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Didyma Ground Plan

In this picture, one sees the front of the Temple of Apollo, its orientation made more clear by the ground plan below. The columns marked in white indicate the three that still are standing, one to the left and two to the right of the extended cella walls (antae) to create the pronaos or porch at the front. Here, the cella itself has an even more restricted area, the adyton which was accessed by two long descending stairs

In writing on the architecture of the Hellenistic age (the three centuries from the death of Alexander in 323 BC to the Roman conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt in 31 BC), Pollitt speaks of the theatricality of the temple's planning and design, especially in the creation of its unexpected and mysterious interior. What would have been so surprising to the worshipper were the vaulted tunnels that led to the sunken adyton and the small temple within the open courtyard surrounded by sacred laurel bushes. And, looking back, a broad flight of stairs leading back up to the room at the pronaos, itself supported by two huge Corinthian columns with another set of stairs mysteriously leading to the roof.


References: Art in the Hellenic Age (1986) by J. J. Pollitt; "The Construction Plans for the Temple of Apollo at Didyma" (1985) by Lothar Haselberger," Scientific American, 253(6), 126-132.

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