Amazing Columns from around the World

Temple of Khnum in Esna, Egypt

The Temple of Khnum is a highly old structure dating back to the 2nd century BC.  It takes its name from the the ram-headed creator god who formed the humankind on his potter’s wheel. As for the pillars of the temple, they are covered with hieroglyphic narrations of the temple rituals.

columns of Temple of Khnum
Panegyrics of Granovetter
columns of Temple of Khnum
Kenneth Allyn Barton

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sophia has 140 monolithic colums that come from different parts of the world. Eight of them are made of porphyry which was highly valuable at the time and brought from Egypt. This marble had great importance in the Byzantine Empire because its purple color symbolized the empire’s nobility. As for the capitals, there are palm tree and acanthus leaves as well as the monograms of Emperor Justinian on them.
pillars at Hagia Sophia
F. Tronchin
a capital from Hagia Sophia

St. Peter’s Church in Mainz, Germany

The curved devorative ornamentations and the usage of pastel colors in the columns of St Peter’s Church are some of the characteristics of Rococo style in architecture.

Baroque pillars in St. Peter's Church in Mainz
© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro
Baroque pillars in St. Peter's Church in Mainz
Baroque pillars in St. Peter's Church in Mainz

The Columns of Bernini’s Baldachin at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

A baldachin is a ceremonial canopy put over an altar, or a throne. Bernini’s bronze baldachin has a Baroque style, and its columns are a fine example of the Solomonic Column (distinguished by its twisted shaft).

Bernini's baldachin
Jude Thomas
Bernini's baldachin

Erectheum in Athens, Greece

As one can see in the East façade, the columns of Erechteum are in the Ionic order. An Ionic pillar is best distinguished by the scroll- shaped volutes on its capital.

Ionic order
Patrick Huber
Ionic order
Irina Zavyalova