In ancient Greek architecture, there are three different orders: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The Romans adopted all three and adjusted their capitals. Today, these terms are used to describe certain features of design and construction.
Doric order is characterized by straight lines and right angles. It has strong ties to nature and appears in many classical buildings throughout Europe and North America. The word Doric comes from the Doris mountain range in Greece, where they were first built. The order was also introduced to Italy from which it was taken to other parts of the world. Doric columns have a base broad at the bottom but becoming narrower toward the top. They are often made of marble or limestone and can be found in public spaces around the world.
Ionic order has its roots in the Gulf of Ionion in Turkey. It is known for its flowing lines and volutes (a spiral shape). This order appeared in Ancient Greece during the 5th century B.C. and was popular among the Roman rulers. Like Doric, Ionic columns have a narrow base and a wider top. They can also be made of marble or limestone and can be found all over the world. However, not as many Ionic columns exist as Doric ones do.
Ancient Greek architecture grew into three separate orders during its early ascent in the Classical period: the Doric, the Ionic, and the Corinthian. Each of these orders was distinguished by distinctive elements in its columns, which were used in formal, public structures like as stadiums and theaters. The Doric order was most common in islands with a volcanic origin such as Sicily and Aegean Islands while Ionia on the west coast of Asia Minor is where most examples of Ionic architecture can be found.
The Corinthian order came about because architects wanted to copy the feathers that adorned the helmet of Aphrodite (the goddess of love). Thus, the Corinthian order was named after Corinth, a city in Greece famous for its beautiful temples. During the Hellenistic period, the terms Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian were no longer used since many buildings incorporated features from all three orders.
Finally, the Erechtheum had itself been built over an older structure and thus cannot be classified into any particular order but rather combines elements from all three.
Early Greek architects only designed with their orders in mind; they did not construct buildings as we know them today. For example, they would first choose the size of the building by calculating how many blocks of stone would be required and then go out and get those stones to build their structure.
The Doric and Ionic orders were the two principal classical orders in Greek architecture, with the Corinthian order debuting only in the Classical period and not becoming prominent until the Roman period. The Doric style was more official and severe, whereas the Ionic style was more casual and ornamental. Both styles had their origins in the 5th century BC but it wasn't until the 450s that they became popular again after a hiatus during which Egyptian and Phoenician styles were widely used.
The main characteristics of Doric architecture are its simplicity and its regularity. It is composed of straight lines and right angles, with no apparent consideration given to aesthetic or practical matters. The columns are slender and have flat surfaces where they meet the wall, while the entablature and roofline are also plain. The Doric temple was primarily intended to provide shelter for priests performing religious rites, so it would make sense that there were no windows or other means of admission except through the door. This design philosophy is still reflected in modern churches built in the Doric style, which tend to be very plain and functional.
Ionia on the west coast of Asia Minor was the birthplace of both the Doric and Ionic styles. Here we find some of the most impressive buildings in ancient Greece, including the Temple of Athena at Iolcus and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.