a real education reading your posts!

    Love the photos too!

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  3. Good for you! Paestum was left on our 'next time list'. I've always thought it seemed like such a beautiful spot. Thanks for sharing your information and pictures.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your adventures in Paestum .. will need to return for a visit! Happy Belated Thanksgiving to you, K!

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It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.