Lindos Village for most visitors is the area with the greatest archaeological interest.
Lindos Village, though in antiquity a powerful maritime city, is today the impossibly pretty village of artists dreams. Along with the neighbouring Kalathos, Vlicha, Pilona, Pefki and Lardos, this is considered one of the most attractive resorts on the island. A happy marriage of the stunning beauties of nature with the cultural heritage makes it one of the most visited and photographed resorts. The houses, perched on the hillsides, stand out in dazzling white against the azure background of sky and sea.
The atmosphere and character of Lindos make it most unique with so many things to talk about it’s hard to know where to begin! The locals have a special warmth and are proud of their village with its scenery, numerous bars, tourist shops, eateries and even some nightclubs. Many tourists just can’t help but keep returning.
The village made up of cobbled alleyways, mosaic floored courtyards and winding limestone streets reveal the austere beauty of the traditional island architecture until the labyrinth winds its way to the climax of the village- The Acropolis where many troubles have, in days gone by, been witnessed. It is from this vantage point the sea spreads out before you and the horizon stretches beyond the eyes reach.
The crescent of Lindos Bay beneath you, golden in the sunlight, completes the magic of the landscape and when the sun sinks down into the waters of the Mediterranean, the nights of enchantment are waiting for you. For appearances can be deceiving and this sleepy looking village is the perfect host to the visitor day or night.
It would take you several visits here to sample all the charming cafes and creperies, and sweet rooftop restaurants for they are all around you offering a great choice. By daylight, Lindos is a historians haven, a sun worshippers temple (temperatures here average 5deg hotter than elsewhere on the island), and tourists delight than by night the village bars and discos bring a different life to Lindos but with the same charm and delight.
Mansions of Lindos Village
These Houses are very interested because of their particular architectural style, which is a result of the mixture of many different elements: Byzantine medieval, Arabic, and insular. Most of them are still inhabited today. Built between the beginning of the 17th and the beginning of the 19th centuries, they have been preserved in a very good condition. Typically, the more recent ones do not have the grandeur of the older house. These are usually built behind a high wall, the courtyard is paved with pebbles and the gate is richly decorated with an arched or rectangular lintel. The patterns on the courtyard floor are made with dark or light – coloured pebbles and their themes taken from popular tradition or from nature. The largest and most important room of the Lindos mansion is the “sala” or drawing room, where the family receives its guests. Around the courtyard, in L-or Π-shaped form, are disposed of the auxiliary areas (oven, kitchen, stable, storerooms, olive press). In the interior of the house, we find wooden platforms, richly decorated. The floor is paved with pebble and the wooden ceiling is decorated with interesting designs. On the facade, apart from the rich decoration, we usually find engraved the date in which the house was built, while, above the lintel, a stone cross has been carved. The windows with their characteristic fanlights are to the right and left of the main entrance to the house.
Municipality of Lindos
The Municipality of Lindos is situated on the southeastern side of the island. It consists of several interesting and historic villages and communities. The municipality is named after the famous settlement of Lindos, one of the three ancient city-states of early Rhodes. The village of Lindos itself is built underneath the steep Acropolis, at a distance of 48 kilometres from the city of Rhodes. It has nearly l, OOO permanent inhabitants living in this charming and very popular village.
The area has seen much tourist development without damage to the traditional character of the village; this helps to explain its continuing popularity with visitors from all over the world who love its winding, narrow lanes and traditional houses with cobbled courtyards. Lindos has sandy beaches not far from its centre. The little harbour of the village is named after the Apostle Paul, who made his landfall here.
The Acropolis of Lindos is 116 metres high and reached by a stepped path from the centre of the village. There is evidence of occupation around the Acropolis stretching back in time to before 2500 BC. The major sights to be seen on the Acropolis today include an Exedra (4th century BC, where statues of honoured Lindians would stand), the Anagliton Karavi (a carved ship monument), the lppotiki Skala (a flight of 77 steps leading to Knights’ castle), and the Elliniki Stoa (a monument from the 2nd century B.C., shaped like an ancient theatre and standing six meters high; it was used ‘as a meeting place). The path up to the Acropolis is not difficult. Those who want to use the more traditional method of reaching it may still do so by donkey!
The summit of the Acropolis is 115 metres above sea level; the views are breathtaking.
The summit of the Acropolis is l 15 metres above sea level; the views are breathtaking. Just before Lindos, on a wide bay with a beautiful beach, is the village of Vlyha. The area is well appointed for tourism and has something for all visitors. Near the beach, set inside a cave, is the small, frescoed, shrine to the Panagia of Evlo.
Six kilometres further south is the village of Kalathos previously a large Italian military base. Today the
village has developed its tourist potential and most of the 525 residents are involved in catering for visitors.
Pylona is situated 5 kilometres from Kalathos. Its name derives from its past role as the gateway (pili) to the south of the island. Sadly, the village with its houses, churches and monuments was destroyed by a severe earthquake in l926.
Nowadays it is a small, colourful village, nestling among pine trees and vineyards. It has 470 inhabitants, mostly employed on the land. West of Pylona is the village of Laerma with 650 residents. In ancient times it was under the control at the city-state ot Lindos. The charming Thari monastery is a few kilometres away. It has been a centre
of Christianity for centuries and is still a working monastic community. The inner church of the monastery preserves a wonderful series of frescoes, some dating to the 12th century,
Not far from Pylona, in a small, green valley, is the village of Lardos. It was one of the original l8 settlements under the control of ancient Lindos. Today the village has 910 residents, who have developed the area, with its beautiful bay, blue seas, and beaches, into a thriving tourist centre. Close to Lardos is the monastery of Gipsenis, or lpsenis as it is sometimes known.
On the eastern point of Lardos bay is the community of Pefkos. The area is so called after the thousands of pine trees (Petkos) that used to grow here and there are still many to be
The ancient city of Lindos
once stood of what is now the site of the modern-day village, extending from the Acropolis to cape Krana. Today is the most important archaeological site on Rhodes island wit the Acropolis dominating the skyline, literally hanging on to a rock 116 metres high. The Acropolis itself is an enduring testament to the power and wealth of ancient Lindos.
Traditions say that the ancient city was founded by the Danaides, the fifty daughters of Danaos, who fled from Egypt and came to Lindos, building the Temple of Athena there. According to Diogenes Laertius, it was constructed in the 6th century BC during the rule of the tyrant Cleobulus, one of the Seven Sages of antiquity. The renowned temple remained a cult centre during the Hellenistic and Roman eras, despite the gradual decline in the city’s economic and political power. Later it was used as a safe haven in times of crisis before eventually becoming a fortress with a permanent garrison. In addition to the ruins of the Temple of Athena Lindia, the Propylaea and the large Hellenistic stoa, there is also the Byzantine church of Agios Ioannis and the Governor’s Palace dating from the Knights’ period at the top of the Acropolis. Carved into the rock of the bottom of the steps leading up to the acropolis is a unique relief of a Rhodian trireme (warship). In the 14th century, the Knights of Saint John strengthened the fortifications and built the large stairway at the entrance to the Governor’s Palace. Also of interest is the exedra, a room with high-backed benches opening onto a stoa and used as a place for philosophical discussion, which was carved out of the rock of the western side of the acropolis at the port of Agios Pavlos.
Not too far away are the foundation walls of the ancient gymnasium. It was at this location that excavations, carried out by the Danish Carlsberg Institute between 1900 and 1914, uncovered many excellent inscriptions including a chronicle of the temple and a list of the priests of Athena.
VISIT THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF LINDOS
The excavations of Lindos were carried out in the early years of the 20th century by Danish archaeologists, while the restorations were done later by Italian specialists. As indicated by the findings of the archaeological research, Lindos has been inhabited continuously since the Neolithic age.
As indicated by the findings of the archaeological research, Lindos has been inhabited continuously since the Neolithic age. Much later, Lindos together with two other powerful Doric city-states, Ialysos and Kameiros, played a leading role in the history of the island. It founded colonies and minted its own coins. Commerce and navigation flourished.
However, the “golden age” for Lindos was the beginning of the 6th century BC, during the period when it was governed by the tyrant Cleobulos of Rhodes, one of the seven sages of antiquity. In the forty creative years of his rule, among other important works, the temple of Athena was built on the ruins of a pre-existing temple of the Geometric period. The temple was burnt down in 324 BC, and was rebuilt according to the same plans of the time of Cleobulos.
In Hellenistic times, more works were carried out on the site and the acropolis acquired its final form. Later, during the Middle Ages, it was fortified with new edifices by the Byzantines and later by the Knights. During the time of the Knights, in fact, it was one of the most powerful and best-fortified strongholds of the island. The largest surviving portion of the fortress dates from the Middle Ages. As we walk uphill, past the last houses of the village, we reach a piece of level ground, from where we can continue on donkey-back to the exterior stairway of the fortress. Near this stairway, carved in the sheer rock, is a relief, depicting the stern of a ship, which served as a base for the statue of the admiral Age-sander. We ascend the stairway, pass the administration building and find ourselves in the precinct of the ancient sanctuary.
Next to the Mediaeval government house, we can see ruins of the Byzantine church of Saint John (13th century AD). A staircase leads us to a flat area supported by arches on the right and left of the stairs. On this area stand the Great Doric Stoa, a structure, built around 200 BC. Of its 42 Doric columns only 20 are still standing.
Behind the middle columns of the portico, we find the marvellous Monumental Staircase with its 34 steps, which leads us to the Propylaea. Only the foundations of the Propylaea can still be seen today. The Temple of the Lindian Athena, built in the second half of the 4th century BC, rises imposingly immediately behind the left wing of the Propylaea. It is a Doric amphiprostyle temple (having a set of columns at both ends but not at the sides), with four columns, and is in quite a good state of preservation. The archaeologists believe the here, too, as in the Parthenon in Athens, there was a gold and ivory statue of the Goddess which has not survived to our day. The temple is built on the highest part of the rock (at a height of 116 metres) and the view from here towards the other monuments of the acropolis and the surrounding bays is breathtaking. The area outside the acropolis is also of great archaeological interest since excavations around the site have brought to light important finds. Among these is a large grave of the Hellenistic period, which lies at the end of the promontory and is called the Grave of Cleobulos It is a round, stone structure of 9 metres in diameter, containing a burial chamber. During Christian times it was turned into a church dedicated to Saint Emilianos. There are various other tombs as well, also the ruins of an ancient theatre and remains of a small sanctuary of the Geometric period, where oxen were sacrificed which is why it was called “Boukopion” (Bous = ox).
Leaving behind us the acropolis and the Village, and continuing on our way, a small detour to the left, beyond the crossroads of Lindos, brings us to a beautiful inlet, know as the “Little Harbour of the Apostle Paul”. Here, according to tradition, the ship which carried the Apostle dropped anchor and the Apostle came ashore to preachChristianity to the Rhodians. The beach is a busy one now, with refreshment bars, umbrellas and facilities for water sports. On one end, there is a small church dedicated to the Apostle Paul.
We continue our route towards the south-west. The scenery is wild, the hills bare, with only small patches of greenery. We pass outside the Villages of Pefkoi, Lardo (fork to Laerma), continue southwards to the Monastery of the Transfiguration (fork to Asklepios, where there is an old Church of the Dormition of the Virgin), Gennadi (fork to the right towards Vati and Appolakia driving through pine-covered hills).
Further along, southwards, we come to Istrio (fork to the right leading to Mesanagro and the Skiadi Monastery), and still a little further on we take a westerly direction towards Hochlaka, Aghios Pavlos and Kattavia. From this village, secondary roads begin which lead to the southernmost beaches of Rhodes and to the Prassonissi headland, while another road to the north leads to the inland Villages of the island.