Sounion: The Temple Outside Time

How do you talk about Greece without talking about the Greeks’ economic woes? Travel there, visit an ancient relic, and consider the nature of permanence — and how money almost always plays a role. The Temple of Poseidon on Cape Sounion has stood south of Athens since the Archaic period and served the Greek people as both a holy place and a garrison defending the silver mines from which Athens drew its monetary ores. The layered history of this architectural masterpiece deserves contemplation, and can help us learn to celebrate what lasts.

Fifty miles south of Athens, on the top of a cliff at the edge of the Aegean, sits one of the most magnificent ancient relics in all of Greece — the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion. Constructed in the Archaic period …

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