The Temple of Bassae
Phigalia is surrounded by mountains, on the left by the mountain called Kotilios . . . The distance from the city to Mount Kotilios is about forty stades. On the mountain is a place called Bassai, and the temple of Apollon Epikourios (the Helper), which, including the roof, is of stone. Of the temples in the Peloponnesos, this might be placed first after the one at Tegea for the beauty of its stone and for its symmetry. Apollon received his name from the help he gave in time of plague, just as the Athenians gave him the name of Alexikakos (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 Apollon, which have practically the same meaning, and also the fact that Iktinos, the architect of the temple at Phigalia, was a contemporary of Perikles, and built for the Athenians what is called the Parthenon. My narrative has already said that the tile image of Apollon is in the market-place of Megalopolis.
- Pausanias [8.41.7-9] -
Located in ancient Arcadia at an altitude of over 1000 meters above sea level, the Temple of Bassae is counted - together with the temple of Dionysus in Athens - amongst the best preserved temples of antiquity.
Besides the temples excellent state of preservation, it is also a subject of great interest amongst scientists for it's many unique features. Bassae was the first Greek site to be inscribed on the World Heritage List, in 1986. Have a look for yourself!