Cape Sounion

Cape Sounion ruins

Cape Sounion is a promontory located 60 kilometers south of Athens. It is located at the southernmost side of the Greek Attica peninsula. Cape Sounion is regarded as the place of remains coming from Poseidon, a Greek temple which is noted as the God of sea in classical Greek mythology. The ruins are hanging on headland which is enclosed on three sides with the sea. On these remains, name of a romantic English poet, Lord Byron, is carved deeply.

This place is an ultimate attraction for tourists, especially when the sun sets in the sea of Aegean and when it is viewed from the remains; it presents a spectacle view for the tourists from Athens.

According to a myth, Cape Sounion is the place from where the king of Athens, named Aegeus, faced death leaping from the cliff and the sea was named after him, the Aegean Sea. The tales suggest that Aegeus was peeking through Sounion, got miserable when he saw that a black sail was on his son’s ship, on way back from Crete. It made him believe that his son Theseus was killed in a duel with a monster name Minotaur, who was half bull and half a man. His owner, King Minos of Crete, had confined him in a maze (labyrinth) specially designed for Minotaur. Each year, seven men and seven women were forcefully sent by the Athenians as a tribute to Minos. These men and women were kept in labyrinth so that Minotaur could ingest them. Theseus volunteered himself to go as a tribute and try to kill the beast. He told his father that if he succeeds in the fight, he would bring a white sail. He did win the duel but forgot to hoist a white sail instead of a black sail.

Literary references about Sounion can be found in the Odyssey, a poem by Homer which was composed in eighth century B.C. It recalls the mythical troubles that were faced by Odysseus, a Greek hero when he was returning to his island Ithaca (in the Ionian Sea) after a ten year grueling sea voyage from the sack of Troy. It is supposedly suggested that this trial was imposed on him by Poseidon to whom the Sounion temple was dedicated.

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