Heraion of Samos, Unesco Site, Pythagoreio, Greece
This temple is situated just before the entrance to the village of Ireon. The Heraion of Samos was a sanctuary on the Southern region of Samos. Many construction phases are known, the first dating to the 8th century BCE. The first temple was roughly 100 feet long and consisted of three walls and an interior central line of columns to support a roof structure. A much larger temple was built by the architects Rhoikos and Theodoros in 540 BC. The temple stood opposite the cult altar of Hera in her sanctuary. The temple was designated a joint UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the nearby Pythagoreion in 1992.
The Heraion of Samos was the first of the gigantic Ionic temples. Unfortunately it stood for only about a decade before it was destroyed, probably by an earthquake. After the destruction of the “Rhoikos temple”, an even larger one was built approximately 40m to the West. This temple has the largest known floor plan of any Greek temple and is known as the “Polykrates Temple”, named after a tyrant of Samos. One of the giant statues from the Heraion survives in the Samos Archaeological Museum.
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