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A stoa (//; plural, stoas, stoai, or stoae //), 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 of large cities.
The name of the Stoic school of philosophy derives from "stoa".
- Stoa Poikile, "Painted Porch", from which the philosophy Stoicism takes its name
- Stoa of Attalos
- Stoa Basileios (Royal Stoa)
- Stoa of Zeus at Athens
- Stoa Amphiaraion
- Stoa of the Athenians
- "stoa", Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Ed., 1989
- "stoa". Retrieved 2010-12-29.
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