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The side boasts three well preserved Greek temples.

The oldest temple in Paestum is the Temple of Hera, built around 550 BC by Greek colonists.

It was therefore dedicated to Hephaestos, the god of metal working.

The Temple of Hephaestus was designed by Ictinus, one of the architects who also worked on the Parthenon.

The purpose of a Greek temple was usually to house a cult statue or emblem.

Religion did not require people to gather inside the temple to worship, and their temples were primarily monuments to the gods.

The Doric columns have not been fluted as they normally would have been and the temple also seems to have lacked a roof over the main chamber.

Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD some 638 years after the project had begun.The temple as seen today was built between 421 and 407 BC.The name, of popular origin, is derived from a shrine dedicated to the Greek hero Erichthonius.Located on a ridge outside the city of Agrigento, Sicily lie the remains of seven Greek temples called the Valley of the Temples.The Temple of Concordia, built in the 5th century BC, is the best preserved in the Valley and is one of the largest and best preserved Doric style temples still standing.

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