Acropolis of Lindos

Lindos, Greece

Above the modern town of 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 is the most impressive archaeological site on the island of Rhodes, where the dramatic natural landscape is enhanced by the picturesque quality of the more modern town.

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. The importance of Lindos declined after the foundation of the city of Rhodes in the late 5th century BC.

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. In Hellenistic 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.

Greek buildings

The Doric Temple of Athena Lindia, dating from about 300 BC, was 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 dates 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, dates from about 200 BC. The stoa was 87 metres long and consisted of 42 columns. The well-known relief of a Rhodian trireme (warship) was cut into the rock at the foot of the steps leading to the acropolis.

Roman buildings

There are also 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.

Medieval buildings

The Castle of the Knights of St John was 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 dates 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.

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Acropolis, Lindos, Greece
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Details

Founded: 10th century BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

S R (4 months ago)
Lovely place. Be great when they finish it. Get there early before it gets hot. Even the steep path is not too bad. Only takes 15 minutes to get up there. On the way down stop and enjoy a cocktail
Romain PERRIER (4 months ago)
Nice place and very nice views of the bay. However expensive tickets at 12€ per person (too much?) for a place that could be more restored. Important too: during summer times, queue before 10 am otherwise the queue is super super long.
Eric P (4 months ago)
It get the five stars primarily for the gorgeous view. Just stunning. The acropolis it self in clearly beat up, but it is rich in history. We just thought it looked like a fun adventure investigating the grounds. Lots of questions to ponder- like who was walking by and thought “that’s a great place for an acropolis!” And I’m told the place was self sufficient, how? We rode the donkeys up and down which the kid loved.
Μαλαματή Κούρτη (4 months ago)
Absolutely not worth the 12€ I paid for the entrance fee to the Acropolis. It is a nice place with good views and a well maintained temple but it is more or less a 10-15min walk and that's all. If it was cheaper it would have been a nice visit. Now I felt cheated.
Samantha Marshall (6 months ago)
What an amazing experience. We have two children 4 and 8 so we did our research and arrived around 8am to park up close by near the donkeys. My children loved the donkey ride up and down and the views were amazing. We paid €12 each just for adults and it was quiet when we arrived at the top. After 10am it got very busy lots of groups on tours. I recommend wearing trainers or something similar as it’s very uneven and slippy. I also recommend taking water it’s very hot. It’s really worth it though very special to see and the views from the top of Lindos are amazing. Highly recommended.
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