In Ancient Greece, Poseidon was known as the Greek god of the sea. Ancient Greek religion was based on the beliefs that in order to avoid misfortune, it was wise to seek the favor of the relevant gods by prayers, gifts and sacrifices. Ancient Greeks held the belief that every natural feature, such as a hill, lake, stream or woods, was controlled by a god. These gods were believed to be immortal with great power over their domain and towards humans they could be both benevolent or malicious. So if a person wanted to take a boat out onto the Aegean Sea then in order to have a safe trip and avoid drowning they would say a prayer to Poseidon and/or make an offering to his shrine.

Poseidon's temple was built on the water's edge on the island of Poros at Sounion sometime between 440 and 529 B.C. The original purpose of the temple was to deal with the civic and religious matters for the city states of Aigina, Hermione, Prassies, Athens, Epidauros and Orhomenos.

The temple was built in the traditional Greek style of all temples at that time which was rectangular with columns on all four sides.
Originally the temple had 42 columns made of white marble. Today only 16 columns still remain and the temple is in ruins. It was believed that at one time there were statues located all through the temple but these were most likely stolen over the centuries. Archaeological excavation of the temple was done in 1906 and many artifacts and inscriptions that were found then are now in the Athens National Archaeological Museum.

Notably the English poet Lord Byron visited the temple in the 19th century and it was rumored tha he carved his name into one of the columns. Although Lord Bryon spent several months in Athens during the years of 1810-11 and made two documented visits to Sounion, there is no direct proof that he actually made the inscription of his name himself. He did however mention the temple at Sounion in his poem, Isles of Greece:
"Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep..."

Today the temple of Poseidon is a very popular tourist attraction in Greece and it's image is known worldwide. Although in ruins, it's beauty is still evident just as it was when it was in it's glory.

The following time lapse video is a collage of ancient temples most notably Poseidon's Temple, old churches and other ruins all combined with the beauty and brilliance of celestial objects. It is a wonderous vision to see.

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