The temple is situated on a slope of Mount Lykaeo and was designed
by Iktinos, the architect of the Parthenon, during the Peloponnesean War at the
end of the 5th century (410 B.C.) to thank god Apollo for his help and to induce
him to banish evil from the area, when great famine had plagued the area. Iktinos'
genius and his refusal to conform to the architectular norms made him combine
the three ancient architectural styles in the most harmonious way; the doric with
the outside pillars, the Ionian with the semipillars and the Corinthian with the
two pillars for the north entrance and the two for the south. On the famous zoeforos
of sculptor Alkamenous dear themes from mythology were reproduced, and it is placed
in the niche of the temple on the top part of the semipillars which supported
the top in contrast with the other temples.
Until 555 A.D. the temple maintained its glamour when an earthquake and the spreading of Christianity led it to obscurity which was completed in the Byzantine Years. It was discovered by the French traveller BOUCHET in 1765 A.D. and it was immediately looted by foreign as well as Turkish smugglers of antiquities. The English Gropus in cooperation with Veli pasha, governor, then, of Morias, stripped the temple of all the archaeological remains in 1812. He sold those in auctions to the rich of the West like the Ionian zoeforos which was bought by the King of England, George the 4th.
This text is cited Jan 2003 from the Messenia Prefecture Tourism Promotion Commission URL below, which contains image.
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