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The classical Greek temple is regarded as the most typical, as well as the most beautiful. It consisted of an entrance porch with columns, a main chamber containing a statue, and a room to the back surrounded by a colonnade.

The early Greeks did not care for luxurious palaces. They preferred to build temples to protect the statues of their gods and athletic heroes. These buildings were comparatively crude and box-like, having one or two rooms with a porch in front. A few columns stood on the porch or sometimes went all round the temple. Brick and wood were used in construction, and the roofs were thatched1. But already the pure geometric forms so dear to the Greeks could be discerned: square or rectangular in the floor plan, walls, doorway, and ceiling; circular columns; right angles at the meeting of columns and horizontal beams, and eventually a triangle between roof and doorway. All the basic elements of the Doric style were present in the synthesis of these mathematical forms. As Greece carried on more trade with the East and became aware of other styles, her temples became larger and more substantial. Yet she remained faithful to her native Doric style. Temples were placed on a height to command a view of the sea and the surrounding area, for worship2 took place in the open. Architects worked carefully on the facade of the temple. To the Doric column they gave particular attention, continually revising the base, shaft, and capital. Stonemasons3 and artisans4 carved figures and designs in the spaces over the architrave and in the triangular area over the doorway. Afterward these figures and designs were painted in vivid colours.


1) What kind of Greek architecture is regarded the most typical?

2) What did the early Greek palaces look like?

3) What material was used in their construction?

4) What architectural style did the classical Greek temple belong to?


1. thatched - соломенная или тростниковая (крыша)

2. worship - богослужение, отправление обрядов

3. stonemason - каменщик

4. artisan - ремесленник

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