Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae (1986)
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This famous temple to the god of healing and the sun was built towards the middle of the 5th century B.C. in the lonely heights of the Arcadian mountains.
The temple, which has the oldest Corinthian capital yet found, combines the Archaic style and the serenity of the Doric style with some daring architectural features.
It is a Doric peripteral temple made from local limestone, and consists of a prodome and a cella. It is orientated north to south. In the cella there was a column with a corinthian capital, which is the oldest known example of its kind.
The temple was decorated with a marble sculpted frieze depicting the battles between the Amazons and the Centaurs. The frieze's marbles have been looted by the British and can now be found in the British Museum. The temple, work of Ictinos architect of the Parthenon, is dated at ca. 420 B.C. It was built over an older temple, by the inhabitants of Figalos in honour of Epicurean Apollo, gratitude for saving them from a plague. The name Epicuros was given to Apollo ca. 650 B.C., during the wars against the Spartans
In 1902, the 1st Archaeological society of Athens began systematic archaeological research of the area, under the direction of K.Kourouniotis, with the assistance of K.Romaios and P.Kavvadias. It was continued in 1959, 1970 and from 1975-1979, under the direction of N.Gialouris.
Small scale restorations have been carried out by the civil engineer N.Balanos and professor H.Bouras. More recently, research has been completed, by the Committee of the Temple of Epicurean Apollo, for the restoration of the temple.
At the present time conservation work on the temple is being done under the supervision of the Committee of the Epicurean Apollo, which is based in Athens.
Other World Heritage Sites in Greece (on this website). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Greece-section, for further information about the individual properties.
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Revised 21 jul 2006