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Paestum's ruins

According to the legend, Strabonus, the ancient greek geographer form the first century B.C., wrote about Giason and the Argonauts that, after grabbing the golden ram, reached the beaches in Sele plain and had a temple built, dedicated to Hera Argiva.
Historians, conversely, claim that in this area a colony from Sibari settled down in the middle 7th century B.C., determined and committed to build a harbour on the Mediterranean sea. As time passed by, the colony would thrive more and more, and turned into the main city of Poseidon. Thanks to its naturally favourable position, Poseidon and its motherland Sibari started busyness and tradings with Etruscans. The finding of  amphoras and other archaeological finds testify such a correspondence. Poseidon soon became one of the most important cities in the Mediterranean area. In 510 B.C. Crotone attacked and torn down Sibari: its inhabitants fled to Poseidon bringing all their richness along. At this time the first temples and monuments started to be built. In 400 B.C. the city was conquered by the Lucans, who gave the name of Paistom to it, or Paistos. After several other mishaps, in 273 B.C. the city was made part of the roman empire, and became Paestum. Under Rome, the city resumed its ancient splendour and the building of new temples. During Christian era, Paestum  also became an important city where many members of the clergy settled down. Because of a malaria epidemic though, the population decreased substantially. During the following centuries, Paestum was deeper and deeper covered by woods and marshes, and became thoroughly hidden eventually. It was to be discovered and its beauties brought back to life in the 19th century, under king Charles of Borbon . More and more historians and archaeologists became interested and fascinated by this ancient city's beauty. Today this site is a big pentagon plain, surrounded by sturdy walls and is endowed with 4 ancient main doors; two main roads meet forming a perfect right angle.

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Further information about Paestum

Paestum lies directly at the seaside, and a few minutes walk from the wonderful nature of "parco nazionale del Cilento e Vallo di Diano", the secon  [...continue]

Virtual 3d reconstruction Paestumgate:

at the moment, the Virtual 3d  reconstruction Paestumgate considers the northern part of Paestum ruins, which ranges from the so called Cecer  [...continue]


Nel giugno 1968 fu scoperta - a 1,5 km. a sud di Paestum, in località Tempa del Prete, sede di una necropoli frequentata ininterrottamente dal VI al   [...continue]

The city walls

The city walls were almost 5 kms long, and 15 meters high. Their thickness varied somewhere between 5 and 7 meters. Around them was a moat, always expected to be fill  [...continue]

The basilica

The "BASILICA" is the oldest temple, and was built in around 550 B.C. its style is predominatly ancient Doric. The temple was actually wrongly named basilica in the lat  [...continue]

Poseidon's temple

Regardless of its name, this temple is also considered to have been dedicated to Goddess Hera. It was built in around 450 B.C. in a perfect classical Doric style,   [...continue]

Cecere's temple

This temple lies on the upper part of the city. As a consequence, regardless of its name, this temple is considered to have been originally dedicated to Goddess Athe  [...continue]

The italic temple, also known as the peace temple

Located towards north and south, and not east-west like the usual greek buildings, this temple as a consequence is considered to be  [...continue]

The holy path

The 12 km long Holy Path linked Poseidon to the ancient Hera temple, the latter located near the Sele river. Its base must be definitely greek, though its paving can b  [...continue]

The forum

Through the holy path and the holy area of Goddess Hera, you get to the forum. It was probably built by the Romans, on the ancient greek city's soil, agorà. Both th  [...continue]

The greek theatre, or Boleuterion

The greek theatre, or Boleuterion, was originally built by the greeks with a typical circular frame. The place was frequented by the highest rulers  [...continue]

The amphitheatre

Amphitheatres, of roman origins, were places where gladiators would fight. Paestum's amphitheatre used to have a main vaulted door and two minors doors to the stair  [...continue]

The Gimnasium

The gymnasium rose in the north-western area of the forum. At its centre there used to be a pool, for swimming competitions. Several pillars on its sides probably acted as a stage. 

The ipogeic Sacello underground

This underground construction has been recently discovered, in 1954. So far its proper aim is still unknown. Eight bronze vases full of honey were al  [...continue]