The Temple of Apollo Epikourios in Vasses, Figaleia is one of the most important and impressive structures of Ancient Greece. The Temple rises in 1.130 meters in the centre of the Peloponnese, in the mountains between Ilia, Arcadia and Messinia. It is situated 14 km south of Andritsena and 11km northeast of Perivolia. The administration of the area where the Temple is situated belongs to Municipality of Oihalia. The Temple was built during the second half of 5th century B.C (420-410 BC) and its construction is attributed to Iktinos the architect of the Parthenon. The history of the shrine is associated with the war adventures of Phigaleia against the Spartans. In 659 BC, the Spartans occupied Phigaleia and its inhabitants abandoned the city to save themselves. The inhabitants of Phigaleia, following the oracle of Delphi, defeated the Spartans and returned home. In order to thank God Apollo, who had helped them, they dedicated a temple to him and named it the Temple of the Apollo Epikourios. According to Mythology Apollo had assisted (“epikourn sei” in ancient Greek) the area in getting over the outbreak of plague. Thus, the correct spelling of the word “Epikourios” is with “i” and not “epikoureios”.
This monument is one of the best well-preserved monuments of classical antiquity and the first one in Greece to be nominated a World Heritage Monument by UNESCO in 1986. Part of the frieze of the temple was detached in 1814 and is now exhibited at the British Museum in London.