In the ancient Arcadian city of Figalia stood one of the most imposing temples in antiquity, dedicated to Apollo Epikourios. The locals erected this temple as a gesture of gratitude to the god, for protecting them during a plague epidemic. The name “epikourios”, after all, meant “helper”.
The temple was located in Vasses and was founded on the natural rock of mountain Kotilio. Around the 7th century, there used to be an older temple of Apollo Vassitas here, which also went through later phases, as various findings testify. In its final phase, the temple was built during the second half of the 5th century B.C. and it is attributed with much probability to Ictinus, the architect of the Parthenon.
The temple of Apollo Epikourios was famous for its beauty. For its decoration a great variety of materials and styles were used, while the frieze impresses with the representation of the scenes and the mobility of the figures. The importance of this temple is evident by the fact that it was the first monument of Greek classical antiquity to be included in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Monuments.