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Rhodes Lindos – A Tour of the Acropolis
It is the most impressive archaeological site on the island of Rhodes, where the dramatic natural landscape is enhanced by the picturesque quality of a more modern city. The most important archaeological monuments are found on the Acropolis, but there are also interesting ruins scattered in various places within and just outside the city.
A cobbled road leads up to the Acropolis, and donkeys are available for hire at the city’s main entrance for those who want to avoid the exhausting climb. The first ruins you come across are the medieval walls, built by the Crusaders (early 14th century) over the remains of earlier defenses, both Byzantine and ancient. There are very few towers along the medieval walls, which follow the natural contours of the high ground. On the area of flat land where the medieval steps start you will see to your left an ancient trimolea (a type of ship) carved into the rock circa 180-170 BC
Atop the ship once stood a statue of the general Agisandros Mikkion (it did not survive) which, according to the inscription, was the work of Pythokritos, the builder of the Nike of Samothrace. Great medieval steps lead up to the Governor’s Palace of the Crusader fortress, which consisted of three buildings, two of which survive. It was first restored by Danish archaeological expeditions in the early 20th century and then, between the world wars, by Italian authorities. As you exit the Governor’s Palace you will see a series of vaulted structures supporting the “andiro”, a man-made terrace that opens in front of the Hellenistic Stoa. Many of the columns are still standing.
It was built in the late 3rd century BC, in the shape of the Greek letter fl, with flanking wings, each with a front of four columns. It is 88 m. Long, 9 m. wide and had 42 columns. Terraces were later laid and two underground cisterns were also built to collect rainwater from the roof of the stoa and the steps of the Propylaea. The scattered pavilions with their inscriptions remind us of the times when the entire area was filled with idols dedicated to the goddess. Next to the Governor’s Palace is the Church of Agios Lonis, built on a carved cruciform plan. It is not clear exactly when it was built; Some assign it to the late 11th-early 12th century, others to the late 13th-14th century. It was built on the ruins of an earlier church, which, according to architectural fragments found on the Acropolis, dates to the sixth century AD.
Behind the eight central columns of the Hellenistic stoa, a monumental flight of steps leads to another stoa structure of the same size, the propyla of the temple of Undia Athena. Only the base has survived. At the two ends of the Propylaea were areas where offerings to the goddess were stored. BC The stoa was built of perforated stone at the end of the 4th century. At the highest point of the Acropolis, on the cliff, is the Temple of Lindia Athena. It is an unexpectedly small Doric temple, with four columns at each end. The pavilion and mandapa of the worshiped statue of the goddess still remain in the interior. The building was also of perforated stone, with mortar facings, and dates to the late 4th century BC (open daily, 8.30am to 2.40pm in winter, 8am to 7am in summer).
Melenos Hotel Lindos is one of the best Rhodes hotels on the island of Rhodes.
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