The Temple of Neptune, Peastum, Italy. The best preserved of the temples of Magna Graecia is the Temple 'of Neptune' at Paestum (Greek Poseidonia), so called because it seemed logical that the most imposing temple in the city had been dedicated to the god for whom the city was dedicated - Poseidon (Neptune). Today the temple is thought to have been dedicated to Apollo, Zeus or Hera, and it is also known by the name 'Temple of Hera II' (or 'Second Temple of Hera'). The temple is a Doric hexastyle peripteros, with 6 columns in the facades and 14 columns on each of the sides. It has a raised cella (shrine) flanked by distyle in Antis porticoes and approached by steps. The temple also stands on a stepped crepidoma with three steps. The temple probably dates from between 474 and 450 BC. Thanks to its near-perfect state of preservation it is considered an ideal model of the Doric temple of the Classical period. The archaeological site of Paestum is included in the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998.
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