The promontory of Capo Colonna hosts the homonymous Archaeological Park, where anciently the great Heraion Lakinion was located. The Park extends along 30 hectares of land used as excavations, and another 20 hectares covered by a wood and the typical “Macchia Mediterranea”. The Heraion Lakinion was one of the most famous sacred areas of the entire Mediterranean basin related to the majestic sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Hera Lacinia.
The entrance to the Park consists of the new Archaeological Museum, a structure with three pavilions built into the ground to reduce the environmental impact, which collects the finds found in the excavation area in front. A long tree-lined avenue, immersed in the luxuriant “Macchia Mediterranea”, leads to the first evidence of the Archaeological Park. At the end of the avenue, there are the walls of the VI century BC. They were reinforced later by the Romans and of which the opus reticolatum is clearly visible. Crossing the entrance of the Via Sacra, 8.5 meters wide and partially discovered in 1987, it is possible entering the area of the sanctuary of Hera Lacinia, well protected by the large curtain wall reinforced to the north and south by two external towers.
The sacred area is divided into two zones oriented to the east, and crossed by the solemn Via Sacra. The Katagogion, a hotel for privileged pilgrims, is aligned towards the north side and shows a peristyle with stuccoed columns and capitals of the Doric order of the second half of the 4th century BC. The Hestiatorion, a building for banquets, located along the south side of the track is dated back to this period. The two buildings are not yet fully investigated. The temple of Hera Lacinia, the most important attraction of the park, is opposite the entrance of the Via Sacra, on the east side of the promontory of Capo Colonna. The temple was realized in Doric style with a rectangular plan of 6x19 columns and it dates back to the 5th century BC.
Unfortunately today only a column with stilobate remains of the temple: Doric style, 8.5 meters high with 20 flat grooves, and the powerful base composed of 10 levels of squared blocks. It was found next to the temple the foundations of a large building called B with a rectangular plan of 22x9 meters. In the area outside the sanctuary, but still inside the Archaeological Park, various domestic environments have been excavated, suggesting the priests' quarters, a Roman bath balneum, and a Roman villa, both of the III century AD.
The conspicuous objects found during the excavations in the Archaeological Park are divided among the different museums of the city of Crotone. The last discoveries are found in the new and adjacent Museum of Capo Colonna, while something of the pre-colonial era is exhibited in the Antiquarium of Torre Nao, located inside the Archaeological Park. The first finds of the Archaic period and above all the precious Treasure of Hera are placed in the National Archaeological Museum of Crotone.