There are two general types of portico in plan form.
The first is where a temple’s walls extend beyond the cella (inner chamber) and form side walls of the porch or anteroom. Generally, these long walls would terminate with antas (corner post or pilaster). The portico, or open end of the porch, is supported by between 1 and 4 columns in antis (between the antas).
The second is where a temple terminates with a porch, open at the front but also at the sides. The temple is referred to as ‘prostyle’, with freestanding columns across the entire portico. The different types of temple are referred to as:
- Amphiprostyle: Porticoes in front and back.
- Peripteral: Colonnade running all the way around.
- Dipteral: Double line of columns running all the way around.
Pediments were sometimes used to top porticos.
The terminology for porticos dependent on the number of columns they have is:
- Tetrastyle: 4 columns.
- Pentastyle: 5 columns.
- Hexastyle: 6 columns.
- Octastyle: 8 columns (e.g. the Parthenon and Pantheon).
- Decastyle: 10 columns (e.g. University College London).
The city with the most porticos is Bologna in northern Italy, where they are part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Most of the city’s porticos were constructed from timber until a city ordinance in 1567 decreed that ‘wooden pillars be replaced by brick or stone’.
Bologna also boasts the world’s longest portico, stretching approximately 2 miles (3.5 km) from the edge of the city to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca. With 666 arches it represents civic mindedness, built by contributions from Bologna’s citizens.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
The IHBC’s Yearbook for 2019 includes regular IHBC reviews, updates and listings, from IHBC’s HESPR listing to our Recognised Conservation Courses and member directory.
The judges are delighted to confer the 2019 IHBC Marsh Awards for Successful Learning in Heritage Skills and Community Contribution (Retired Member).
CPRE shows there is enough suitable brownfield land available in England for more than 1 million homes across over 18,000 sites and over 26,000 hectares.
BBC News has reported on how, across the world, destruction of cultural attractions causes a specific sort of communal grief.
The Brick Development Association (BDA) has highlighted the opportunity to compete at the industry’s highest level and be recognised by top-tier trade and national press.
The 2019 STBA-SPAB Conference & Expo will look at the current situation of regulations and initiatives, as well as the skills training that enable our built environment to include a wealth of healthy buildings with heritage and aesthetic value.
The former Fisons warehouse in Bramford, near Ipswich, was the victim on another fire affecting our heritage. Listed Grade II and dating back to 1858 the building was destroyed by a fire thought to be arson.
A mile-long stretch of canal in Gloucestershire that disappeared more than half a century ago is closer to being restored, thanks to £4 million of funding from Highways England.
MPs vote on proposals for Houses of Parliament refurbishment, as the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster reaches a major milestone.
Open Culture has featured the Venice Backstage exploration of Venice and how, when the tourists leave the city, 60,000 year-round residents stay behind.