Paestum Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Paestum

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    The Ekklesiasterion

    by orlandom Updated May 25, 2005

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    The Ekklesiasterion
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    The Ekklesiasterion was unearted 20 years ago.This is where all the adult male citizens,those entitled to participate in political life got togeather.(ekklesia) means assembly. The ekklesiasterion is 35 m by 9m . and could contain 1500 people. This monument was constructed in about 480 bc

    Thanks for visting my Paestum page

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  • General Information Regarding Paestum

    by Jetgirly Updated May 1, 2007

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    I much preferred Paestum to Pompeii or Herculaneum. Entrance was fairly cheap at EUR 6.50 for a combined ticket to the site and the museum. The site opens around 8.00 am and closes at sunset, with the ticket window closing one hour before sunset. The museum is closed on the first and third Monday of each month.

    I spent about two hours exploring the site (at a moderate level of interest). Greek-lovers will want to spend longer. I hustled through the museum in about forty-five minutes, only taking in the highlights. Paestum could easily be done in a day-trip from Salerno, and hard-core travellers could even do it from Amalfi (with a very early start).

    See below for the phone number for Tourist Information (they speak English).

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    The Amphitheater

    by orlandom Updated May 25, 2005

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    The Amphitheater

    This is the main entrence to The Amphitheater.The Amphitheater is cut in half , the western half ,now national property, has been excavated and may be visited . The eastern half lies partly under the modern road and partly under privatly -owned land. The construction was carried out in 2 phases .1st phases was squared-off limestone blocks forming a monument of modest size in the 1st century BC . The Brick pillares erected outside to enlarge the building belong to the seconde phase 1 st century AD

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    Temple of Poseidon

    by sandysmith Written Jun 22, 2003

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    Temple of Poseidon

    This temple is sometimes called the Temple of Neptune or The Temple of Hera II. This archaic Doric temple is one of the best preserved Greek temples in the world.
    The last and largest of the 3 great temples of Poseidonia, it was constructed 470-460 BC within the sanctuary of Hera, just besides the older Temple of Hera I.

    It has 6 x 14 columns standing on a three step base. Most of the outer parts of the temple have survived, including all 36 columns, the architraves, the frieze and the pediments.

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    Temple of Hera - the Basilica

    by sandysmith Updated Jun 22, 2003

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    temple of Hera

    Built in 550 - 540 BC the Basilica is dedicated to Hera, wife of Zeus, and the main divinity of Poseidonia. It has 9 columns at the front and 18 at the sides. The hall is divided into two by a row of columns. At the back of the hall the adyton was inaccessible to the faithful and was where the treasure was kept.
    The doric capitals are decorated at the base with floral motifs. The crown of the temple was painted in teracotta with false eaves-gutters in the shapes of lion heads and terminated in palm-shaped antefixes.

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    Temple of Athena II

    by sandysmith Updated Jun 22, 2003

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    temple of athena

    This temple is the first known temple in the world to mix the Doric order of the main peristyle with the ionic order used in the porch. It would be another fifty years before that combination would be tried again, this time in mainland Greece.

    A votive doric column (as seen in intro page pic) stands just to the side of the limestone altar in front of the temple.

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    Temple of Poseidon II

    by sandysmith Written Jun 22, 2003

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    can you see the vase?

    What I remember most from the guide about this temple was how much the material and space were important to the overall look of the temple. The columns of the porches are of the same dimensions as the columns of the peristyle and aligned with them. If you look at the spaces between the columns you will see the optical illusion of the shape of an amphor or vase - this effect really stuck in my memory!

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    Temple of Poseidon III

    by sandysmith Written Jun 22, 2003

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    column detail

    This temple belongs to a transitional phase between the archaic and the classic Doric order. For example the number of columns to the sides should have been 13, not 14, to match the classic Doric ideal, and each column should have had 20 flutes instead of the actual 24.

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    Agora

    by sandysmith Written Jun 22, 2003

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    Agora

    The main square of a Greek city was the agora, and the agora of Poseidonia has been identified about halfway along the Via Sacra - the main road. Close to the agora the bouleuterion, the circular meeting place of the city council, has been found. This one was built 480-470 BC. It had a similar function during the Lucian takeover but was no longer in use by the time of the latin settlement and a sanctuary was built in its place.

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    Amphitheatre

    by sandysmith Written Jun 22, 2003

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    ampitheatre

    The Romans built an amphitheatre in Paestum, part of this is visble but most is still under the modern road. It is however one of the most ancient constructions of its kind. Initially built without the outer ring, only a few of the cavea steps - for the audience - remain.
    a parapet seaparating the cavea from the arena was built high to protect against the animals therein. An arcaded outer ring was added in the 1st century AD.

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    Temple of Hera II

    by sandysmith Written Jun 22, 2003

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    Temple of Hera

    This temple is unusual in being the only temple in Italy with a naos divided into two by the columns. such a division could be due to the temple having a double dedication, which would probably have been to Hera and Zeus.
    The only other such Greek temples are found in Crete at Dreros and Prinià, but in both cases the dividing columns were of wood on stone bases. The Cretan temples are the oldest Greek temples known, so this similarity confirms the dating of the Temple of Hera.

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    Tomb of the Diver

    by sandysmith Written Jun 22, 2003

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    tomb of the diver

    The most important tomb discovered in the necropolis of the ancient Greek colony of Poseidonia was the so-called "Tom of the Diver" dated 470-60 and discovered in 1968.
    Its an unusual example of early classical polychrome painted tomb. The underside of the lid shows a man diving off a platform into the sea and side walls show symposium with older and younger males reclining on couches, some scenes are homoerotic.

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    Underground Shrine Jars

    by sandysmith Updated Jun 22, 2003

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    lion water jar

    This shrine contained very rich offerings - all now in the museum. On the floor of the shrine were placed eight large bronze vessels and an Athenian ceramic amphora.
    6 of the bronze jars are water jars with three handles, and two are amphorae with two handles. Some of the jars have handles shaped as hands or decorated with female heads. One in particular has the vertical handle shaped as a lion.

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    Honey Jars

    by sandysmith Written Jun 22, 2003

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    tell them about the honey mummy....

    All eight bronze jars were made by highly skilled and techonologically advanced craftsmen, and they must have represented a substantial fortune when they were placed in the underground shrine.
    All nine vessels were filled with a sticky substance, presumed to be honey, and sealed with wax. The substance was still soft when the seals were broken.

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    Underground shrine

    by orlandom Written May 25, 2005

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    Underground Shrine

    This is a Shrine not a Tomb and 3 of it's 4 sides are underground The one that is not has no access to it . The excavators who climbed down into the interior through the roof found eight bronze vases containing honey, an Attic black-figured vase from the end of the 11th century bc,and 5 iron spears arrayed on 2 adjacent blocks to form a table-like structure . It is almost certain that this is a monument erected in honar of a person elevated to hero -status after Death

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