About Lindos

Up in the hills above Lindos, this rural retreat comes with a vantage point that would make most hotels olive green with envy.
From its hillside perch, the Lindos Horizon Hotel offers up great views across Lindos village towards the sea. And its out-of-the-way…

Lindos-Sailing-boat
Lindos-donkey
Lindos-stairs
Lindos-Temple

Lindos is a medieval village on the Greek island of Rhodes. It has only seven hundred inhabitants, greatly outnumbered by tourists in the high season. Being one of the main attractions on the island it is often overcrowded in the mornings when the tourist coaches arrive. These usually depart by 12noon, whisking their patrons off for lunch and the next destination.

The main attraction of Lindos is the town itself, winding paths between small traditional whitewashed buildings. Be brave and leave the main streets and explore the backstreets! Free maps can be picked up from the tourist information centre. These are obviously incredibly useful, but for some reason the map is without street names, and so it’s still very easy to get lost.

Dotted around Lindos you will stumble across many Captain’s Houses. These date from the 1400s and are particularly attractive. Double points if you can enter them as well as find them!

Visit the ruins of the Acropolis and the (still unfinished as of mid-2009) reconstructed temple of Lindian Athena. Entrance fee to the Acropolis itself is €6, but you do have a nice view from there. It’s open till 6:40PM from March to December. There is also the remains of an Ancient Amphitheatre carved into the slope of the Acropolis. If you wish to avoid the tiring climb you can hire a donkey at the entrance of the town. Walking up the road that leads high up to the acropolis, the first ruins you will encounter are the medieval walls. In the early 14th century the Crusaders built fortifications upon the remains of earlier defenses, from both the Byzantine era and more ancient times. There are a few towers along the medieval walls which follow the natural contours of the high ground.

  • Kleoboulous’s tomb. A small stone structure at the tip of the bay
  • The Church of the Assumption is worth sticking your head inside. It’s by far the coolest place to suit down in Lindos and is covered in traditionally ornate icons and decoration. Free entrance.

You can also see St Paul’s Bay where the saint supposedly crashed on the island and brought Christianity with him.

History

Lindos was founded by the Dorians led by the king Tlepolemus of Rhodes, who arrived in about the 10th century BC. It was one of six Dorian cities in the area known as the Dorian Hexapolis. The eastern location of Rhodes made it a natural meeting place between the Greeks and the Phoenicians, and by the 8th century Lindos was a major trading centre. Its importance declined after the foundation of the city of Rhodes in the late 5th century.

In classical times the acropolis of Lindos was dominated by the massive temple of Athena Lindia, which attained its final form in around 300 BC. InHellenistic and Roman times the temple precinct grew as more buildings were added. In early medieval times these buildings fell into disuse, and in the 14th century they were partly overlaid by a massive fortress built on the acropolis by the Knights of St John to defend the island against the Ottomans.

Acropolis of Lindos

Above the modern town rises the acropolis of Lindos, a natural citadel which was fortified successively by the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Knights of St John and the Ottomans. This makes the site difficult to excavate and interpret archaeologically. The acropolis offers spectacular views of the surrounding harbours and coastline.

On the acropolis of Lindos today parts of the following buildings may still be seen:

  • The Doric Temple of Athena Lindia, dating from about 300 BC, built on the site of an earlier temple. Inside the temple is the table of offerings and the base of the cult statue of Athena.
  • The Propylaea of the Sanctuary, also dating from the 4th century BC. A monumental staircase leads to a D-shaped stoa and a wall with five door openings.
  • The Hellenistic stoa with lateral projecting wings, dating from about 200 BC. The stoa is 87 metres long and consisted of 42 columns.
  • The well-known relief of a Rhodian trireme (warship) cut into the rock at the foot of the steps leading to the acropolis. On the bow stood a statue of General Hagesander, the work of the sculptor Pythokritos. The relief dates from about 180 BC.
  • The Hellenistic staircase (2nd century BC) leading to the main archaeological area of the acropolis.
  • Remains of a Roman temple, possibly dedicated to the Emperor Diocletian and dating from about 300 AD.
  • The Acropolis is surrounded by a Hellenistic wall contemporary with the Propylaea and the stairway leading to the entrance to the site. A Roman inscription says that the wall and square towers were repaired at the expense of P Aelius Hagetor, the priest of Athena in the 2nd century AD.
  • The Castle of the Knights of St John, built some time before 1317 on the foundations of older Byzantine fortifications. The walls and towers follow the natural conformation of the cliff. A pentagonal tower on the south side commanded the harbour, the settlement and the road from the south of the island. There was a large round tower on the east facing the sea and two more, one round and the other on a corner, on the northeast side of the enceinte. Today one of the towers at the southwest corner and one to the west survive.
  • The Greek Orthodox Church of St John, dating from the 13th or 14th century and built on the ruins of a previous church, which may have been built as early as the 6th century.

Some scenes of the well-known film, The Guns of Navarone, were filmed here.

 

Notable Sites

St Pauls Bay Lindos
St Pauls Bay, Lindos
Panagia Church with Belltower
Panagia Church with Belltower
Doric Temple Athena Lindos
Doric Temple Athena, Lindos
13th century Greek Orthodox Church of St Peter
Paul’s church is now popular as a wedding chapel
Ancient windmill on site of a small village associated with Lindos
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