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The restored Stoa of Attalos in Athens

A stoa (/ˈstə/; plural, stoas,[1] stoai,[1] or stoae /ˈst./[2]), in ancient Greek architecture, is a covered walkway or portico, commonly for public use. Early stoas were open at the entrance with columns, usually of the Doric order, lining the side of the building; they created a safe, enveloping, protective atmosphere.

Later examples were built as two stories, with a roof supporting the inner colonnades where shops or sometimes offices were located. They followed Ionic architecture. These buildings were open to the public; merchants could sell their goods, artists could display their artwork, and religious gatherings could take place. Stoas usually surrounded the marketplaces or agora of large cities and were used as a framing device. [3]

The name of the Stoic school of philosophy derives from "stoa".


Famous stoaeEdit

The Stoa of Attalos, with busts of historical philosophers. (Picture by Massimo Pigliucci).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "stoa", Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Ed., 1989
  2. ^ "stoa". Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  3. ^ Jeffrey Becker. "Introduction to Greek architecture". Retrieved 10 March 2016. 

External linksEdit