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Greek Temples and Columns ~~ Doric, Ionian, and Corinthian

Updated on April 15, 2013

In addition to the three commonly identified styles of columns - doric, ionian, corinthian - you will notice in the pictures below that some columns, in particular the "capitols" of the columns demonstrate characteristics of more than one style. As is true in most artistic fields, styles were continually evolving and sculptors, more accurately, "schools" of sculpture frequently introduced innovations into their designs to distinguish themselves from other sculptors and schools.

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Rather amazingly. considering both their antiquity and the aerial bombing that occurred during World War II, most of these sites in Greece can still be visited today. The Parthenon which crowns the Acroplis in Athens is the one temple every visitor to Greece hopes to see, but I have a recommendation.

If, on your excursion to Greece you only have time to visit one temple (and God forbid that should be so), I recommend the temple built to the god of the sea, Poseidon (Neptune if you prefer the Roman nomenclature) at Sounion. Not much of the original temple remains, but the ruins - a few columns are situated atop a sheer bluff that falls away in a dramatic drop hundreds of feet down to the rocks.

The rocks which the Aegean Sea has been pounding against and slowly weathering away from time immemorial. And depending on the time of day or season of the year, the Aegean will be aquamarine, deep blue, or perhaps even violet. And on the horizon out to sea will appear the dim outlines of other Greek islands.

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    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you freelanceauthor. Glad you stopped to take a look and I appreciate your comments. Everything Greek and old is quite wonderful. :)

    • freelanceauthor profile image

      freelanceauthor 

      6 years ago

      Nice hub. Awesome photo. Voted up

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you Brett. I lovd the years I spent in Greece as well. It is quite something to live daily amidst so much beauty and history. Thanks for commenting and SHARING.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 

      6 years ago from Thailand

      Some interesting information. These sculpture/structure hold their beauty well. I loved my time in Greece and really hope to get back there again soon.

      Voted up and SOCIALLY SHARING.

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I would love to plan another trip. My last out of the country trip was to Poland, ny fathers's burthpalce, about 8 years ago. I wouldn't trade that trip for anything.

      Maybe by the time I retire from teaching, in about 10 years, I will have saved enough to spend four to six weeks in Greece and the Greek Islands. Don't think I would want to go unless I could really take my time and see everything I wanted to see. What a fabulous trip that would be. :)

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 

      6 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Sounds like you should plan another trip someday :-)

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you. It was indeed a rich and elegant time. What I like is that you can visit or live in modern Greece with computers, airplanes, and cell phones...and yet you are still surrounded by the past. So many incredible temples and ruins are all around you.

      I never made it to the Greek islands when I was there, but friends tell me I missed a lot. I comfort myself by buying fabulous calendars with pictures of all these quaint little hillside villages sprinkled across the islands that dance across the Aegean Sea.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 

      6 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Beautiful pictures. When I see images of these grand places, I wonder what it would be like to live in such a rich and elegant time (and not be poor), and it makes me wish I could hop into a time machine and visit for a few years to absorb the culture and maybe even stay in an age of engineering and learning.

      I would miss computers and airplanes but not our crass culture and processed food!

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      We were both fortunate to have spent time in Greece. My father was Air Force and he was stationed at Athenai Air Base for three years. Wasn't the architecture and weren't the columns simply wonderful. I imagine the Astor Hotel was quite something. We lived in Glyfada, about 40 minutes from Athens, and a 10 minute walk from the Aegean Sea. It was a marvelous place to live. Glad my hub stirred up your memories and I appreciate your comments. Thanks.

    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      There is nothing quite like reading about a place you have visited. Having been to Greece twice I can almost feel those amazing colums. I was keen to learn how those sculptures achieved perfect alignment. From the roof top of the Astor hotel (breakfast area) one has a full view of the Acropolis. Old hotel but worth the view!

      I am rambling on, but your informative hub has me reliving my memorable moments.

      Appreciated!

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      ytensoh - Glad you liked it. It really is a fabulous place to spend a few weeks or years, if you possibly can. Most of my hubs are pretty text intensive and so somehow I focused on the photos with minimal text this time.

      There are two other hubs that have some focus on Greece. One is actually about my grandmother a Polish Painter. But just before I went to Greece at the age of 10, she gave me a marvelous book on Greek Mythology. It helped make my three years there magical. :)

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hi michigan - Thank you very much. It is a beautiful and intriguing country and it photographs well, to say the least. :)

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Oh Audrey. I hope you get to go someday. It is a wonderful place to explore and there is so much history, literature, and mythology there. It really does look like the pictures. :)

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hi John - Glad you loved the photos, I certainly enjoyed assembling them, and like you, I pretty much love everything Greek. The three years I spent there as a young girl (my father was Air Force) were absolutely magical. :)

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thanks for commenting. There is "something" about columns, isn't there. So dramatic and pure and powerful. I love buildings and architecture a great deal...and this from someone who doesn't have a mathematical or engineering bone in her body. :)

    • ytsenoh profile image

      Cathy 

      6 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Oh, I wanted to keep reading more! Loved your photos posted. It all sounds so fabulous. The history is so remarkable. Thank you!

    • michiganman567 profile image

      michiganman567 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Great work. I like the photos a lot

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Lovely! I would so like to go to Greece!

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      ...Love this. Anything on Greece, they're the official birth of Western Civilization. Awesome photos as well.

      Voted up

      John

    • tarajeyaram profile image

      tarajeyaram 

      6 years ago from Wonderland

      Beautiful pictures. I always love the art of buildings and especially columns. There is something about the columns. Thank you for sharing. Voting up and sharing.

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you for the visit and the comments. :)

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I always wondered what the differences were. Thanks for pointing them out. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Theo- Thank you for your generous comments. I am so glad you like the Hub. And by the response here, lots of other people do to! :) And you are very welcome.

      You might like the Hub A Polish American Artist. Its not about Greece, but Greece and Greek Mythology play a big role in the story I am telling. See what you think. :)

    • Theocharis V profile image

      Theocharis V 

      6 years ago from Piraeus, Greece

      Hey, this sure is a great hub for me. I am really happy that people from all over the world appreciate the beauty of ancient Greek art ('cause even the buildings those days, were....well, art!). Simple perfection. Thanks for the hub.

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you Michael-

      I actually almost never write poetry, but I think whatever poetic sensibility I have occasionally comes out in mu prose (well not the academic stuff of course).

      I am completely in the dark about what they have discovered in Libya and Lebanon. I will have to Google them. And Tunisia as well. What an incredible place to visit.

      We have both been fortunate to travel to and live in some pretty amazing places. And thank you for all the votes. :)

      Theresa

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Theresa,

      Your prose are lovely and you paint a lovely picture. I remember that the columns were designed with a larger diameter at the top so if one looked up the perspective didn't change.

      PS Have you seen what is in Libya and Lebanon? OMW you would faint. Whole Roman cities virtually intact.

      I had the chance to visit Sfax in the Tunisian Sahara Desert many years ago.

      There is a Colosseum intact and bigger than the one in Rome. (according to the tour book) I haven't been to Rome yet so I cannot say.

      Great hub voted up interesting useful and beautiful.

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you so much. :)

    • pol1ce profile image

      Paulo Pta 

      6 years ago from the Right Place

      Fantastic photos

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you. Do you know I never even googled Sounion when I was writing this. So after I read your comment I did. Alas, my childhood memory betrayed me. :( Oh, it is still fabulous standing all alone next to the sea. But the pictures reveal that my 12 year old's memory of a very steep abrupt drop off were not correct. Oh, well. I think I will hold onto my memory anyway; it has given me such pleasure over the years. :) Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 

      6 years ago

      I found this hub very informative and educational.

      I was not aware of the three styles of columns.

      I googled Sounion. Did you see the temple of Poseidon at sunset? The view must have been absolutely breathtaking.

      Great pictures.

      Voted up and away.

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you Gypsy! So glad you liked it! I loved the three years I lived there and I love having wonderful pictures to remind me. :)

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Super hub! Great, dramatic pics!

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you. I appreciate your visit and your kind words. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 years ago from Shelton

      amazing and interesting I'm going to call it art.. up and awesome!!!!

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Spirit Whisperer- You are right, our buildings, the very towns and cities around us do speak volumes about what we esteem and value. Rather depressing in many ways. Edifice is such a great word. Thanks for the comment.

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Cat R- Oh my, drywall and 2 by 4's - that must be a bit depressing. We homeowners and builders can only wish for such longevity, but never attain it. The Germans do build things to last and there is much to appreciate in their architecture and building styles. Thanks for your generous comments. :)

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man

      Beautiful photographs reminding us of an age long gone. If buildings and structures symbolise the aspirations of man I wonder what kind of aspirations our present edifices symbolise?

    • Cat R profile image

      Cat R 

      6 years ago from North Carolina, U.S.

      Hmmmh! Looking at drywall and 2x4s.... I just can't see them live that long! Do miss the German way of building things that last for hundreds of years!

      Great and very interesting info!

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