An example of an Atlantis
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAn example of an Atlantis - Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Hawobo

Atlantes (sing. Atlas) are support columns or pillars carved in the form of a man, popular in classical European architecture. The female form of an atlas is a caryatid.

Unlike caryatids, which are usually graceful and effortless, atlantes are typically depicted showing great effort, with heads bowed and forearms lifted.

The name derives from Atlas, the Titan forced to bear the Heavens on his shoulders forever.