Greece Peloponnese Guide: Ancient Vasses in Elis Prefecture Page One

the temple of apolloAncient Vasses/Bassae is the site of the Temple of Apollo Epikourios. Its setting is exceedingly remote (perhaps the most remote of any site in Greece), and rather bleak as well, though the few oak trees and wildflowers in the immediate surroundings soften it a bit. (Elis prefecture is sometimes spelled Illias or Ellia)

Vasses situated on a narrow ledge of ancient Mt. Kotilion /modern Paliavlakhitsa, whose summit is to its northeast., at an altitude of 1130meters/3707feet.

The name Vasses (Bassai in ancient Greek) comes from the word for 'ravines', which well describes this wild place.

The temple is locally known as 'the columns'. Despite being the best preserved Classical monument in Greece, largely due to its inaccessibility, it was on the verge of collapsing when restoration work began in 1975 and in recent years it has been under cover while further restoration was going on, though perhaps the work has been completed by now.

The temple was built sometime between 450 and 420BC by the inhabitants of ancient Phigaleia in gratitude to Apollo for having saved them from the plague.

Though Pausanius mentioned Iktinos, one of the designers of the Parthenon, modern scholars maintain that this was not the case, finding its style that of an earlier time.

 

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