The seven standing columns of the Archaic temple are one of the most prominent landmarks of Corinth. Contrary to one's first impression, however, the view from this point is back of the building. The dedication of the temple to Apollo is deduced from Pausanias' description of Corinth combined with a small plaque which was dedicated to Apollo and fount in the area. Built in the middle of the 6th century B.C. to replace a destroyed 7th century predecessor, the temple is in Doric order and originally had six columns at each end and fifteen along each side. Notable characteristics of its archaic date include the great length of the temple relative to its width, the large monolithic columns, and the squat, widely flaring capitals.
Although most of this mid-6th century B.C. building has been destroyed, the bedrock preserves cuttings made to receive the foundation blocks and thus allows a reconstruction of the temple's plan. The interior of the temple consists of a porch at either end and a long central part (the cella) divided into two rooms by a cross wall. The traditional reconstruction of the plan makes this cross wall a solid wall and provides access to the western room of the cella through the western door. Alternatively, the cross wall may have been pierced by a doorway, in which case the western room could have served as an inner shrine (an adyton). In any case, two rows of columns ran the length of the building within the interior.
From the Archaic period, access to the hilltop was up a monumental staircase at the southeast corner of the hill. The Roman period, however, introduced many changes to the area. Access to the temple was now from the west. This change resulted from building activity on the other three sides of the hill which blocked off the earlier staircase and quarried into the sides of the hill. The Romans also carried out a radical renovation of the temple itself. The interior columns were removed and some of them were set up in a row near the west end of the South Stoa where they are still standing.