Situated on the left of the road heading up to the Acropolis at Lindos, the church of Panagia (Our Lady) is an enchanting sight and an obligatory stop for all visitors. Surrounded by high walls and a small courtyard, this old church was originally built in 1300 but has since been submitted to numerous reconstructions. The most important was ordered by the Grand Master Pierre d’Aubusson (1476 to 1503) of the Knights of Rhodes (Order of St. John) and the most recent is dated in 1927, during the Italian occupation.
Its most prominent external feature is the high-rise, stone built campanile tower, typical of the Rhodian (and Dodecanese) churches. The main building has a cross-shaped plan superimposed by an octagonal dome, whitewashed walls and red byzantine tiles roof.
In the interior the pavement is covered by a superbly executed pebble mosaic (hohlaki), popular in the Rhodian traditional architecture. In the front, there is a richly decorated and spectacularly carved wooden iconostasis² and a Bishop’s throne while large bronze layered candle chandelier are hanging from above. Visitors will be astounded by the quality of the 19th century wall frescoes, depicting biblical scenes. The barrel-vaulted roof and the dome there covered with more impressive frescoes the work of the famous Gregorios of Symi dating back in 1779, depicting icons of Mary, Jesus, and the saints. As the viewers turn to the back of the church and walk out, over the doorway, a huge colorful fresco bursts with the story of The Last Judgment. Pale twisting bodies writhe together in the orange and red flames of hell. A strong message for those who won’t follow the ways of the church.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.