The Ionic Order

The Ionic order is the second of the Three Classic Orders. It absorbs and reprocesses oriental motifs and rich decoration adorns the architectural structure without weighing it down.

Where the Ionic Order Originated?

The Ionic order originated in the mid-6th century BC in Ionia, the southwestern coastland and islands of Asia Minor settled by Ionian Greeks, where an Ionian dialect was spoken.

The Ionic order column was being practiced in mainland Greece in the 5th century BC. It was most popular in the Archaic Period (750-480 BC) in Ionia.

What are the most characteristic MONUMENTS?

The first of the great Ionic temples was the Temple of Hera on Samos, built about 570 BC–560 BC by the architect Rhoikos. It stood for only a decade before it was leveled by an earthquake. A longer-lasting 6th century Ionic temple was the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Parthenon, although it conforms mainly to the Doric order, also has some Ionic elements.

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A more purely Ionic mode to be seen on the Athenian Acropolis is exemplified in the Erechtheum and the Temple of Athena Nike, both on the Acropolis of Athens.


Eretteo, temple of Goddess Athena Polias, V sec BC (421 BC– 406 BC); Atene, Greece.

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Temple of Athena Nike, V secolo BC (425 BC); Atene, Greece.

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Style characteristics :

Ionic order, in contrast to the Doric, the base is present and can take different forms depending on the location and time of year, the best known and most common is, however, one called ” attic base”, from the place where it was used for the first time (Toro, Trochilo, Toro ).

  • The shaft of the column is therefore based on the base, and has grooves in the rounded edge.
  • The capital is formed by two volutes in a spiral shape between which alternate :



  • The abacus above the capital is very flattened and the echinus is small.

Above the capital is the entablature, composed tripartite architrave that is made ​​up of three overlapping plates, each higher and more prominent than the one below.

On it rests the continuous frieze with relief representations, painted, that develop along the entire perimeter of the temple so as to allow a long narration and without interruptions.


Ionic style: Column and entablature

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Where CAN we find the Ionic Style today?

There are many buildings that reflect the Ionic style. for example the Cathedral of Treviso, and the Crystal Palace in Madrid.

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