Of the three columns found in Greece, Doric columns are the simplest. They have a capital (the top, or crown) made of a circle topped by a square. The shaft (the tall part of the column) is plain and has 20 sides. There is no base in the Doric order. The Doric order is very plain, but powerful-looking in its design. Doric, like most Greek styles, works well horizontally on a building, that’s why it was so good with the long rectangular buildings made by the Greeks. The area above the column, called the frieze [pronounced "freeze"], had simple patterns. Above the columns are the metopes and triglyphs. The metope [pronounced "met-o-pee"] is a plain, smooth stone section between triglyphs. Sometimes the metopes had statues of heroes or gods on them. The triglyphs are a pattern of 3 vertical lines between the metopes.
There are many examples of ancient Doric buildings. Perhaps the most famous one is the Parthenon in Athens, which is probably the most famous and most studied building on Earth. Buildings built even now borrow some parts of the Doric order.
The Hephaisteion, in Athens, is another good example of the Doric order. In this picture, you can clearly see the parts of the Doric order described above and shown in the illustration to the left.
This building is the Carnegie Library on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University in West Charlotte. The front entry has a Doric cornice and columns with Doric capitals. Along the entire building is a frieze with triglyphs and metopes. Designs like this, which are inspired by ancient buildings, are known as neoclassical.
Ionic shafts were taller than Doric ones. This makes the columns look slender. They also had flutes, which are lines carved into them from top to bottom. The shafts also had a special characteristic: entasis, which is a little bulge in the columns make the columns look straight, even at a distance [because since you would see the...