A Stoa ( ancient Greek Στοά, plural Stoen ) is listed on the back and usually closed also on the narrow sides hall whose open front was, mostly, organized by supports in the form of columns. In the rear part could involve further rooms, in their open area they could by colonnades in two, very rarely divided into three naves. Mehrgeschossigkeit occurred. The Greek philosophical school of Stoicism and its teaching were named after a representative of this type of building.


Stoen can be detected as early as the Minoan and Mycenaean architecture. From the 7th century BC, they are part of the repertoire of Greek architecture. Already two naves is about 70 meters long and detached Stoa in the Heraion of Samos from the late 7th century BC Other early representatives of this type are occupied from the 7th and 6th centuries BC for Argos, Delos and Didyma.

Soon after 478 BC the Athenians incited a Stoa in the sanctuary at Delphi. The "Hall of Athens " leans there at the mighty traverse wall that supports the slope side of the temple of Apollo. With her ​​slender Ionic columns supporting a wooden entablature, recovered the booty hall of the Persian Wars. If not detached, it is addressed as Stoicism.

From the 5th century BC, the porticoes can be extended to corner projections as to the v. 430 BC Stoa Eleutherios erected on the Athenian Agora. The stoa in the sanctuary of Olympia from the 4th century BC has with open wings on a central projection. From the late 4th century BC were the colonnades, which until then had always conceived in antis, be continued on the narrow sides. In some halls, such as the Agora in Sicyon, this depth was implemented for only a yoke for others the side walls were entirely replaced by lateral column positions - such as in South and Southeast Stoa in Olympia.

As props motif of fronts columns were chosen overwhelmingly. But even pillars both square and rectangular plan occur, which could be also chamfered corners to an octagon as. At the hall of the road sanctuary of Kassope Finally, could both motifs, square pillars and round column, also be combined alternately, as is demonstrated in halls in Andros and Corinth.

Between the 4th and 2nd centuries BC, the Stoa was an integral and formative part of the sanctuaries and the Agora of the city. They determined, as in the sanctuaries of Lindos, Kos, and Pergamon, increasing the appearance of the village from afar. Had she initially the function, visitors or property protection from sun, rain and wind to offer or how to act in the case of Basil Stoa in Athens as the official residence of the Archon Basileus, she could in the Hellenistic period also house shops and writing rooms. The most famous example is the BC by Attalos II donated to Athens Stoa of Attalos in the 2nd century, two naves with rear stores on two floors.

The Stoa as a building type

The Stoa is an independent and therefore free-standing structure. It differs from the style similar to existing buildings portico. The Stoics had a significantly facade -like character, since they rarely opened to places to go streets, the design of the back but was always neglected. Although the Stoa was a characteristic element of Greek architecture, but acted as dependent on their environment building not usually the autonomous character of Greek buildings. Therefore, its design also followed hard inner regularity and proportion, but external needs. Their length was determined by practical and economic point of view, its construction in the amount remained unaffected.

Among the few rule-based design principles from the Hellenistic period was the halving of the yokes inner colonnades towards the front pillars positions two-aisled stoa. The outer columns were then usually the Doric order, the inner columns of the Ionic order.

As the "occupation" of the peripheral development of public spaces by Stoen it was inevitable that two of these buildings were built in its rear part to each other and related to different courses or course areas. Consistent continuation of this type of station design was in the 2nd century BC, the construction of the so-called Mittelstoa in the Agora of Athens. Here are two porticos, as it were fused together: The long hall had a revolving peristasis with a not very solid middle partition. The partition in turn was formed by a row of columns, their yokes were closed by means of shear walls. All elements of a Stoa were so connected and at the same time reinterpreted: front and middle row of columns and back wall. On top of that, both indoor sections were connected by three passages in the heavy walls. The Mittelstoa represents the only detectable solution in which the Stoa was interpreted as an autonomous structure on all sides.

The Stoa is distinguished from other ancient Greek hall types like the Lesche or Skeuothek. Nevertheless, the trained at their motive of the frontal pillars rankings were transferred to other building types, upstream of the portico other designs. From three-aisled solutions of the Stoa ultimately also like the development of the market Basilica have taken their output, at least can still Hellenistic basilica in Palestrina suggest such a relationship.