Greek temple

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Greek temples differed from their Roman counterparts in that the colonnade formed a peristyle around the whole structure, rather than merely a porch at the front; and also in that the Greek temple was not raised above ground level on a high podium.

As the Greeks became more adept at monumental building, regional styles of architecture solidified into what are now the classical orders of architecture: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian.

The Parthenon, dedicated to Athena, goddess of wisdom, is the best-known Greek temple. Festivals were held in and around it every year. The Parthenon strongly influenced Roman architecture. After the Romans conquered Greece, many tourists from the victorious country came to view the temples of Greece, and the Parthenon quickly became one of the most popular tourist sites in Greece. The Parthenon is atypical of Greek temples with its octostyle (eight colum) facade.

Most classical Greek temples were hexastyle (six column facade.) Some well-known examples:

  • The group at Paestum comprising the Temple of Hera (c. 550 B.C), the Temple of Apollo (c. 450 B.C), the first Temple of Athena ("Basilica") (c. 500 B.C) and the second Temple of Hera (460–440 B.C)
  • The Temple of Aphaea later dedicated to Athena at Aegina c. 495 B.C
  • Temple E at Selinus (465–450 B.C) dedicated to Hera
  • The Temple of Zeus at Olympia, now a ruin
  • Temple F or the so-called "Temple of Concord" at Agrigentum (c. 430 B.C), one of the best preserved classical Greek temples, retaining almost all of its peristyle and entablature.
  • The "unfinished temple" at Segesta (c. 430 B.C)
  • The Temple of Hephaestus below the acropolis of Athens, long known as the "Theseum" (449–444 B.C), the most intact Greek temple surviving from antiquity)
  • The Temple of Poseidon on Cape Sunium (c. 449 B.C)
  • The Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassae

Unlike modern places of worship, Greek temples were not designed for group worship, but more as a dedication to a god or goddess, explaining why the sculpture on temples was always right at the top and hard to see - it was built for the pleasure of its deity and not for people.

[edit] See also

de:Griechischer Tempel

he:מקדש יווני mk:Грчки храм pt:Templo grego

Greek temple

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