Apollo Corinthe

ouzo on the rocks

apartment, excursions and art historical guide

Peloponnese, Greece

The temple of Apollo in Corinthe


Another Doric temple, parts of which are well preserved is the Temple of Apollo at Corinth. This temple also has six columns on the short side, but fifteen at the sides. This already shows that the architect was looking for ways to make the temple wider and shorter. Again, a front and back porch with columns in antis.

The temple has an unusual partition of two separate spaces with internal colonnades. In the large, eastern area stood probably the cult image. The second spacewas perhaps used as prayer room or as a place to store the temple treasures.

Some columns stand with their architrave blocks still in their original positions. Looking at the temple in its entirety, soon the words clumsy and robust come to mind, especially when you consider the columns. The amount thereof is in nearly all Greek temples a multiple of the diameter of the base of the column. Solid columns at the front of the temple of Apollo at Corinth are 4.15 times the diameter at the base and on the sides, the height is 4.4 times the diameter at the base. The ones on the side are thus slightly thinner. The pillars are monolithic, i.e. cut out of one piece of stone. They are made of limestone and if you look closely you will see that they have somewhat the shape of a cigar. We call this entasis, a refinement to compensate the optical illusion of straight lines toward the center. Another optical correction concerns the stylobate where we see some kind of bulging. If the stylobate would be perfectly horizontal (no bulging) it would seem that it is lower in the middle. If the columns were straight, it would seem as though they are thinner in the middle.

Finally, notice that the echinus has the shape of a pillow or sand bag. The more the echinus has the shape of a bag and the bigger it is, the older the capital is. The same can be said of the thickness and length of the columns: shorter and thicker means older than longer and thinner.

plan of the temple of Apollo in Corinth

560 BC

temple of Apollo in Corinth anno 2014

photo © willem van leeuwen

Copyright © All Rights Reserved