The magnificent virtual visits to the magnificent Italian artistic heritages continue on the MiBACT YouTube channel.
It is the turn of the Archaeological Park of Paestum. The director of the archaeological site, Gabriel Zuchtriegel, gives a mini lesson in architecture.
The Archaeological Park of Paestum participates in the campaign Culture does not stop. With a beautiful short video he guides us inside the park to let us know the ‘affinities’ of Poseidonia of Salerno with the monumentality of the temple of the queen of the Egyptians, Hatshepsut. It is quite normal to think that Greek and Egyptian culture do not have much to do with one another from an architectural point of view.
Instead, Zuchtriegel, explains to us that the majestic Greek temples of the park have an influence with Egyptian funerary architecture. At first the Greeks built their monuments with perishable materials such as wood, then they replaced it with a more permanent material: stone. This element, much more resistant to bad weather, has allowed the magnificent structures to resist for thousands of years up to the present day, almost intact. We can therefore define the goal of the ancient Mediterranean population as achieved: to make their culture a model for eternity.
This change in materials is thought to be due to Magna Graecia’s strengthening of relations with Egypt. The Greeks in fact wanted to learn the Egyptian culture to organize the polis, give order to space and work out the right symmetry. These characteristics would then be expressed through architecture as the solidity of power.
These premises relate the mortuary temple of Hatsheput, a pharaoh woman, and the principles of monumentality of Greek architecture which, over the centuries, have been a source of inspiration, debate and education in Europe to this day.