The cylinder block of a high-speed marine diesel engine is a complex structure subjected to a complex loading. The design optimization of the cylinder block requires a reliable Finite Element Model (FEM), capable to predict, with a reasonable accuracy, the actual strains and stresses.The experimental investigation presented in the paper is meant to provide the necessary information for a better estimation of the boundary conditions and the validation of the FEM of the cylinder block. In order to obtain an image of the stress field in the cylinder block, a system of 10 strain gauge rosettes have been placed at significant locations on the cylinder block. The temperature at the location of the rosettes was measured with an optical pyrometer and a method has been developed to calculate this temperature using the measured strain. A fairly good agreement was obtained between the measured and the calculated temperatures during the cooling of the engine. The measured stresses during steady state operation of the engine show a good correlation with the variation of the forces acting on the main bearings of the crankshaft.