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

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Greek Cats (6 months ago)
A bit of a hike need to be fit. DO NOT use the donkeys use your own legs. Great museum fab views. Sit take it all in understanding how many people had climbed up there over hundreds of years.
Paula Vargas Rojas (8 months ago)
Romantic, historical and charming town? We reached Lindos after 18:00 o’clock and unfortunately couldn’t make it to visit the castle. We were lucky enough to find a parking spot, which was located up, before reaching the town, but then it took only 5 min to reach the place by walk. We had an amazing and romantic evening walking through the small streets and having dinner with a view of the castle. It’s a very touristic town, full of stores and restaurants, but is totally worth it, you feel like living at medieval times❤️.
Gaynor Leary (9 months ago)
It's definitely worth the walk but you need to be prepared. The road up is quite steep, and it's a good walk. Inside some of the floor areas are slippery due to hundreds of years of people walking on them. There is not much shade when you are up there. Take sensible shoes, water and if you need shade an umbrella and you will have a more enjoyable experience.
S R (9 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
Hoang Nam Nguyen (9 months ago)
Acropolis is situated on top of the mountain, so you'll probably have to wait for your weaker co-travellers. But when you got there, you get for 12€ really nice view. And by that I mean REALLY nice view. You can see an entire city of Lindos, far to the ocean and also Turkey. Just go there and check it yourself :)
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