Throughout existence, Greek architecture has always captivated the minds and astonished the eyes of many people. Greek architecture had such a distinct and beautiful look, that each building had its own characteristics that made it memorable. The architecture the Greeks used consisted of the main “orders”: the Doric Order, the Ionic Order, and the Corinthian Order. They were called orders because that was how buildings would be created. Their architecture would be stacked in orders on top of one another. Each order consisted of three main components. First, the base was built as the solid ground that everything would stand upon. Next, came the column which was the main shaft that would stretch upwards. Finally, on top of the column would be the capital, which could have many fine designs.

The Doric Order was the first of the three orders to be defined. The main location in which this style could be found consisted of southern Italy and Sicily. The Doric style is the most sturdy of the three styles, and it consists of a relatively plain and simple look. The Doric Order actually was the only style that didn’t really have a base. The Doric Order just went straight into the columns which were built very sturdy with fluted designs. Following the column came the capital which consisted of a plain but stable look. One would assume the main purpose for the Doric Order was reliability and strength.

The second style the Greeks established was the Ionic Order. The Ionic order evolved in Ionia on the eastern shore of the Aegean Sea (hence the name). The basis for the Ionic Order were large and looked like a set of stacked rings. The Ionic columns were taller than those of the Doric Order, giving them a slender appearance. They too, had flutes which were carved into them from the top to bottom. The columns also said a special characteristic – entasis. Entasis is a little bulge in the column that makes them look straight. At eye level the columns would appear to grow narrower as they rise, so it is this bulge that compensates for the problem. Your eye sees it as being perfectly straight even though it isn’t. Ionic capitals consist of scrolls above the columns. The Ionic style is a little more decorative than that of the Doric.

The final Greek Order of architecture was the Corinthian style. This elaborate style was rarely used in Greek architecture but still played a role. The base and the columns were like that of the Ionic Order for the most part. The place that the Corinthian style shined was in its capital. The capitals were pleasingly decorated with flowers and leaves below a small scroll. The level of detail and beauty that was brought forth through the Corinthian capitals really captivates me. I personally love how astonishing the Corinthian capitals really are: the level of detail is unheard of, the size of the blocks is colossal, and the emotion displayed is uplifting. They provide elements of nature and architecture, and they combine it all together into a symmetrical work of art.

That pretty much wraps it up for the architecture created by the Greeks. Although these were the three main types of orders, there were also many others such as the Tuscan and the Composite. The designs and layouts of Greek Architecture to this very day continue to fascinate the minds of many. Perhaps an even more impressive aspect is that some of these buildings are still standing this very day. These creations were built hundred of years ago, but I suppose it stands – buildings with more love and feeling are what hold the true beauty and power of all architecture.

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Quinton Figueroa

Quinton Figueroa

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El Paso, Texas

I am an entrepreneur at heart. Throughout my whole life I have enjoyed building real businesses by solving real problems. Business is life itself. My goal with businesses is to help move the human ...


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Edward Davis: Greek Architecture: The Original Glory

The flowering of the Greek architecture began during 700 B.C and continued all the way to the Roman occupation which started back on 146 B.C. It was in between these times that the best of the Greek architecture were produced. The incredibly productive age includes the ruling of Pericles in the land of Athens, in which the architects Callicrates in association with Ictinus, and Mnesicles were heralded the best of the Greek architects. It was also during this time that Parthenon, the temple built for the glory of the goddess of wisdom, Athena was established.

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