Poseidon Sanctuary

Location: Kionia   

The Sanctuary of Poseidon in Tinos Greece, Cyclades: One of the most important sanctuaries of Poseidon in the ancient times was located in Tinos, in a walking distance from the beach of Kionia. In fact, Tinos was the only island of the Cyclades that has dedicated an entire temple to Poseidon, the god of sea. Along with him, his wife, the sea nymph Amphitrite, was also being worshiped.

The exact date of this temple's construction is unknown, but archaeologists believe that it dates from the 4th century A.D, maybe even a bit earlier, therefore it belongs to the Hellenistic period. Due to this temple, Tinos became an important religious centre and many people would first come here to clean and purify themselves and then they would go to the sacred island of Delos. In January and February, religious ceremonies known as Poseidonia were celebrated to honor the god.

In the 3rd century, the temple was reconstructed and became an inviolable asylum for people who were persecuted. Its architecture was in Doric order, without many decorative elaborations. It was made of local marble and had some representations of the god's symbols, such as dolphins and the trident. In the 4th century A.D, when Christianity was established as a religion, the temple was destroyed.

This sanctuary of Poseidon was first excavated in 1902 and 1905 by the Belgian archaeologists H. Demoulin and P. Graindor respectively. Apart from the main temple, this archaeological site includes baths, an altar, a monumental stoa and a fountain.

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