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The cape of Sounion or Sounio,looking out to the Aegean islands,in Latin known as Sunium (in ancient Greek Σούνιον) is located 65 kilometres south-east of Athens, in Attica. In ancient times, the promontory there was used to sight ships approaching Athens well before they would arrive.

The first mention of the cape in ancient literature is in the Odyssey (III, 278), which speaks about "holy Sunium, the headland of Athens" (Σούνιον ἱρὸν (...) ἄκρον Ἀθηνέων).

Fugitive slaves, coming from the mines of Laurium, took refuge here in the 8th century BC. The cape was strengthened in 413 BC to protect the export of corn out of Athens during the Peloponnesian War.

Cape Sounion is especially famous for the ruins of two temples which overlook the sea, one dedicated to Athena, the other to Poseidon.

The temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion

Ruins of the temple of Poseidon, constructed in the 5th century BC over the ruins of a temple constructed in the Archaic Period, are perched above the sea at a height of almost 60 metres. The columns of the temple are 6.10 metres high, with a diameter of 1 metre at the base and 79 centimetres at the top. Their flutes, fewer than usual (16 instead of 20), were intended to resist the weathering action of the sea air. The stone was quarried at nearby Agrileza. The English poet Lord Byron carved his name onto one of the columns.
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Additional Photos by Danos kounenis (danos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13701 W: 295 N: 27478] (110395)
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