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Temple of Apollo at Bassae


420 BC

Column ratio


Internal columns



Unknown whether unusual internal arrangements reflect requirements of particular cult.

Traditional elements

Limestone covered with stucco for main structure and marble for any sculptural decoration.

Basically traditional temple layout on foundations of earlier temple with 3 step stylobate and peristyle of columns (unusually 6x15) surrounding core of pronaos, naos and opisthodomos.

Layout and proportion

Faces north with unusual door in east side opening into extended part of naos, resulting in a slightly longer than usual building in proportion to its width.

Combining the orders

Wholly Doric exterior.

Naos with 10 Ionic half-columns (unusual volutes) on spur walls and free-standing prototype Corinthian column supporting Ionic frieze (2 myths – Greeks & Amazons and Centaurs & Lapiths).

Interior and exterior decoration

Plain exterior as characteristic of Doric order but apparently with 12 sculpted metopes over pronaos and opisthodomos as at Zeus Olympia and surprising Ionic decoration in interior as above.