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Amazing Places: The Village of Lindos on the island of Rhodes, Greece

Discovering the Dodecanese with Arkadaslik Yachting

Updated: May 2, 2019

White-washed stone buildings overlooking the turquoise sea. A naturally protected harbour. And an acropolis high on the hills. Ahhhh, lovely Lindos!

Copied from a sign inside the Acropolis

"The acropolis of Lindos

Principal landmark of Lindos and cult centre over the centuries was the rock of the acropolis. The few sporadic finds bear witness to human occupation of the site already in the Neolithic and the Bronze Age (4th to 2nd millenia BC).

The founding of the sanctuary of Athenia Lindia on the acropolis is dated to Geometric times (9th c. BC). However, many scholars maintain than an earlier cult existed here, going back to Mycenaean times, of a pre-Hellenic female deity, Lindia, who was associated with nature and fertility. This view is supported also by the myth of Danaos, who together with his daughters are accredited with founding the sanctuary, on their return from Egypt.

The first arrangement of the space took place in the time of the tyrant Kleobulus, in the mid-6th century BC. It was then that the first stone temple was built at the highest point of the acropolis, which was possibly surrounded by a fortification wall. A staircase led from the entrance to the temple, which was enclosed by a enceinte (peribolus). No major changes to this arrangement appear to have been made in the next two centuries.

In the Lindian Chronicle there is reference to a fire, dated to 392 BC, which caused damage to the temples, necessitating its reconstruction. Recent research has shown that the new temple was built around 300 BC and was part of an overall plan for the monumental rearrangement of the sanctuary, which was implemented in stages in the Hellenistic period.

In the first half of the 3rd century BC, the propylaia and the monumental staircase leading to them and to the temple were built. At the end of the 3rd century BC, the large arch-shaped stoa was constructed. These buildings gave the acropolis a terraced theatrical aspect, constituting a model for public architecture in Hellenistic times. Later, in the 1st century BC, the terrace of the stoa was extended by constructing a series of vaults and cisterns.

The acropolis continued to be fortified in the Byzantine, Medieval, and Ottoman periods. The residence of the Byzantine garrison commander was probably located here.

The Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem captured the castle in October 1307. Construction of the Hospitaller fortress commenced in the 14th century and was completed in the 15the, under the Grand Masters of the Order Antoine Fluvian and Pierre D'Aubusson. Seat of the commander was the building at the top of today's stepped ascent. Its entrance was protected by a machicolation. The Headquarters was probably built by Grand Master Foulques de Villaret, who sought refuge in the citadel in 1317, after in internal dispute in the Order and the attempted assassination of him.

On 30 September 1522 the garrison of Lindos surrendered the keys of the castle to the Ottoman Turks. A small Turkish garrison remained until 1844.

In the period 1902-1905, the Danish Archaeological Mission conducted excavations on the acropolis during the Italian occupation, restoration interventions were carried out."

Lindos in Pictures

Have you had the chance to visit the hillside village of Lindos on the Greek island of Rhodes? We'd love to hear about your experience and see your photos.