The Temple Under a Tent

Believe it or not, the world-famous, superstar architect isn’t a recent invention: the ancient Greeks had their own Frank Lloyd Wrights and Frank Gehrys too! Some of the most famous ancient sites and temples in Greece are thought to have been designed by the same person Reports that he too was named Frank are as of yet unconfirmed.

When you think of a stunning Greek temple, you probably picture the majestic Parthenon, rising over the Greek Acropolis. But did you know that the same guy who drew up the plans for the Parthenon also designed the temple to Apollo Epikourios at Bassae, way out in the southwestern Peloponnese? Somewhat disappointingly, his name was Iktinos, not Frank, and supposedly he was also responsible for a gigantic feast hall in Elefsina that has since been destroyed by way of Visigoth invasion. Either way, if you’re interested in exploring the best that Greece’s antiquity has to offer, I highly recommend a trip to Bassae. The country surrounding is is absolutely beautiful, and if you plan a trip with us, we’ll even show you the secret waterfall nearby (sneak peek in the photo!) that’ll absolutely take your breath away. It’s definitely a site worth visiting.

It’s not quite as big as the Parthenon, and it’s not perched high on a big rock surrounded by a metropolis thousands of years in the making, but that isn’t a bad thing! It’s about 15 miles east of the Adriatic Sea, and the site is so out there and remote that pretty much everybody totally forgot about it for a thousand years until a British explorer stumbled across it around 1812. Because of that, it’s one of the most purely preserved ancient sites in all of Greece, and was only fully excavated within the last thirty years or so. In fact, it’s so delicately intact that the temple still has a huge tent over it, preserving it from the elements. It’s a great stop to make on a tour of southern and western Greece—you might stand by it, more than a thousand feet above sea level, looking around at the Peloponnese wilderness, wondering what the ancients must have seen and felt in that spot more than two thousand years ago as they came to worship at this architectural and artistic marvel. It’s been so untouched by man that you might just be seeing the exact same thing! All in all, Bassae is a great outing for both the eyes and for the imagination. Please ask us about planning a trip!