There are three different types of Greek temples representing the three ‘orders’ of Ancient Greek architecture: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. All three orders employ similar architectural elements, most notably columns.
Doric – the oldest order – uses relatively short, thick columns, while the columns of later orders are longer and more slender with concave vertical grooves called fluting. Resting atop each column is a ‘capital’ of varying complexity.
Ancient Greek architecture is founded upon principles of order and symmetry, and the Greek temples of the Classical period -roughly 500-300 BCE – provide some of its finest examples. Famous Greek temples like the Parthenon (Doric) and the Temple of Athena Nike (Ionic) – both in Athens – have inspired architects from the Renaissance right through to modern times.