What Kind of Buildings Did Ancient Greece Have?

Ancient Greece is known for its great contributions to the fields of art, architecture, philosophy, and literature. Among these, the ancient Greek architecture has left an indelible mark on the world.

The Greeks were known for their love of symmetry, harmony, and balance in all aspects of life. This is evident in their buildings and structures as well.

The ancient Greeks built a variety of buildings for different purposes. These included temples, theatres, public buildings, and private homes. Here is a closer look at some of the most common types of buildings found in ancient Greece:


Temples were perhaps the most important type of building in ancient Greece. They were built to honor the gods and goddesses worshiped by the Greeks.

Temples were designed to be both functional and beautiful. They were typically constructed on high ground or on a hill overlooking a city or town.

The most famous example of an ancient Greek temple is the Parthenon located on the Acropolis in Athens. This temple was dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war.

Features of Greek Temples

Greek temples were typically rectangular in shape and had columns supporting a triangular roof called a pediment. The columns used in Greek temples had distinctive flutes or grooves running vertically up the shafts. The tops of these columns were adorned with decorative capitals.

The interior of Greek temples was usually small and dark with an altar placed at one end for offerings to be made to the gods.


The ancient Greeks also built large outdoor theatres where plays were performed during religious festivals. These theatres could hold thousands of people and featured excellent acoustics which allowed even those sitting at the back to hear every word spoken on stage.

The most famous theatre from ancient Greece is located in Epidaurus which holds 14,000 people till date.

Features of Greek Theatres

Greek theatres were typically built into hillsides, which provided a natural slope for seating. The stage was usually circular or rectangular in shape, and the actors performed in front of a backdrop known as a skene.

The audience sat on stone benches that were arranged in a semi-circle around the stage. The stone benches were divided into sections by aisles for easy access.

Public Buildings

Public buildings were constructed to serve various civic purposes such as markets, law courts, and gymnasiums. These buildings were designed to be functional rather than decorative.

The most famous example of an ancient Greek public building is the Agora located in Athens. This was the heart of the city and served as a meeting place for the citizens.

Features of Greek Public Buildings

Greek public buildings were typically rectangular in shape and built with large open spaces to accommodate large crowds. They had simple facades with few decorative elements.

Some of these buildings had columns supporting their roofs but not all.

Private Homes

Private homes in ancient Greece varied widely depending upon the wealth and social status of their owners. However, there were some common features that most homes shared.

The most famous example of an ancient Greek home is located on Delos Island which has been preserved till date.

Features of Greek Private Homes

Greek homes were typically built around a central courtyard known as an atrium. The rooms surrounding the atrium had doors that opened onto it allowing fresh air and light to enter the space.

Homes often contained separate living quarters for men and women, with women’s quarters located at the back of the house away from public view.

In conclusion, Ancient Greece was home to many different types of buildings ranging from temples to private homes. These structures showcased their love for symmetry, harmony, and balance. These buildings have served as an inspiration for architects all over the world for centuries.