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An optical resonator—called a photonic atoll (PA)—is presented and investigated theoretically, which consists of microstructures arranged periodically to make a closed chain loop and permits a photon trapped there to stay in it for an amazingly long time. The systematic investigation for a variety of elliptical PAs reveals that the symmetric (or circular) resonator enables us to attain the maximum lifetime. This structural modification exhibits intriguing variations of eigen-modes, as given below. The optical eigen-modes in the PAs—their degeneracy gets lifted by this deformation—show the splitting widths that strongly depend on the mode position in the photonic band. Moreover, those modes split near the bandedge display a striking anisotropy of excitations. These phenomena should be discussed taking into account the quasi-one-dimensionality of the structure as well as considering them from the group-theoretic standpoint. We have thus clarified the eigen-modes metamorphoses caused by the modification of the PA structure.