Temple in Ancient Greek world had not only religious meaning, but also had a big influence on society’s daily life. It was a storage for treasury of polis and objects of figurative art. Also different public and politic meetings were on square near the temple. Temples were built with limestone and grey stones that is why the ancient Greeks painted them with bright colors (It is called polichromia). Usually they painted such parts as fronton, metopes and different sculptures of temple.
Plan of Ancient Greek Temple is simple: rectangular building without windows surrounded by columns. There is only one space inside, called “Naos” (it means “Temple”) and there is a statue of God in it. Also there is “Pronaos” (hall, which leads to Naos) and “Opistodom” (storehouse for gifts to God).
There are some types of Ancient Greek Temples:
- Temple in Antes. This type of temple has got only two columns between two butts of temple walls, which are called antes.
- Prostyle. This type of temple has got four columns in front of temple facade and without antes.
- Amphiprostyle. This type of temple has got two colonnades in front of both sides of temple.
- Peripter. This temple type is the most common. A colonnade of it surrounds all sides of temple. That is why the term “Peripter” means ”Elated” .
- Psevdoperipter. This type of Ancient Greek Temples in contrast of Peripter has got semicolumns but full columns around Naos.
- Dipter. In this type the colonnade surrounds temple twice. Dipter is much bigger then Peripter.
- Psevdodipter. This type of temple is like Dipter but without internal colonnade.
- Tolos. This is a circular temple.
- Monopter. This is a circular temple in plan (seldom it is rectangular) with only columns without walls of Naos.
For Ancient Greeks a harmonious view between architecture and nature was important. This is why they looked for and built temples in suitable places with beautiful landscape for architectural construction.
Temple of Hephaestus in Athens, Greece, 460-420 BC