Temple of Apollo Epikourios, Bassai

Temple of Apollo Epikourios © David Gill
Temple of Apollo Epikourios © David Gill

The temple of Apollo Epikourios lies high in the mountains of Arcadia in the western Peloponnese, Greece. It was constructed as a thanksgiving by the nearby polis of Phigaleia for protection from the plague that affected many communities in Greece in the early 420s BC.

The temple is constructed in the Doric order with 6 by 15 columns.

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The interior contains engaged Ionic columns. There was also a single Corinthian column inside the cella.

Temple of Apollo Epikourios © David Gill
Temple of Apollo Epikourios © David Gill

The high altitude means that that there is potential damage to the temple. As a result a specially constructed ‘tent’ has been placed over the architectural remains.

Frieze from the temple of Apollo Epikourios © David Gill
Frieze from the temple of Apollo Epikourios © David Gill

The interior frieze showing battles with Amazons (Amazonomachy) and Centaurs (Centauromachy) is now in the British Museum.

The temple was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.

Author: David Gill

David Gill is Honorary Professor in the Centre for Heritage at the University of Kent, and Honorary Research Fellow in the School of History and an Academic Associate in SISJAC at UEA; Professor of Archaeological Heritage.

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