ANCIENT ACROPOLIS OF LINDOS
The ancient acropolis of Lindos is situated in Lindos, 46 km south of the town of Rhodes. Ancient Lindos was the most important town on the island and had been inhabited ever since the 3rd millennium BC. In the 6th century BC, while its ruler was Kleovoulos, one of the seven sages of the ancient years, the town thrived in trade and sailing. An example of the town's economic success is the Acropolis, built on a steep rock (116 m. high). The view from here and the nearby Medieval Castle, is captivating.
In the acropolis, one can see the infamous temple of Athena and a huge sculpture resembling the stern of an ancient ship on which the statue of Admiral Agisandros stood. One can also see part of the vestibule, ruins of the Byzantine church of Agios Ioannis and 20 of the 42 Doric columns of the Great Arch (200 BC).
On nearby Mount Krana, west of the Acropolis, one can visit a series of tombs, most of which were ruined, with the exception of the family tomb of Archocrates. Only the middle part of this tomb has collapsed, and the remains are a beautiful sample of the wonderful architecture of Lindos. Another tomb is the one which belonged to Tyrant Kleovoulos. It is a stone structure with a funeral chamber inside, the exterior of which is surrounding by a beautiful garden. After the spread to Christianity, it was converted into a church, dedicated to Agios Aemilianos
ANCIENTCITY OF RHODES
The ancient city of Rhodes, built amphitheatrically before the port of the new city, was one of the most beautiful cities in ancient times. It is said to have been built in 408 BC by Ippodamus, an architect from Milos. The roads were decorated with statues, the most beautiful being the statue of Ploutos. In the city stood magnificent temples, the most prominent being the temples of Helios and Isis. For better protection, the city was surrounded by two acropoles and walls covering an area of 700 acres. The upper Acropoles was situated on the city's highest point, on the hill of Monte Smith. This hill was named after the English Admiral, Sir Sydney Smith, who used this place to spot the fleet of Napoleon, in 1802. Inside the upper Acropoles, one can still see the temples of Palladia Athena, Pythios Apollo and Zeus Polieos, the ancient theatre, the gymnasium, as well as the stadium which now stages performances by foreign and Greek bands. The lower Acropoles is characterized by the Castle of the Knights, as well as the ruins of the temples of Venus, Dionysous and the famous temple of Helios.
Ancient Kamiros, situated 30 km west of the island's capital, was one of the three powerful cities in Rhodes, in ancient times. Forgotten for ages, it was brought to light by excavations in 1929, built amphitheatrically upon a hill. It was called "The Greek Pompeii" because nobody knows how the city was deserted and buried underground.
On the surrounding hills, excavations brought to light cemeteries with invaluable findings, a significant part of which is exhibited in the Louvre and the British Museum. Another part of these findings is exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes. The most significant exhibits are the altars of Krito and Timaristi and the statues of two men, found near the altars.
Today, the oldest ruins of the city are dated from the Hellenistic Era. The ruins of the city include a market with a Dorian arch, the altar of an unknown god, a Doric temple and a square, the southern part of which has a water-tank (6th century BC), which was used to satisfy the needs of the market. North of the archaeological site, one can see the public spas, the water-tank beside them and houses with decorated columns and yards.
On the top of the hill, one can see the acropolis which was covered by a large northern arch (3rd century BC) built on a water-tank.
Behind the Arch, there are the ruins of the temple of Polias Athena, built in the late 3rd century BC, upon the ruins of another temple. Standing on the ruins of the temple of Athena is the Monastery the of Virgin Mary.
ANCIENTSTADIUM OF RHODES
The Ancient Stadium, built in the 2nd century BC, is located south of the hill of the Ancient Acropoles of Rhodes. Its current form is the result of restoration and it includes part of the shuttles (210 m. long, 35 m. wide). In the surrounding area, excavations have cast light upon invaluable findings, now exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes. In the summer, the Stadium hosts plays and cultural events.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF RHODES
The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes stands in the medieval town of Rhodes. It has been housed since 1916 in the old hospital of the knights which was built by the magistrate De Lastic in 1440. It is the most magnificent and well-preserved building in the old town. It has six rooms, where, among other pieces, Rhodian relief tombstones from all over the island and two archaic "Kouroi" are exhibited. One can also admire the well known marble tombstone of Krito and Timarista which was found in the excavations of Kamiros. Of particular note are two statues of Aphrodite of Rhodes, finds from Ialyssos necropolis, the marble head of the sun god Helios, which was found near the top of Castello, and many other significant exhibits.
Aristotelous street is part of the medieval section of the town of Rhodes. The street starts at Ippokratous square, leading to the Hebrew district and the square of the Hebrew Martyr's, named after the 2,000 Hebrews who were kept here by the Germans and were sent to concentration camps in Germany. In this area, one can see the Byzantine church of Agia Triada (15th century), known also as Dolapli Mosque and the palace of the Admirals of the 15th century. On Aristotelous street is the church of Panagia Horas, the biggest church of Rhodes.
The magnificent Venetian Castelllo Castle dominates the traditional village of Kritinia, 52 km from Rhodes town. It was built by the knights in the 16th century BC on a precipitous cliff to fortify the western coast of the island. Today, it is one of the most significant sights on Rhodes.
CHURCH OF AGIA PARASKEVI
The beautiful church of Agia Paraskevi stands in Katavia, 83 km south of Rhodes town. Inside it, there is an exquisitely carved wooden screen.
CHURCH OF THE ANNUNCIATION
The magnificent church of the Annunciation stands next to the prefecture's premises at the centre of Rhodes town. It was built in 1925 in three-aisled gothic basilica style and has unique frescoes by Fotis Kontoglou. It is a copy of the old church of the Knights of St John, which was destroyed in 1856. Today it is the town's cathedral.
CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF THE CASTLE
The lovely church of Our Lady of the Castle (Marie du Chateau) was built in the 11th or 12th century. It stands inside the Inn of Auvergne at Castello, at the beginning of "Odos Ippoton" (Street of the Knights). In 1523, it was turned into a mosque (Enteroum Mosque) and had its belfry, which does not exist anymore, transformed into a minaret. For some time it was a Byzantine church, but during the era of the knights, after additions in the Gothic order, it became the catholic cathedral. Inside, there is a small collection of Byzantine relics, remains of arches, frescoes as well as late and post-Byzantine portable icons.
CHURCH OF PANAGIA NIKI
The remains of the church of "Panagia Niki" (Our Victorious Lady) are near the Pili of the Mills, in Rhodes town. According to tradition the Virgin Mary appeared to those besieged by the Turks in 1840 and led them to victory. Since then, the church has been dedicated to her.
The Statues of a deer and a fawns, standing on two tall columns adorn the entrance of the port of Rhodes, an infamous characteristic of the island. In former times, this port protected the island's fleet and the entrance was closed with chains, while it is said that the grand statue of the Colossus of Rhodes probably stood here.
HOTEL OF THE ROSES
The imposing Hotel of the Roses was built by the Italians, in 1932. This dominating and magnificent building includes facilities which make the stay here unique. It has internal gardens, a private beach, 70-80 huge rooms and a swimming pool in the terrace. During the Italian Rule, the hotel was not open to crowd. After the Italians left, the hotel closed, as it was too expensive to run. Today, the hotel has been declared a preserved area, and restorations are taking place. According to the recent decision of the Ministry of Tourism, the Hotel of the Roses is going to house a casino, as well as recreation rooms, restaurants, conference rooms etc.
HYDROBIOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF RHODES
The Hydrobiological Institute stands on the north end of the new town of Rhodes. It is the only one in Greece, but it is probably the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. It has twenty-four tanks with many different fish and aquatic species from the Greek seas, as well as tropical fish, shells and stuffed mammals from all over the world.
Prasonissi lies on the island's southern part, next to the settlement of Katavia, at a distance of 12 km of earth road from it. A narrow strip of land, 1,000 metres in length, connects it to the rest of the island, giving the impression that it is a separate island. Depending on the weather, one side of the strip can be calm while the other is turbulent. From there, the view to the sea, especially at sunset, is enchanting.
Socratous street is situated in the old town of Rhodes. The entrance is dominated by the mosque of Souleiman, while not far away stands the mosque of Aga. Along Socratous street, one can admire the beautiful turkish mosques built upon the ruins of old Byzantine churches, such as Demirli Mosque and Peigash Ed Nin Mosque. Socratous street is also known for the Muslem Library and the Court of Merchants, on the entrance of which one can see the Blazon of Pierre dí Aubusson (1507) and of Aimery dí Amboise (1505- 1512). The daily bazaar of the town, where one can find anything one wants takes place here.
MEDIEVAL CITY OF RHODES
The Medieval City of Rhodes has a population of 6,000 inhabitants. It is surrounded by medieval walls with seven gates: the gate of the Naval Station of Agios Ioannis, of Agia Ekaterini, the Epistle Paul, Amboise, Agios Athanassios, as well as the gate of the port. The Medieval City was divided into two parts: the northern part included the Acropolis of the Knights and the Palace of the Grand Magistrates (alias Castello), while the southern part include Hora, were the commoners resided. Opposite the entrance of the Castle of the Knights stands the temple of Venus (3rd century BC), and behind it stands the Lodge of the Battalion of Aiberne, built in 1507. The headquarters of the Knights were here, while today the building houses the governor's office. Next to it stands the Lodge of the Battalion of England and the magnificent hospital of the Knights, which was built by the Grand Magistrate in 1440, while today it houses the town's Archaeological Museum. The most beautiful and picturesque part of the Medieval City is the street of Knights, Castello's main road. The street is preserved beautifully, while it is surrounded by buildings for the Knights and lodging for the battalions. This road stretches from the hospital to the palace of the Grand Magistrate, where the Lodge of the Battalion of France, one of the most beautiful buildings on the island, stands. Next to it stands the chapel of the same name where one can admire the beautiful statue of Virgin Mary and the holy infant. The nearby church of Agios Dimitrios is built upon the ruins of the ancient temple of Dionysus. In the Medieval City, one can also visit Socrates and Aristotelous street, which leads to the Hebrew district and the square of the Hebrew Martyrs, where one can admire the Byzantine church of Agia Triada, (15th century) and Panagia Horas, the largest church in Rhodes. Other significant buildings of the Medieval City are: "Castellania" where the merchants meet, the palace of the Naval Station (15th century) the chapel of Agios Fanourios, the hospital of Agia Ekaterini and the ruins of Panagia Nikis.
THE MEDIEVAL CASTLE OF LINDOS
The medieval Castle of Lindos stands on a 116 metres high rock, on the site of the ancient acropolis. During the period of the Knights, it was one of the best entrenched fortresses on Rhodes. It was renovated in the 15th century by the Knights who used rocks from other monuments. It was rebuilt for the second time during the Italian occupation. Inside, there are three cisterns, a barn, and a podium with a pedestal for an altar or a statue at the front. A chiselled ship in honour of Agisandros, also stands there. According to an inscription, he had been crowned with a golden wreath by the inhabitants. Other significant sights are buildings used as store-houses, a Roman temple, the 2nd century BC Propylaea or "Stairway to Heaven", and the 3rd century BC columns of the great Hellenistic colonnade. The – sign of the colonnade resembles open arms which welcome pilgrims. One can also see the remains of the Byzantine church of Agios Ioannis and the small temple of Lindian Athena.
THE MONASTERY OF FILERIMOS
The monastery of Filerimos stands on the hill of the same name, south-west of Rhodes. It is said that it was built by a monk, who came here from Jerusalem in the 13th century bringing with him an icon of the Virgin, for safe-keeping. In the 15th century, the Knights of the Order of St John found the monastery of Our Lady here. It was destroyed during the Turkish rule and was reconstructed during the Italian occupation, by the Italian archaeologist Majuri on the basis of an engraving from the original. From then on, it functioned under the monks of the order of Cappuchini until the war, when it was deserted and remained closed up, which it has been to this day. It is an impressive edifice, built on a site with a magnificent view. It has strange windows with pointy tops and groin-vaulted arches, as well as the coats of arms of the Magistrate D' Aubusson and his order. According to tradition, the famous icon of the Virgin was kept in a recess in the wall. Unfortunately, it is not there anymore because it was donated to the tzar of Russia Paul I by the Knights.
THE PALACE OF THE GRAND MAGISTRATES
The Palace of the Grand Magistrates (alias Castello) was built in the 14th century, on the northwestern part of the fortress of Rhodes. It was very powerful and managed to successfully overcome a siege in 1522, but not the explosion of the church of Agios Ioannis in 1856, during which it was completely destroyed. The Palace was originally the headquarters of the Grand Magistrates, while it served as a prison, during the Turkish Occupation. In 1939, the Palace was rebuilt by the Italians, in order to accommodate the king of Italy Victor Emmanuel II and, Mousolini. The building includes ramparts, towers, cannons, fortified gates, the chapel of Agios Ioannis and 80 chambers. All the chambers are furnished with rare and expensive furniture, and they are all decorated with remarkable frescoes, huge mirrors, chandeliers, parts of ancient monuments and Byzantine churches. The most remarkable chambers are the waiting room the floor of which is decorated with geometric mosaics of the Hellenistic era -transferred here form Kos- the chamber of the Byzantine icons, the ball room, the chamber with the famous mosaic Medusa, the chamber of the administrator, the music chamber and the chamber of the Muses. In the beautiful yard with its numerous arches stand the marble statues of the roman emperors. According to the markings, the Temple of Helios, with its many offerings, was here.
THE TOWER OF ST. NICHOLAS
The Tower of St Nicholas dominates Mandraki, the harbour of Rhodes. It took its name from the chapel inside it. It was built in 1464-67 from the Knights of the Order of St John in order to protect the island from the Turkish attacks. The Turks made many ineffectual attempts to seize it. The most important of them was the one, on 9th June 1480, which was faced boldly by the islanders and the Knights of the Great Magistrate P. D' Aubusson. According to myth, the magnificent Colossus of Rhodes, which was dedicated to the sun god, stood at the entrance of the port, near the fortress of St Nicholas.
THE VALLEY OF THE BUTTERFLIES
The Valley of the Butterflies lies in Paradissi, 25 km from Rhodes. It is an enchanting natural park with lush vegetation and running water, specially designed to have mazes, wooden bridges and lakes. Every year, from June to September, swarms of multi-coloured butterflies lay their eggs here. They live, stuck to tree trunks, feeding on their juice.
The German entomologist Elger claimed that these butterflies are night butterflies of the rare species Panaxia, which first appeared in the Himalayas. Today, they live in Australia, Brazil, Peru, California and in every place where there are trees that produce resin with a characteristically strong smell.
The Turkish Baths of yesterday are today's Public Baths, and they stand in the old Turkish quarter of Rhodes town. They were built about the same time as the neighbouring mosque of Mustafa in a Roman style. They were destroyed during World War II and were rebuilt later. Their luxurious interior is embellished with ancient marble.