During a visit, have you ever paid attention to the details of a column?

The column is one of the architectural elements of a monument.
Of ancient origin
, architects have used columns extensively in Bordeaux.  Stop for a moment before these stonemason and sculptors’ masterpieces.

Each column has a capital, shaft and base

The Doric order

The Doric order is the first and simplest of the three orders in Greek architecture.
The fluted column is from four to eight diameters high and rests directly on the floor without the benefit of a pedestal or base.
The capital consists of mouldings, fillets and ovolo or a quarter round.

The Ionic order

The Ionic column measures up to nine diameters high.
The capital is adorned with two side spiral forms known as volutes.

The Corinthian order

The Corinthian columns are usually ten diameters high.
Its capital is decorated with rows of acanthus leaves.

The Tuscan order

This is the simplified form of the Greek Doric architectural order.
The column is seven diameters high, including the base and the shaft.

The Composite order

The composite column measures up to ten diameters high.
The base is ionic and the column drum Doric.
The capital may be Ionic or Corinthian with volutes and acanthus leaves.


  1. Can you connect the capitals and bases of these four columns?
  2. To which monuments do they belong?
Palais de Justice de Bordeaux, Chapiteau d'une colonne Grand Theatre, chapiteau d'une colonne de l'Opéra National de Bordeaux
Maison Meyer à Bordeaux, Chapiteau d'une colonne Palais Rohan, Mairie de Bordeaux, chapiteau d'une colonne
Grand theatre de Bordeaux, base de colonne Maison Meyer Base d'une colonne
Palais de Justice de Bordeaux Base d'une colonne Palais Rohan Bordeaux, base d'une colonne