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Bassae (also Latin) or Bassai, Vassai or 'Vasses (Greek, Modern: Βασσές, Ancient: Βασσαί) is an archaeological site (at Mount Kotilion) in the southeastern end of the Ilia Prefecture , Greece, that was once a part of Arcadia in ancient times.

Ancient Vasses or Bassae is south of Andritsaina, W of Megalopolis and east of Figaleia.

The Temple was discovered 1765 by the French Architect Joachim Bocher, working for Venice. In 1811-12 excavation by a group ("The Xenoi") of archaeologists started . The friezes remains were sold 1812 to British collectors of Art and they are today in the British Museum, London. A 1835 drawing of the Temple by the russian artist Karl Pavlovich Brullov (or Briullov) (1799-1852) is today in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, Russia.

Bassae, Bassae,

Bassae, Bassae,

Reconstruction of the Temple of Apollo [Source]

The landmarks includes the ruins of the Temple of Apollo Epikourios (Apollo "the healing" ). The temple sits at 1,150 m above sea level. The temple temple featured Corinthian and Ionian columns and was also combined with Doric columns. The colums were rowed with 15 by 6 rows totalling 38 rows and the temple faced almost directly north. The middle of the temple featured a pro-naos at the top and the opisthodomos at the bottom.

Dimensions 38.3 m * 14.5 m, 450-425 BC

The Temple of Apollo is presently covered in white tent with five rows in order to protect the work from rain and snow, inside the tent features reconstruction of the temple.

Pausanias 8.41.7:

On the mountain is a place called Bassae, and the temple of Apollo the Helper, which, including the roof, is of stone. Of the temples in the Peloponnesus, this might be placed first after the one at Tegea for the beauty of its stone and for its symmetry. Apollo received his name from the help he gave in time of plague, just as the Athenians gave him the name of Averter of Evil for turning the plague away from them. It was at the time of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians that he also saved the Phigalians, and at no other time; the evidence is that of the two surnames of Apollo, which have practically the same meaning, and also the fact that Ictinus, the architect of the temple at Phigalia, was a contemporary of Pericles, and built for the Athenians what is called the Parthenon.


World Heritage Sites in Greece

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  • Amazonomachy Temple of Apollo Epikourios, Bassae
  • Foot fragment of a colossal statue at Bassae. British Museum
    "The Colossal figure. Fragments of an over life-size marble statue were found in the rear space of the main room. The form of the sandals and the manner in which the hands and feet were added onto the figure indicate a Hellenistic date, perhaps 150-100 BC. The way that the feet were divided into sections suggests that the figure was draped, or at least partially draped, with the left foot set further beyond the fall of the material than the right, while the struts between the fingers on the left hand indicate that it held something, perhaps a bow or a laurel branch, if the figure was, as seems likely, Apollo" British Museum notice.
  • Fragment of a metope, depicting an Amazon. British Museum
    Fragments of the metopes were found at both ends of the temple. They come from a Doric frieze of triglyphs and metopes over the two porches within the colonnade. The subject matter of the twelve metopes is uncertain. Among the many smaller fragments there are glimpses of women dancing or moving rapidly, a seated old man and other male figures." This fragment is a "Head of an Amazon". British Museum notice.

Reliefs from Bassae, Drawing 1879

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