Lindos (Greek: Λίνδος) is an archaeological site, a town and a former municipality on the island of Rhodes, in the Dodecanese, Greece. 
Lindos is its rock.This rock, which rises to 116 m. forms the finishing touch to the landscape of Lindos, standing dry and imposing in its bareness and surrounded on all sides by the sea, so that Lindos ,may rejoice in the ocean,  in the words of a hellenistic epigram. Lindos does not seem to have been particularly important in the earlier periods, though sporadic finds of the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age have been discovered on the acropolis. The archaeological area of Lindos is exntended outside Acropolis.


According to legend, the foundation of the sanctuary of Athena Lindia goes back to the Mycenaean period, and Mycenaean finds have been yielded by cemeteries in the broader area of Lindos. The Archaic period (7th-6th c BC) was a golden age for Lindos, which played a leading role in the Greek colonisation movement, its most important foundation being Gela in Sicily. The 6th c BC was dominated by the figure of a moderate tyrant, Kleoboulos who ruled Lindos for many years, and was Included amongst the "seven sages" of the ancient world.
During his rule, the Archaic temple of Athena was built on the site of an earlier structure, and the acropolis received its first monumental form. The Persian advance and later the merger of the three old cities into the new city of Rodos (408 BC) led to a diminution in the importance of Lindos as a political and economic power.
It nevertheless continue to be an important centre, focused on the famous sanctuary of Athena, which received its final monumental form in the Hellenistic period and became the leading sanctuary on the island.

 Byzantine church of St. John (13th C.)

The acropolis was used as a fortress in antiquity, as well as In Byzantine times, in the period of the Knights of St. John, and in that of Ottoman rule.

 Castle of the Knights, Acropolis of Lindos, Rhodes

Today, the ascent to the acropolis is still by the same steep road as in antiquity. After the first outer entrance to the medieval fortress, and before beginning to climb the large stairway that leads up to the Administrative Building of the Knights, we encounter two important monuments on our left a semicircular Hellenistic exedra, and, next to it, a depiction of the prow of an ancient ship carved in relief in the rock, which formed the base of a statue of Agesandros son of Milkion, the work of the sculptor Pythokritos in the early 2nd c. BC The fortification of Lindos by the Knights goes back to the 14th-15th c AD.
Passing through the ground - floor of the Knights Administrative Build Building, we emerge into a large square, which occupies the lowest level of the acropolis and was full of votive offerings in ancient times. A row of vaulted structures, built in the l st c. BC, stood on either side of a stairway leading up to the level of the large Hellenistic stoa, built ca. 200 BC. The large stairway behind the stoa leads up to the highest level where are to be found the Propylaia and the temple of Athena, which formed the main sacred precinct.

The temple was completely isolated from the outside world by a wall with five entrances. In front of and behind it were stoas with rooms. The inner stoa flanked a courtyard in front of the temple, in which there was probably an altar. The temple, which measures about 22x8 m is a Doric, amphiprostyle tetrastyle structure. It was constructed in the 4th c. BC or in the early Hellenistic period on the site of Kleoboulos temple, which had burned down in 392 BC. It stands at the highest point of the rock and was the culmination of the stepped vista offered by the stoa and the Propylaia to anyone ascending to the acropolis.

From the highest point of the acropolis can be seen the lower city, in which the most important monuments still visible are the theatre, the Tetrastoon and the Archokrateion at Kambana, a monumental tomb of an important Lindian family. The Byzantine church of the Panayia is also in the lower city. it was built It In the 15th c. and decorated with wall-paint paintings in the 17th and 18th c. The traditional settlement of Lindos is in a very good state of preservation. A large number of archontika (mansions) survive, the most Important of them from the 17th c., indicating that Lindos was a flourishing naval power in the early period of Turkish rule, as indeed throughout its entire history.

The Lindos Castle is found on the top of a 116m rock and serves as an entrance point to the Acropolis and the temple of Athena and once was used as the administrative building of the Knights. Today, the ascent to the acropolis Is still by the same steep road as in antiquity. After the first outer entrance to the medieval fortress, and before beginning to climb the large stairway that leads up to the Administrative Building of the Knights, we encounter two important monuments on our left a semicircular Hellenistic exedra, and, next to it, a depiction of the prow of an ancient ship carved in relief in the rock, which formed the base of a statue of Agesandros son of Milkion, the work of the sculptor Pythokritos in the early 2nd c. BC

The fortification of Lindos by the Knights goes back to the 14th-15th c AD. Passing through the ground - floor of the Knights Administrative Build Building, we emerge into a large square, which occupies the lowest level of the acropolis and was full of votive offerings in ancient times.


Today, the ascent to the Acropolis follows the same steep path as in antiquity. Outside the castle the visitor is greeted by the stern of a ship carved on the rock. The relief depicts a triemiolia (τριημιολία), the characteristic type of ancient Rhodian warship, and was the base of an admiral’s statue, Agesandrus, made by the sculptor Pythokritos.
The medieval castle, with the Knights’ coats of arms still hanging intact like sleepless guardians, encloses the entire surface of the hill. Its massive walls follow the natural terrain and have a circumference that reaches 508 m. in length. The external staircase of the fort leads to the main administrative building and also to the nearby Byzantine church of St. John.
The ancient sanctuary occupies the top of the acropolis. To reach the temple of Athena, one passes through the great Doric stoa and then ascends the 34 stairs that end up to the propylaea. The view of the restored monuments clearly illustrates the ancient architect’s calculation for perspective and emphasis to theatricality. The Doric temple of Athena is built at the peak of the rocky hill, where the stepped ascending route reaches its end. Its prominent location offers a spectacular panoramic view of the other monuments and the sea. The temple that is preserved today was built in the second half of the 4th century or in the early Hellenistic period, succeeding Kleoboulos’ temple, which was burned down in 392 BC. According to the Chronicle of Lindos, the most important ancient source about the sanctuary, the cult statue of the goddess in the second temple was of a style similar to Pheidias’ gold-and-ivory statue of Athena in the Parthenon.

Beyond the acropolis, other monuments of the ancient city can be seen today scattered in the wider area. Below the temple of Athena lies the ancient theatre, built on the NW side of the hill, and next to it the Tetrastoon, a building most probably used for cult rituals. To the NE of the acropolis lies Voukopion, an area of sacrifices, as evidenced by the 38 inscriptions preserved in the surrounding rocks. Another two important monuments are Archokrateion and the Tomb of Kleovoulos, namely the tombs of two eminent families of ancient Lindos. Both monuments were later converted to Christian churches.
The traditional settlement of Lindos is an attraction in itself. The sight of the 15th century church of Panayia and the many mansions dated as early as the 17th century bear witness to a glory which never faded over the course of history.

Site Monuments

  The archaeological area of Lindos is exntended outside Acropolis and comprises the following monuments:

It is situated on the northwest site of the hill under the temple of Athina Lindia. The circular orchestra and the conge for the viewers were sculptured on the foothills.There are remains of the "presidencies" special stands for the formal viewers around the orchestra. The conge is comprised from 19 rwas of seats under the cornice and 7 raws over the cornice. The three first raws were for the formals.Low built walls were separating the formals from the rest.From the 9 shuttles only 5 are saved. The capacity of the theater was 1800 people.

Building with four stoa

Relics of the four sided building are remained till today on the extents of the theater stage. In the interior there are pillars that sustained the roof. They were surrounding the courtyard. The entrance on the northwest side of the building is complemented with a series of pillars. The capacity was up to 1500-1700 viewers.Iwas probably made for rligious ceremonies. In later times the area was occupied from three christianic churches.

In Vigli northeast of the Acropolis is situated the Voukopion which was a place for sacrifices as comes from it's name.On the surrounded rocks there are 38 epigrapghs saved that relate the parts of the area with each other.A small chapel made from coarse-grained stones with a temple and a portal was intented to be used as a place to secure the oblations to an uknown god (10th-9th century B.C.).

In the surrounded area there were extends of graveyards of ancient Lindos which were found two of the most important monuments:

The grave of Kleovoulos

It has nothing to do with The well known Kleovoulos it was a grave monument belonged to a rich family of Lindos. It is a a circular construction with well made frescos and a a vault roof. The entrance brings acornice with decoration of anthemion.
Inside the monument there is sculptured on the rock a kind of a sarcophagus with coer (2nd-1st century B.C.) There are frescos and the name Agios Emileeanos. This is a sign that the monument was converted into a cristian monument in laert years.


In kampana of Krana west of the Acropolis there is a monument scultptured on a rock. On the ouuter there is a two level frontage with semi pillars in the first level that bring the epistyle with metops and triglypghs weather on the second floor pessaries are rotated with blind gaps.
There are shrines with names of dead people on their basis. In the interior, corridor was leading to an area with burial ceremonies.On the sides of this construction there are sculptured 19 graves. The newest name of it is Fragkoklissia which is a signed that during the Knights Period it was used as a temple.

The chapel of Taxiarhis Mihail the Victorious Army Commander is situated underneath the square of the settlement. In a flat niche is saved a post-byzantine deed of Archagel Mihail the Psyhopompos. The footprints of ancient fresos place it in byzantine period.

Western of it near the remains of a muslim graveyard is saved a flat niche with a deed of a Saint on a horse. Probably is Saint George The Burnt.

The temple of "Panagia"- Holly Mary
The parish of the settlement is extended with transept with the shape of a Free Cross. In 1489 Great Magistre Pierre D' Aubusson gave money for the errection of the temple and the construction of a groined- vaulted porch.On the south side of a smaller campanile are fixed on the walls blazons of the Magistre and also of the commanderof the Pierre D' Aymer's castle. The temple maintains it's frescos. The older epigrapgh is cited in 1637. Although the monument is a recorded as work of Grigorios from Symi island in 1779.

There are also churches made in 12-15th century:

The church of Saint George made in post-byzantine age around 1250. Saint George the Paimioitis which belongs to the architectural typw of a crisscross design with dome aged since 1394/5. There are the fresos of Saints dressed with luxury dressings. Saint Minas is nuilt in 15th century. Saint Demetrios is built in 15th century. Saint demetrios is shown on a horse on the frescos of the church.

In Vigli south and east of the rock of the Acropolis has been spotted a floor with mosaics of a paleochristianic Royal Church which is placed in the 5th century according to signs of it's architecture.

The street layout of Lindos is marked from the continous system of construction with interior courtyards. The houses have flat rooms although somebody can notice the variety of types. Most of the house owners have reconstructed the interior of the houses to meet their needs. The things that were used to build the walls is the local sculptured limestone and have been limed. The houses in Lindos have many common things although can be divided into 2 differerent categories. The simple ones that remind the houses of farmers and the mansions with the interior courtyards.

The most representative mansions of Lindos is known from their names of their owners such as Papakonstantis mansion, Ioannidis mansion, Koliodou mansion Mariettas markoulitsas mansion.

In the beggining of the 19th century Lindos received the neoclassicism architecture characteristics. Big windows that have a view to the road two floor houses roofs made from tiles. The doors of the walls were placed from pilasters infrared that remind frontages of anceint temples. There were also built new houses that had nothing in common with the old mansions.

Acropolis of Lindos
According to the myth the praise of Athina Lindia is prohellenic. The few mycenean and prohistoric findings in the nearby area do not confirm this myth. The history of the sanctuary starts in the geometric period (9th century B.C). The arhaic period the oppressor of Lindos Kleovoulos will renew the worship and will build a temple on the place where the older one was positioned.The archaic temple had exactly the same design as the new one Doriean with four pillars. The access top the sanctuary was done with a temporary ladder. After 342 B.C when the temple was destroyed due to a fire a new temple was built that is saved till nowadays. The hellenistic stoa was built at later times. The 3rd century B.C. was imported the worship of Zeus Polieos even if Athina remained the main Goddess of the temple. During the roman period the flamen Aglohartos planted olive trees and near the temple of Athina Lindia the sanctuary of Psithiros was built.(end of 2nd century A.C)


Temple of Athina Lindia
Doriean temple of Athina Lindia. Built at the end of 4th century B.C.

Stoa on acropolis of Lindos
Hellenistic stoa with sided extended wings with four pillar frontages. (3rd century B.C.) The stoa has 87 meters length and is constituted from 42 pillars. The wall of the stooa is divided in the middle so the ladder of the propylaea could be visible. The square was made in 1st century B.C. and was based on vaullted constructions.

Anaglyph triimiolia(Rhodian Ship)
Anaglyph triimiolia(Rhodian Ship) sculptured on the rock on the base of the ladder that leas to the archaeological site of Acropolis. On the bow was planted a statue of General Agisanderos Mikkiono. The staure was made from Pythokritos creator of the famous statue od Niki tis Samothrakis. The ship brings footprints of colour. Grating was isolating the statue.

Hellenistic Ladder that leads to the main archaeological site of Acropolis. Relics of it can be found next to the medieval ladder of the residency.

Propylaea of sanctuary

Propylaea of sanctuary. A monumuntal ladder which leads to a stoa with a shape of Π and 5 entrances. The side wings of the stoa had a frontage with six pillars with gable capping.The propylaea were made from limestone and they are aged since the 4th century B.C.

Relics of roman temple

There is a roman temple saved in front of the vaulted constructions. The temple was facing Acropolis and was probably intented for worshiping the Emperor(300 A.C.)

Semi circular inescribed exedra from lartio Stone where a bronze statue of Pamflida priest of the Goddess, was errected(end of 3rd century B.C.)

In the sanctuary near the ladder that leads to Acropolis and other points there were erected Statues and oblations such as the brothers Arhokrati, Lysistratos, Pythagoras and priest of the Goddess (168-156 B.C.). There were also statues fro of the Roman Imperial family: Tiberios, Drousos the younger, Augoustos and Germanikos(14-19th century B.C)

Acropolis was surrounding the walls, hellenistic period, built the same age as the prolylaea and the ladder that leads to the entrance of the area. Fortified walls were protecting the Acropolis since the persian wars. Roman epigraph mentions the errection of the walls and the square towers with money from the priest of Ailiou Agitoros(2nd century A.C).

The byzantine castle was fixed before 1317 from the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalym. Except the few parts of the byzantine fortification there are not other elemnts before the Period the knights were on the Island.The towers are few and follow the natural design of the rocks.On the south foothill the tower with 5 sides was facintg the Port, the settlement and the street whcih was leading from and to South Rhodes.

A huge cylindric tower existed on the east side facing the sea.Two more towers e cylindric and an angular wre on the northeast side of the fortification.Today there are saved one on the northwest side and one on the west side of the residency. On the 30th of december 1522 the Lindians surrender to the Turks. Around 16th to 17th century the use of Canons made it neccessary for the construction of parapets. A small amoung of Turkish guards remained there till 1844.

Big Medieval ladder which leads to the west residency. Today is comprised of two buildings but when was build was comprised of 3 buildings. It was errected from the danish archaeological mission in order to be used as a museum. It was also errected from the Italians.

The temple of Saint John. The architectural type of the temple is cruciform enrolled. The temple was built in 11th-12th or 14th century A.C. on an older temple built in 6th century B.C.

The excavations were done from the danish institution Calberg between 1900-1914 and 1952 from Kinch, Blinkenberg and E.Dyggve.

During the Italian occupation 1912-145 important errections were done from the Italians all around the island and Lindos as well. The NorthEast side of the temple was errected and 3-4 Pillars. The ladder that leads to propylaea and an important number of the pillars of the hellenistic stoa. The last few years a big effort is taking place in order to errect the Acropolis and make it the way is hould be done.

Sources / Bibliography / Photos

Όμηρος, Ιλιάδα β, 655
Μεγάλη Ελληνική Εγκυκλπαίδεια Παύλου Δρανδάκη
De Facto Population of Greece Population and Housing Census of March 18th, 2001 (PDF 793 KB). National Statistical Service of Greece. 2003.
Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
Van Gelder, Lawrence (2006-08-10). «Arts, Briefly». nytimes.com. «Information about the Colossus of Rhodes». www.rhodos-travel.com.
«The Ancient Library». www.ancientlibrary.com.
Sextus Empiricus, Against the Logicians 1.107-8; a much later work by a philosopher, not a historian.
«A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology (ed. William Smith)». www.perseus.tufts.edu. Ανακτήθηκε στις 2008-05-16.
«A general and bibliographical dictionary of the fine arts». www.books.google.se. Ανακτήθηκε στις 2008-05-16.
Bernard Gagnon http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Bgag
Panos Karas http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-177808p1.html

John Bäckstrand https://www.flickr.com/photos/27510199@N03

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