Portico

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The portico of the Croome Court in Croome D'Abitot (England) Croome Court 2016 017.jpg
The portico of the Croome Court in Croome D'Abitot (England)
Temple diagram with location of the pronaos highlighted Peripteros-Plan-Pronaos-bjs.png
Temple diagram with location of the pronaos highlighted

A portico is a porch leading to the entrance of a building, or extended as a colonnade, with a roof structure over a walkway, supported by columns or enclosed by walls. This idea was widely used in ancient Greece and has influenced many cultures, including most Western cultures.

Contents

Some noteworthy examples of porticos are the East Portico of the United States Capitol, the portico adorning the Pantheon in Rome and the portico of University College London. Porticos are sometimes topped with pediments. Palladio was a pioneer of using temple-fronts for secular buildings. In the UK, the temple-front applied to The Vyne, Hampshire, was the first portico applied to an English country house.

A pronaos ( UK: /prˈn.ɒs/ or US: /prˈn.əs/ ) is the inner area of the portico of a Greek or Roman temple, situated between the portico's colonnade or walls and the entrance to the cella , or shrine. Roman temples commonly had an open pronaos, usually with only columns and no walls, and the pronaos could be as long as the cella. The word pronaos (πρόναος) is Greek for "before a temple". In Latin, a pronaos is also referred to as an anticum or prodomus.

Types

The different variants of porticos are named by the number of columns they have. The "style" suffix comes from the Greek στῦλος, "column". [1]

Tetrastyle

Temple of Portunus in Rome, with its tetrastyle portico of four Ionic columns Piazza del Bocca della Verita - panoramio (1).jpg
Temple of Portunus in Rome, with its tetrastyle portico of four Ionic columns

The tetrastyle has four columns; it was commonly employed by the Greeks and the Etruscans for small structures such as public buildings and amphiprostyles.

The Romans favoured the four columned portico for their pseudoperipteral temples like the Temple of Portunus, and for amphiprostyle temples such as the Temple of Venus and Roma, and for the prostyle entrance porticos of large public buildings like the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine. Roman provincial capitals also manifested tetrastyle construction, such as the Capitoline Temple in Volubilis.

The North Portico of the White House is perhaps the most notable four-columned portico in the United States.

Hexastyle

Hexastyle buildings had six columns and were the standard façade in canonical Greek Doric architecture between the archaic period 600550 BCE up to the Age of Pericles 450430 BCE.

Greek hexastyle

The hexastyle Temple of Concord at Agrigentum (c. 430 BCE) Temple of Concordia, Agrigento.jpg
The hexastyle Temple of Concord at Agrigentum (c. 430 BCE)

Some well-known examples of classical Doric hexastyle Greek temples:

Hexastyle was also applied to Ionic temples, such as the prostyle porch of the sanctuary of Athena on the Erechtheum, at the Acropolis of Athens.

Roman hexastyle

With the colonization by the Greeks of Southern Italy, hexastyle was adopted by the Etruscans and subsequently acquired by the ancient Romans. Roman taste favoured narrow pseudoperipteral and amphiprostyle buildings with tall columns, raised on podiums for the added pomp and grandeur conferred by considerable height. The Maison Carrée at Nîmes, France, is the best-preserved Roman hexastyle temple surviving from antiquity.

Octastyle

The western side of the octastyle Parthenon in Athens The Parthenon (3472367103).jpg
The western side of the octastyle Parthenon in Athens

Octastyle buildings had eight columns; they were considerably rarer than the hexastyle ones in the classical Greek architectural canon. The best-known octastyle buildings surviving from antiquity are the Parthenon in Athens, built during the Age of Pericles (450430 BCE), and the Pantheon in Rome (125 CE). The destroyed Temple of Divus Augustus in Rome, the centre of the Augustan cult, is shown on Roman coins of the 2nd century CE as having been built in octastyle.

Decastyle

The decastyle has ten columns; as in the temple of Apollo Didymaeus at Miletus, and the portico of University College London. [1]

The only known Roman decastyle portico is on the Temple of Venus and Roma, built by Hadrian in about 130 CE. [3]

Short visual history of porticos

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Decastyle"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . Vol. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 910.
  2. W. Burkert, Greek Religion (1987)
  3. Sturgis, Russell (1901). "Decastyle". A Dictionary of Architecture and Building: Biographical, Historical and Descriptive. Vol. 1. Macmillan. p. 755.
  4. Caird, Joe (16 January 2009). "Bologna city guide: top five sights" . The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2022-01-12. Retrieved 1 June 2013.

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Outline of classical architecture Overview of and topical guide to classical architecture

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to classical architecture:

Roman temple Temples of ancient Rome

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Ancient Greek temple Buildings housing cult statues in Greek sanctuaries

Greek temples were structures built to house deity statues within Greek sanctuaries in ancient Greek religion. The temple interiors did not serve as meeting places, since the sacrifices and rituals dedicated to the respective deity took place outside them, within the wider precinct of the sanctuary, which might be large. Temples were frequently used to store votive offerings. They are the most important and most widespread building type in Greek architecture. In the Hellenistic kingdoms of Southwest Asia and of North Africa, buildings erected to fulfil the functions of a temple often continued to follow the local traditions. Even where a Greek influence is visible, such structures are not normally considered as Greek temples. This applies, for example, to the Graeco-Parthian and Bactrian temples, or to the Ptolemaic examples, which follow Egyptian tradition. Most Greek temples were oriented astronomically.

Cella Architectural element of temples and churches

A cella or naos is the inner chamber of an ancient Greek or Roman temple in classical antiquity. Its enclosure within walls has given rise to extended meanings, of a hermit's or monk's cell, and since the 17th century, of a biological cell in plants or animals.

Pseudoperipteros Type of antique temple

A pseudoperipteros is a building with engaged columns embedded in the outer walls, except the front of the building. The form is found in classical architecture in ancient Greek temples, especially in the Hellenistic period. In Roman temples, the pseudoperipteral form became usual, where there were columns behind the portico as well. Typically the front has a portico with free-standing columns, but columns on the other three sides of the walls are engaged.

Prostyle Row of columns in front of a building

Prostyle is an architectural term designating temples featuring a row of columns on the front. The term is often used as an adjective when referring to the portico of a classical building, which projects from the main structure. First used in Etruscan and Greek temples, this motif was later incorporated by the Romans into their temples.

Amphiprostyle

In classical architecture, amphiprostyle denotes an ancient temple with a portico both at the front and the rear, where the columns on the narrow sides are not between antae. The number of columns rarely exceeded four in the front and four in the rear. The best-known example is the tetrastyle small Temple of Athena Nike at Athens. Other known examples are the Temple of Artemis Agrotera outside Athens, and the hexastyle Temple of the Athenians at Delos.

Engaged column

In architecture, an engaged column is a column embedded in a wall and partly projecting from the surface of the wall, sometimes defined as semi- or three-quarter detached. Engaged columns are rarely found in classical Greek architecture, and then only in exceptional cases, but in Roman architecture they exist in abundance, most commonly embedded in the cella walls of pseudoperipteral buildings.

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Peripteros

A peripteros is a type of ancient Greek or Roman temple surrounded by a portico with columns. It is surrounded by a colonnade (pteron) on all four sides of the cella (naos), creating a four-sided arcade. By extension, it also means simply the perimeter of a building, when that perimeter is made up of columns. The term is frequently used of buildings in the Doric order.

Temple of Hera Lacinia

The Temple of Hera Lacinia, or Juno Lacinia, otherwise known as Temple D, is a Greek temple in the Valle dei Templi, a section of the ancient city of Agrigentum in Sicily.

Temple E (Selinus)

Temple E at Selinus in Sicily is a Greek temple of the Doric order. It is found on the hill to the east of the city's acropolis. Temple E is also known as the Temple of Hera because an inscription found on a votive stela indicates that it was dedicated to Hera; however, some scholars argue that it must have been dedicated to Aphrodite on the basis of structural parallels. It was built towards the middle of the sixth century BC on top of the foundations of a more ancient building. It is the best conserved of the temples of Selinus but its present appearance is the result of anastylosis performed—controversially—in 1959, by the Italian archaeologist Jole Bovio Marconi.

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