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Rhodes, tradition says, emerged from the sea by order of Zeus, to give it as a present to Apollo. Another story says that the first inhabitants on the island were Telhines. From their sister Poseidon had a daughter, Rhodes, who became Helios' wife and gave her name to the island. The archaeological excavations showed that the island was first inhabited during the Neolithic period (3rd millenium BC), it flourished in the Minoan Period (1900-1450 BC), while in the middle of 2nd millennium BC the Achaians settled on the island. In the 10th century the Dorians arrived and took hold. At that period the myth touches history and tells us that Hercules' son, Tlipolemos, settled to Rhodes with the Dorians and established the three main cities of the island Lindos, Kameiros and Ialisos. These cities together with Kos, Knidos and Alikarnassos established the famous "Dorian Exapolis".

The geographic location of Rhodes on the southeastern corner of the Aegean Sea contributed to the rapid naval and commercial growth of the island in the 7th & 6th centuries BC. Then many colonies were established and the influence of Rhodes reached the neighboring islands. The political system that prevailed at that period was aristocracy and the tyrant of Lindos in the 6th century was Kleovoulos, one of the seven wise men of antiquity. In the turn of 5th century Rhodes felt the consequences of the Persians' presence in the Aegean Sea. It is possible that Rhodes was forced to accept some kind of alliance, as in the sea fight of Salamis (480 BC) ships from Rhodes fought on the Persians' side.

In 478 BC, Rhodians joined the 1st Athenian Alliance and, despite their Dorian origin, at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) they fought on the Athenians' side. In 412 BC, however, they revolted and with the help of Sparta they supported the Peloponnesian Alliance. Then (411 BC) the three main cities of Rhodes, Ialisos, Lindos and Kameiros agreed to establish a new city that was completed in 408 BC. The new city was built on the slope of the Acropolis hill, according to the city planning system of Hippodamus that consisted of big squares and it had a complete sewage system. At the acropolis were built the Stadium, the Odium, the Library, the Gymnasium, the temple of Apollo and the other places of worship as well as the main public buildings. The new city soon became the political, financial and cultural center of the island.

At the beginning of 4th century BC, Rhodes was either influenced by Athens (2nd Athenian Alliance) or by Sparta. Rhodes became independent again in 323 BC. In the so called "successors' war" that followed between the successors of Alexander the Great, Rhodes managed to repel Demetrius the Besieger. In commemoration of that victory the "Colossus of Rhodes" was constructed.

Despite the external turmoils, the power of Rhodes kept growing and in the middle of 4th century BC, following the decline of Athens, the island emerged as the leading naval power in the Aegean Sea, while it dominated the commerce of the east Mediterranean. The "Naval Code of Rhodes" was so comprehensive that the Romans and the Byzantines adopted it. The political system of Rhodes at the period was a combination of democracy and aristocracy but there was just government and social welfare for all. Culture in Rhodes grew respectively. Famous men from Rhodes were Cleovoulos of Rhodes, one of the seven wise men of ancient Greece, Evdimos of Rhodes, a well-known philosopher, Timokreon of Rhodes, a famous lyric poet, the stoic philosopher Panaitios, the scholar Simmias and Appollonios of Rhodes, who wrote the epos "Argonaftika". The Rhetoric School of Rhodes became famous in the classic and Hellenistic periods. The athletes of Rhodes were famous, the most of whom were the Diagoras family.

rodos_text2In the Roman period (starting from the 2nd century BC) Rhodes was still a commercial and cultural center, while it became Christian very early. Tradition says that it is possible that Paul himself preached in Rhodes, at the harbor of Apostle Paul at Lindos where the chapel of Paul was built.

In the emperor Dioklitianos years (284-305), Rhodes was the capital of "Island Province". Then Byzantium established the division of its territory in "Thema" and Rhodes became the capital of a Thema, called "Thema Kavirioton". Byzantine years were however turbulent: In 620 AD Rhodes was attacked by Persians under Horsois 2nd, while in the middle of 7th century the Arabs under Moavias invaded the island (it was perhaps then that the metal of Colossus was sold). In 717 the Saracens raided Rhodes and in 807 AD it was the Arabs' turn with Haroun-al-Rasint.

In 1309 the Crusaders were the next to conquer Rhodes. Following the fall of Constantinople by the Francs (1204), the administrator of Rhodes, Leon Gavalas declared himself independent sovereign of the island with the help of Venetians. In 1309 Rhodes was conquered by the Order of the Knights of St. John. The period of Knights' rule was for Rhodes a period of growth as the island was a bridge between East and West. The Knights of St. John took case to shield the island adequately against the Turkish raids. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, however, managed to lay siege to Rhodes and after six-month resistance he conquered the island in 1522. The Knights of St. John were forced to surrender and leave Rhodes to the Turks.

In the years of Turkish rule, Rhodes suffered as much as the rest of Greece, while it was not for Rhodes to take part in the revolution to overthrow the Turks. They contributed, however, either as members of revolting groups or financially or even fighting in the mainland. In 1830 (London Protocol) Dodecanese was allotted, thanks to diplomacy, to the Ottomans. With the declaration of Constitution in 1908 Rhodes hoped that the end of the Sultan would bring a degree of liberalization, but in vain, as the Neoturks implement suppressing policies in order to ruin the Greeks of the island.

In the war of Turkey against Italy, the Italians conquered (1912) and kept Rhodes till the surrender of Italy in the 2nd World War (1943). For three torturous years Rhodes was seized by the Germans. On 8 May 1945 the Dodecanese were transferred to the allies and particularly to England. In 1948 Rhodes with the other Dodecanese islands joined Greece.

More than 60 early-Christian basilicas have been discovered and located on the island of Rhodes. There are other Byzantine churches dating from the 10th and 11th centuries. Many are decorated with wall paintings, of various styles and schools, from the eclectic to the provincial style of the nearby Asia Minor coastline.


Church of Panayia tou Kastrou (Mediaeval City, opposite the Museum, 11th century): Inscribed cruciform church, probably the metropolitan church in the Byzantine period. The gothic cross-vaulted roof was probably installed under the Grand Master Villeneuve. During the Turkish period it was converted into a mosque (Ederum tzami): the interior was not changed but a minaret was added as weel as a stoa with domes, later demolished, while there were some interventions during the period of the Italian rule. It is now a museum and sculpture gallery, with works of post-Byzantine painting, wall paintings removed from their original positions and floor mosaics from early Crhistian era at the yard.

Church of Ai-Fanouris (Mediaeval City, Ag. Fanouriou St.): A free-cross plan, the church was converted to a mosque by the Turks (Peial-el-Din).

Church of Aghia Triada (Mediaeval City): Four-conch church with eclectic-style paintings in the western section (15th-16th cent.). Used as mosque (Dolapli) under Turkish rule.

Hourmali Medrese (Mediaeval City): Four-conch Byzantine Church of St. Mark, later a Franciscan monastery. Took its present name (‘school with date trees') under the Turks, when it was converted into a mosque and it was used as seminary under Turks.

Apart from the churches turned into mosques, the Ottomans also built new places of worship, such as the Suleiman Mosque, with its renaissance features.


Rhodes - Belty of Panayia TsampikaRhodes - Wall painting at Panayia TsampikaChurch of Archangel: With cross-shaped domes and cobbled courtyard.

Church of Panayia Tsambika (Archangelos): The patron saint of the village has two churches, the earliest at 326m above sea level. The most recent dates back to at least 1760 and is of the Dodecanese style, with cross-shaped domes and a cobbled floor, a fine screen and imposing icons.

Church of Aghios Georgios (Malona - early 19th cent.): Parish church with bell tower 35m high, a fine architectural achievement.

Church of Aghios Ioannis (Masari): Historic church, built using fragments of ancient buildings.

Kameiri Monastery (Masari -16th cent.): A Byzantine monastery with traces of frescos and a cobbled yard.


Church of Aghios Ioannis Artamitis (Atavyros): Post-Byzantine church built on the site of an earlier temple. According to writeen documents, from its founding the Artamitis monastery, with its scriptoria, was a theological and spiritual refuge in difficult times.

Church of Aghios Panteleimon (Sianna -1890): Splendid, large church with rich internal and external decoration.


Rhodes - Panayia KatholikiChurch of Aghios Dimitrios (Archipoli): Modern church.

Church of Panayia Katholiki (Afantou): It was built on the ruins of an early Christian basilica and a mid-Byzantine church with a fine roof and Gothic arches. It is decorated in 14th and 16th century frescos.

Church of Aghios Georgios (Afantou, 1839): Dedicated to the patron saint of the district, the church was originally a one-aisled basilica, with two side aisles added later.


Rhodes - Panayia PhilerimouOn the Philerimos acropolis (Ialysos) there are ancient and Byzantine remains, as well as remains from the period of the Knights. The most important religious monuments are:

Church of Panayia Philerimou: Built by Knights of the Order of St. John.

Early Christian basilica (6th cent.): Three-aisled basilica with atrium, built on ruins of Temple of Athena. In its northern aisle a small single-aisle church with dome was built in the Byzantine period. A cruciform baptistery has survived that belonged to the early Crhistian basilica.

Remains of catholicon of Byzantine monastery (late 10th - early 11th cent.): Inscribed cruciform church.

Church of Aghios Georgios Hostos: Single-aisle chapel with 15th century eclectic wall paintings.

14th century church: Typical church of Knights' period, with vaulted roof and two hexagonal chapels, built of white porous stone using the isodomic system.

Mediaeval monastery: Built by Knights of the Order of St. John and restored under Italian rule. A two-story building set around an internal courtyard, with arched stoas leading to the monks' cells on the ground floor and the abbot's quarters above.

VIA DOLOROSA: Re-creation of Via Dolorosa, with bronze sculptures in Italian modernist style, depicting the Stations of the Cross and leading to the lofty white cross with an interior stairway and magnificent view. An ambitious and quite original conception.


Monastery of Aghios Ioannis (Kalythies): Historic monastery.

Church of Aghios Nektarios (Kalythies): Contemporary (20th century) cathedral church close to large Ottoman fountain.

Churches of Odigitria and Aghios Georgios (Koskinou): Tastefully designed bell towers.

Church of Aghia Triada (Psinthos): Small single-aisle church with tiled, gable roof and superb wall paintings from 15th century (1407-8 AD).

Church of Genesion tis Theotokou (Psinthos): Magnificent church with impressive Roman-style doorway of white porous stone and on the left a monument to heroes, an ideal combination of aesthetics and historic associations.


Rhodes - Fountoukli MonasteryRhodes - Church of Timios StavrosCathedral church of Timios Stavros (Apollona): Church in Dodecanese style with superb wall paintings and cobbled yard.

Aghios Nikolaos Monastery at Fountoukli (Dimylia -15th cent.): Close to one of the purest and most abundant springs on the island, known as the Fountoukli spring. A four-alcove chapel with frescos has been preserved.

Church of Koimisi tis Theotokou (Dormition) (Salakos): A four-alcove church with tall bell tower. A short distance away, there are two important churches - the Palaiokklisia and Aghios Pavlos.

Rhodes - Agios SoulasChurch of Aghios Loukas (Soroni): Imposing cathedral church with unique view.

Monastery of Aghios Soulas (Sylla) (3km from Soroni): Believed to have been founded in very early Christian times. Repaired in 1836. Built in a charming mountain setting with famous crypt. Healing waters are believed to issue from the cave.


Tharri Monastery (Laerma -12th cent.): Self-sufficient monastic complex of great historical, spiritual and artistic importance, in beautiful natural setting. The sanctuary is an inscribed cruciform plan with a vaulted ceiling of rubble stone and rich decoration dating from the 13th century.

Church of Taxiarchis Mihail Stratilatis (Lindos, below the square): Little church with shallow conch where post-Byzantine depiction of the Archangel Michael has been preserved. Traces of earlier paintings date the church to Byzantine times.

Church of Panayia (Lindos): Free-cross plan church with frescos from 1779. In 1489 Grand Master D' Aubusson repaired the church and financed the construction of a cross-vaulted prostoa.

Church of Aghios Georgios Hostos (Lindos): Inscribed cruciform church with dome. There are five layers of painting in the sanctuary conch: iconoclastic period, 2nd half of 12th cent., and post-Byzantine.

Church of Aghios Georgios Pachymachiotis or Pano (Lindos, 1394-95): Extended inscribed cruciform type with dome. Paintings include full-figure depictions of saints in opulent dress.

Church of Aghios Minas (Lindos): Single-space church with two layers of frescos in post-Comnenian style from late 12th and 13th centuries.

Church of Aghios Dimitrios (Lindos, NE of acropolis entrance): small barrel-vaulted church. Scene of St. Dimitrios on horseback on northern wall (15th cent.).

Monastery of Panayia Ypseni (Lardos, 2nd half of 19th cent.): Important centre of worship for the whole region, indeed the whole island, with huge cobbled courtyard.


Monastery of Panayia Skiadeni (Mesanagros-17th cent.): One of the most holy places of worship on Rhodes. It played important role in religious and national history, despite being destroyed several times in pirate raids.

Church of Aghios Philemon (Arnitha): A post-Byzantine church. The relics of the Byzantine church (holy bone, sword of saint, crosses, manuscript of gospels) were removed, with the wooden carved screen, to the new church.

Church of Agia Eirini (Arnitha): Early Christian basilica. Remains are preserved.

Church of Aghia Anastasia (4km from Apollakia, 4th-6th cent.): Large early Christian church with synthronon, communion table and iconostasis.

Church of Koimisi tis Theotokou (Dormition) (Asklipio): Post-Byzantine church with 17th century frescos.

Church of Aghia Anastasia (Gennadi): Materials from small Knights' fort probably used in its construction. It is decorated with 17th century frescos

Church of Eftavimati (Kiotari, Eftavimati area, 5th-6th cent. ): Remains of an early Christian basilica.

Church of Metamorfosi (Kiotari): Church built on site of early Christian church, as attested by various architectural fragments in vicinity of building (marble facing, parapets, etc.).

Church of Aghios Isidoros (Istrios -17th cent.): Post-Byzantine single-aisle barrel-vaulted church with wall paintings.

Church of Aghia Paraskevi (Kattavia-1825): With large and exquisitely laid cobble floor and monument to heroes.

Monastery of Zoodochou Pigis (Lachania): Byzantine monastery built using older materials, mainly from Roman and early Christian structures, obvious even to the layman. Has a holy spring and a font from an older church.

Church of Panayia Plimmyriani (Lachania): Remains of a basilica of an early Christian settlement with very fine mosaics.

Church of Aghia Eirini (Lachania): Dodecanese-type church built on early Christian basilica with font. The baptistery has been preserved.

Μesanagros seems to have enjoyed a lively spiritual and religious life since early Byzantine times, attested to by a large number of chapels like Aghios Nikolaos, Aghia Paraskevi, Aghios Georgios, Aghios Thomas etc.

Church of Theotokou (Mesanagros-13th cent.): Built on site of early Christian basilica of 6th century, whose architectural and decorative features were re-used in later church (non-fluted columns, capitals, font, etc.).


Monastery of Panayia Kalopetra (Tholos, close to Petaloudes Valley - 1780's): Said to have been founded by Alexandros Ypsilantis, as an offering in gratitude for having survived a storm at sea.

Church of Panayia Katholiki (Kremasti): Magnificent church, a centre of worship for the whole Dodecanese.

Church of Sotiras (Maritsa): With blind dome and valuable carved wooden screen.

Holy Asomatos Monastery (Kremasti): The frescoes were painted in 1800 AD. At the place of today's sanctuary, there was an underground catacomb, and in there an old icon of Archangel Michail.

Holy Archistratigos Monastery: Holy Asomatos Monastery: It is a three-aisle chapel with dome, with uncertain date of construction, probably post-Byzantine.

Holy Agios Nikolaos Monastery (Kremasti): An old little monastery, probably built at the end of 15th century or beginning of 16th, located at Kremasti Castle. At the narthex, the roof of which is supported by late-gothic semi-domes, Greek language lessons were given by the vilagge teachers till the first decade of 20th century when an Elementary School was established that is still in operation.

Holy Zoodohos Pigi [Eleimonitria] Monastery (Kremasti) : South of Kremasti village, at "Livadi" location. It was probably built in the 19th century.

Holy Agios Georgios Kranis Monastery (Kremasti): This is a local name, originating from the ancient Greek [Dorian] Krana - Krini (meaning fountain). He is considered to protect sowing, and sowing-time usually started on the saint's colbration day. That is why the Saint is also called Sporiaris. It was built in the 19th century.

Holy Agios Nikitas Monastery (Damatria): A construction carved into the soft porous stone bed, as an extension of a natural cave. It dates from arrpoximately the 13th century AD. Inglieri believed the chapel was an ancient tomb, but C. Brandi doesn't agree.

Holy Archangel Michael Monastery (Damatria): It is a small chapel of 15th century AD. Originally, it was underground, and there were steps on the west side that led to the surface. The frescoes date from 15th century AD.

Early Christian relics: It is said that relics have been found round Agios Ioannis Theologos regions, a fact that indicates that there was an early-Christian church there.

Holy Prophet Avvakum Monastery (Paradeisi): 15th - 16th century. It is a small chapel from the Knights' period. The Altar of the monastery consists of an early-Christian parapet with latic-cross decorations and other early-Christian elements below it.

Holy Agios Ioannis Theologos Monastery (Paradeisi): A 17th century AD chapel, in single-arch basilica style. It seems that the construction materials have been taken from the ruins of a medieval fortress. There are older frescos at the monastery, though, probably dating from 13th century. It is also possible that an early-Christian church was on the same location.

Holy Ipapanti of Christos Monastery (Paradeisi): A small single-arch basilica, a medieval small monastery built of porous stone. It dates back to 17th century.

Holy Agios Merkurios Monastery (Paradeisi): It is a small medieval monastery. It was constructed, apart from the local nautral stones, with parts of archaic architectural elements.

Holy Agia Marina Monastery (Paradeisi): It is a post-Byzantine single-arch basilica construction with two supporting zones. 17th century.

Holy Agios Nikolaos Monastery (Pastida): The original construction was probably completed at the beginning of 18th century AD. It has been recently renovated.

Holy Agios Georgios Monastery (Pastida): It was probably built at the end of 18th century. It is celebrated on Ai Giorgis sporiaris' day.

Sotiros church (Maritra): With blind cupola and wood-carved valuable chancel screen.

Holy Metamorphosis Monastery (Maritsa): It is a fine small 17th century Byzantine-style chapel; it is built at a beautiful piece of landscape, Koumouli, with wonderful view. The monastery celebrates on 6th August and it attracts lots of visitors all over Rhodes. A live Crib is organized on Christmas in a natural cave by the monastery.

Taxiarhon church (Maritsa): It is the main parish church of the village (1833 AD) and it is a cross-shaped dome basilica.

Holy Agion Anargiron, Kiros and Ioannis "Keroniatis" Monastery: It is a Byzantine basilica monastery in ruins, which was built on the ruins of an Artemis temple. The original construction of the basilica dates back to 13th century and it was divided in three aisles, the middle one being the largest, by columns.

Holy Agios Georgios Monastery (Maritsa): 18th-19th century AD.

Holy Agios Nikolaos Monastery (Maritsa): A fine, picturesque Byzantine small 15th century monastery, 1,5 kilometers south-west of the village.

When the Knights settled to Rhodes they immediately implemented a rational reconstruction and defensive fortification plan for the island: the fortifications expanded, were modernized and reinforced. The Knights' building activity was intense: A lot of public buildings, among them a hospital, a palace and several churches. These buildings were constructed on gothic and renaissance models. Almost all, however, Byzantine walls and buildings as well as the ancient ones were destroyed so that the materials are used for the construction of the new buildings. The old town (fortress and town interior) has been preserved as a Knight creation and only the Byzantine churches have been preserved. Most of the roads of the Medieval Town coincide with the ones of the ancient town, while the division of the town into two zones by a wall was preserved. The northern section, Kollakio, was the richer and more imposing one, with the Palace of the Great Magistrate, the Catholic Cathedral and the residence of the Catholic Bishop, the "Languages" accommodation, the Knights' houses, a hospital, etc. The southern section, the Burgo, was a rather base district, where less wealthy people lived. It included the market, synagogues of the then many Jews, orthodox churches as well as public and commercial buildings.

Rhodes - Panagia tou BourgouThe walls of the Old Town - the apogee of the medieval fortification techniques - were constructed on the foundation of the older Byzantine wall. Following the siege of 1480 and the earthquake of 1481, the walls were reconstructed by the Great Magistrate Pierre D' Aubusson. Today 13 ramparts and 11 gates have been preserved. The characteristics of European architecture with elements from France and Spain were transferred by the Knights to Rhodes. From the beginning of 16th century the strong influence of Renaissance appeared. The Knights usually constructed two-floor austere and conservative buildings using local light brown porous stone.

Rhodes - Lighthouse tower of Saint NikolaosIn 1522 the Ottoman Turks conquered the city of Rhodes after a second persistent siege. In the early stage of their occupation they built mosques, public baths and private houses. The Ottomans repaired the walls, transformed most churches to mosques and some luxurious private houses to private or public buildings. The general decline and shrinkage influenced both architecture and cultural production. Not many new monuments are built at that period. The old houses changed slightly with additional grilles and bathrooms - usually at the back of the houses, while the architectural characteristics in the majority of existing houses was preserved. At the same time the most beautiful churches were transformed to mosques and new ones were built, such as the Suleiman Mosque. The Ottomans, keeping the eastern traditions, built the Jeni Hamam (New Baths) which are still in use.


The picturesque and popular Mandraki, one of the three harbors of the city, is marked with two copper deer. Next, at the pier, there is the lighthouse - tower of Saint Nikolaos and three windmills from the period of Knights' rule. Starting from the New Market, a polygonal building with internal yard, the visitor is bound to look carefully to capture the ambitious construction plan conceived by the Italians, who aspired to stay at the Dodecanese forever. In 1923 Italy established a colony, the Italian islands of the Aegean Sea (Isole Italiane del Egeo). In order to transform the city of Rhodes according to their preferences, they demolished the houses that were built on and next to the walls in the Ottoman period and they transformed the Jewish and Ottoman cemeteries to a "green zone" that included the Medieval Town. They kept the remaining elements of the Knights' period and, in a movement of cultural expiation, they removed all Ottoman additions. At the same time, they built again the Great Magistrate Palace as a summer royal residence. The Italians focused on essential infrastructure projects and they literally transformed the city of Rhodes from a random mixture to a planned island city. More particularly, they elaborated a plan to transform the seaside avenue to façade - promenade with administrative and cultural buildings. They implemented the rules of International Style, a syncretic multicultural aesthetic system (with Islamic, roman, renaissance, and island elements) in conjunction with the directions of the fascist austere building aesthetics and they built perhaps the nicest seaside road in Greece: The elegant buildings of the Fascist period, such as the Central Post Office, the City Hall, the National Theater as well as the Administration (today's Prefecture building) and the converted orthodox church of Evaggelismos - a basilica and double slope roof covered with tiles, and fully covered with 20th century frescos. The Institute of Marine Biology was built at the northern edge of the city.



Archangelos: segmental but interesting architecture

Malona: The village is a combination of new construction impetus and traditional architecture. Traditional houses are oblong with roofs insulated by argil soil. Other interesting buildings are the imposing Community Hall with a façade consisting of five arches, the classicist old school (built in 1876) today's Cultural Center.

Massari: A typical feature of villages in Rhodes, the complex of a classicist school with three pediments and Ionian façade and a church "Dodecanesian style" with high bell tower.


Monolithos: The school and the elegant, built by the Italians, Police Station give a flavor of aesthetics and history.

Sianna: The needs for aesthetic and historic stimulus are satisfied by the splendid Aghios Panteleimonas church and the school built in 1936.


Rhodes - Entrance to the Kallithea SpaRhodes - Kallithea SpaKallithea Spa: An excellent architectural complex at a privileged location with pines and green waters. It was built in 1929 following an order by the then Italian Administrator Mario Lago. In 1930 the upper atrium was also completed and the surrounding area was finally arranged. The Italian architect Pietro Lombardi divided the available space into three sections: The central entrance with the circular plaza and the fountain, the semicircular atrium where the water is distributed from and the health facilities complex. These sections are functionally joined and are surrounded by recreation areas, gardens, parks and paths paved with pebbles. The architectural elements depict the cultures that passed from Rhodes: Dorian, Roman, Byzantine, Knights, Arab and local island cultures.

Rhodes - House at KoskinouKalithies: The City Hall (built in the end of 19th century) completely renovated today, is distinguished by the eclecticism of the internal decoration that includes stained glass as well as eastern and renaissance elements.

Koskinou: The architecture of Rhodes has been quite preserved here. The village nucleus remains traditional with single floor, square white houses, built with stone, with internal arch, a dew cornices and pediments, gates and pebbled yards "hohlakia" some of which were made in 19th and decorative plates in the interior.


Rhodes - Elafos Hotel"Elafos & Elafina" (Profitis Elias Mountain): A hotel complex built by the Italians. "Elafos" Hotel [deer - Albergo del Cervo in Italian] was built in 1928 and it has three floors and a basement. In 1930 a restaurant was added in the ground floor with a big veranda as well as a tennis court and dancing floor. A floor was added later and the veranda closed. In 1932 a new section was built that is called "Elafina" [female deer], a two-floor building with basement. Both were built using "mixed stone and frame made of armed concrete system, with steeply inclined roofs, covered by special wave sheets, wooden door and window frames and wooden verandas".

Dimilia - Eleousa: Villages built in a region with rich vegetation, they keep their traditional style with roads coved with stone plates and houses with tiled roofs.

Kalavarda : There are many pebbled decorations at this village.

Salakos : A tranquil traditional village. At the picturesque central square there is an Ottoman fountain as well as houses and shops with tiled roofs

Soroni : Although the region grows rapidly, the traditional character is kept at some places. The City Hall is imposing - an imitation of an ancient temple - and the School with a big pediment and white arches, gives a sense of aesthetics and history.


Rhodes - LindosLindos: The entrance to the village is on the north, where there is the traditional square with a big tree in the middle and a spring from the period of the Italian rule. An interesting building is the classicist old school, next to the church of Panayia. The village planning is characteristic of a medieval island town, where the houses are built next to each other and have mainly internal yards. There are common characteristics in the houses, but they can be divided into three categories: the simple ones (that are similar to the rural houses of Rhodes), the houses with yards and the mansions. The most representative mansions are Papakonstantis' (1626), Kolioudos', Makris' (1700), Krikis (1700), Markoulitsa (1700) etc. Most simple houses were built with local porous stone or other stones, covered in plaster and lime.


Vati: The traditional style of the village, as it was shaped mainly in the 19th century, has been largely preserved. A trademark is the square and the many well preserved windmills from the period of Knights' rule.

Gennadi:  Interesting administration buildings (Squad, Post Office, Police Station etc.) from the period of the Italian rule.


Damatria: traditional houses, nice springs and a war memorial.

Kremasti: Despite the modern architectural interventions there are still samples of traditional architecture, in neoclassic and International style. Among the interesting buildings are the classic Library, the Police Station and the elegant more recently built church of Panagia.

Maritsa: The village keeps to some extent its traditional color with single room square and oblong houses, usually with two narrow windows.

Paradeisi: An attractive village despite the modern architectural interventions, with a spacious square, a cathedral and heroes' statues and the Technical School built in late renaissance style.

Pastida: Narrow roads paved in stone slates, a square with a spring and traditional houses, square, with internal arch, roof supported by wood beams, walls decorated with plates and objects from rural and bucolic life.

Despite its rapid development of the services sector - mainly tourist industry - Rhodes still utilizes its fertile land and traditional crafts. A reason that Rhodes keeps producing in an almost identical way certain products of the past is the strong bond of the local people with the land and the villages. Next to modern production and processing units, there are small workshops and family businesses that give the tone for the production of a wide variety of products.

There are lot of family businesses and small units that produce ceramics in the wider Archangelos and Kameiros region. At Lindos local craftsmen make traditional sandals, embroidery, mosaics made of pebbles and hacked stone, traditional furniture and mill textiles, while at Embona there are several olive presses.

Other typical products are: Suma (spirit made from figs at Embonas, Sianna, Monolithos, Apollona, and elsewhere) melekounia (traditional wedding sweets made mainly with sesame and honey) liqueur made from 7 herbs (Philerimos) olive oil (Soroni, Apollona etc), honey, wine, champagne and ouzo.

Ancient city (Rhodes): The ancient city of Rhodes was laid out in accordance with the philosophy and ideas on urban planning of the famous Hippodamus. The blocks of buildings (insulae) were 47,70 x 26,50m in dimension, all on the same scale. Each of them was  surrounded by roads 5-6 metres in width. Around the city the remains of ancient roads have been found, as well as Hellenistic dwellings from the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.

Rhodes - Ancient OdeonRhodes Acropolis (Monte Smith or Aghios Stephanos Hill): Visitors can still see the remains of the magnificent temples of Athina Polias and Zeus Polieus. The old stadium has now been restored (2nd century BC), as well as the rectangular Odeon, the ancient theatre on Diagoridon Avenue and, partially, the Temple of Apollo Pythias.

Workshops for casting of bronze statues (Rhodes, New City): These workshops were only recently discovered - it must have been in a place like this that the Colossus of Rhodes was created, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the work of sculptor Haris (304-293 BC). It took 12 years to make and was completed in 282 BC. It was brought crashing to earth in the powerful earthquake of 226 BC.

Tomb of the Ptolemies (3km from Rhodes town, on the Rodini elevation): A large funerary monument, built in the Roman period, carved into a natural rock formation in the shape of a Hellenistic construction. On the same elevation there are various Nymphaia (cave shrines), parts of the ancient walls, graves cut into the rock and the remains of a Roman aqueduct.

Rhodes - Palace of the Grand MasterMediaeval City (Rhodes): One of the most important historic and cultural complexes of buildings anywhere in the world, and one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. This is the most densely-populated mediaeval city in Europe. In 1309 the island was sold to the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem; after withdrawing from Jerusalem following its re-conquest by the Arabs, the Order made its base in Rhodes, ensuring for itself a leading role in the affairs of the eastern Mediterranean.

Street of the Knights: A street untouched by time. Among the imposing buildings on each side of the street are the various inns where knights lived in "tongues": the Spanish Inn, the Provencal Inn, the French Inn, the Italian Inn and so on. The street is paved with cobblestones.

Kastello, or the Palace of the Grand Master (Mediaeval City, end of second decade of 14th century): The most impressive monument in the Old City. The residence of the leader of the Knights was rebuilt on the site of the Byzantine Acropolis. The Palace is a rectangular structure (80 x 75m) laid out around a large courtyard. The coat of arms of the Grand Master Helion de Villeneuve (1319-1346) is set prominently over the southern gateway to the Palace. We know very little about the lay-out of the various stories, the appearance of the floors, surrounding walls and internal decoration of the palace, because the upper floors collapsed in the mid-19th century (1856). A few features survived until 1937, when the radical restoration was commenced under the supervision of the Italian architect Lojacomo.

Bridge from the Hellenistic period (Korakonero, beginning of Kallitheas Ave.): Restored bridge.


Archaeological finds (Archangelos, Kerami): The earliest finds date back to 1100 BC. The surrounding region was famed for its wine and the shipbuilding skills of its people from as early as the 7th century BC. The archaeological remains demonstrate that they abandoned the coast and moved further inland for greater security. Archangelos was part of the ancient deme of Pontoreion.

Faraklou Fort (Haraki, Faraklou Hill): During the Knights rule it protected the civilian population.

Archaeological finds (Haraki and Faraklou Hill): The remains of basilicas and auxiliary buildings have been found here, as well as mosaic floors and the foundations of various buildings.

Knights' Castle (Archangelos, 1455-1474): This must have been built or re-built in the 15th century by the Grand Master Demilly, as we learn from a decree of the Order.


Temple of Zeus (Embona, Atavyros Mountain, 1215m above sea level): The Temple of Zeus was built; probably in the Hellenistic period. Legend attributes its founding to Althaimenis of Crete, son of Katreas. The temple is mentioned by Diodorus the Sicilian and by Pindar. Remains surrounded by a wall of stone blocks are what is left today.

Sanctuary of Artemis (Atavyros Mountain - 4th-3rd century BC): Situated probably at the location of the Monastery of Aghios Ioannis Artamitis (10th century).

Rhodes could not possibly have escaped the expansion of Minoan civilization. Its presence is attested by the existence of Kritinia, "little Crete", from the 15th century BC. Ancient Kritinia must have included the area known today as Skala Kameirou and Mandriko.

Funerary monument (Kameiros Skala): Lycian-type grave carved into the rock.

Kastellos (Kritinia - 15th century): A very well-preserved fort overlooking the sea. The castle is rectangular in plan, with two semi-circular towers, the coat of arms of D'Aubusson and Caretto, underground cisterns, vaulted chambers and a chapel.

Monolithou Castle: On a rock formation of remarkable symmetry, a massive monolith, the Knights constructed one of the best-preserved strongholds in Rhodes, taking full advantage of the geological and geographical features of the location. The fortified position must have been a landmark from ancient times right up until the period of the Knights (terminus post quem 1476). The most damage and decay can be seen where towers once stood, but the general perimeter of the castle is well preserved. The inner enclosure contains a chapel. The village was a centre of patriotic resistance, using the well-protected hide-out in the mountains as a base for resistance activities.

Rock-carvings (Fournoi beach, Monolithos): Ancient carvings can be seen in the shape of baths (the queen's baths, according to local tradition).

Sianna: The ancient deme of Vrasion. 19th century travelers reported that the area abounded in ancient remains: coins, vase fragments, foundations of temples and other buildings, marble statues, etc.

Knights' fortress (Sianna): It is in ruins.


Archaeological finds (Archipoli): The area around the settlement is full of remains and graves, that is an indication of its prosperity in ancient times. The name of the village - which must have been inhabited since the 7th century BC - is probably to be derived, through inscriptions, from the famous offspring of the New Rhodian State and probable founder of the settlement, Lindios Archipolis.

Archaeological finds (Afantou): There are finds scattered all around the area, such as temple foundations, graves, funerary reliefs, etc. - all of them prey, unfortunately, to the rampant illegal trade in antiquities dating back to the 19th century. The site was inhabited as early as the 10th century BC and has been identified with the ancient deme of Vrigindarion, part of the state of Ialysia.

Knights' tower (Afantou): The remains of a Knights' tower can be seen a short distance from the settlement.


Ancient city of Ialysos: One of the three most powerful city-states of classic Rhodes. The Acropolis was built at a strategic position enjoying a fine view around the tree-clad Philerimos Hill. The most important features of the archaeological site are as follows:

Temple of Athena Polias (3rd-2nd century BC): Doric temple with prostyle at each end, four or six columns at each side, with ante-chamber, nave and rear chamber. The base of the cult statue can still be seen in the nave. There was probably also an internal colonnade. It was erected on the site of an earlier temple of the classical period.

Doric fountain: Two tunnels brought water from the hilltop to a cistern carved in the rock, sealed by a wall of porous stone laid in the isodomic system (4th century BC). The front wall of the fountain was restorated with Doric columns.

Byzantine fortifications: On the eastern side of the Philerimos Hill, built of material from the ancient Temple of Athena, and repaired by the Knights. Inscriptions of the 3rd-2nd century BC refer to the cult of Zeus Polieus.

Philerimos Acropolis (Ialysos): With monuments from the ancient and Byzantine periods and the time of the Knights. Excavation was carried out by the Italian Archaeological School in 1914 and 1923-1926. On the western side a hoard of finds was uncovered dating from the 9th to the 5th century BC. In the early Christian period (5th-6th century AD) the cult site acquired a three-aisled basilica with atrium, in the northern aisle of which a church with one aisle would be built in the 10th century. Under the Knights the conquerors would build here a mediaeval monastery that included the Church of Panayia Philerimou.


Erimokastro (Kalythies): Ruined fortress a short distance from the village.

Knights' fort (Koskinou): Very few remain are left. It was used to protect the civilian population.

Archaeological finds (Koskinou): Rock-carved graves from the classic period and an abundance of coins have been found in the vicinity.

Tower (Psinthos): One can still see sections of a rectangular defensive tower. In the square of Psinthos, in an ordinary house, the agreement was signed in which the Turks conceded Rhodes to the Italians.


Kameiros lies at the wildest and most windswept north-western side of the island, close to the headland of Aghios Minas (ancient Mylantio) at the foot of Mt. Akramytis. The prehistoric inhabitants worshipped the Mylantian gods, who taught humans to grind wheat and make dough for bread. At Kalavarda, west of Kameiros, there are Mycenean cemeteries. Finds from the geometrical period (8th century BC.) indicate the existence of a temple dedicated to Athena on the acropolis. The first great earthquake of 226 BC destroyed the classical city and the Temple of Athena Kamirados. The Hellenistic city was laid out on the principles of Hippodamus, on three terraced levels. At the top of the hill is the acropolis with the Temple of Athena and the stoa. The settlement extends over the middle terrace and lower down stands the Hellenistic temple, the Doric fountain, the agora and the enclosure containing the altars. A host of statues adorned the wider area, as was the case in every classical and Hellenistic city; there were also steles and special terraces decorated with statues. But then the terrible earthquake of 142 BC destroyed the city of Kameiros for a second time.

Kameiros archaeological site: This includes the ancient settlement, smaller and more ‘provincial' than those of Ialysos and Lindos, formed on three levels of the hill and including the following features: acropolis with the sanctuary of Athena Kameirias, rainwater cistern, Hellenistic stoa (under its floor there was a remarkable water system, with fountains, wells, underground cisterns and earthenware pipes),a four-sided altar of the Hellenistic period in front of the Doric stoa, a settlement from Hellenistic and Roman times, a Hellenistic temple on the third terrace, a small Ionic temple of porous stone lined with mortar, used to house a votive statue, a fountain, a four-sided square (agora), an enclosure with altars (on the first level there is long, narrow altar consecrated to Helius), a semi-circular terrace in front of the altar enclosure, a monumental stairway between the agora and the altar enclosure, leading to the centre of the settlement, foundations of buildings and temples, and earthenware vessels, which appear to have been mass-produced here in ancient times. Some scholars believe that this was the site of the deme of Kattaveon, subject to the Lindian state.

Knights' fort (Apollona): There are remains of a Knights' fort. The Knight Provisions of Great Master Orsini (1474) required that it be large enough to accommodate the population of neighbouring Laerma.

Archaeological finds (Kalavarda): Archaic and classical graves with valuable grave goods.

Knights' fort (Soroni): Now largely in ruins.


Rhodes - Lindos AcropolisExcavation over the last 150 years indicates that Lindos must have been inhabited as far back as the Neolithic era, and continuously thereafter. In the archaic period it formed a ‘federation' with the other powerful Doric city-states, Ialysos and Kameiros, as the strongest of the three, and they played a leading role in the history of the island. Lindos sent out colonies, minted its own coins and enjoyed great prosperity in trade and shipping. Its golden age came at the beginning of the 6th century BC, especially during the rule of the despot Cleoboulus of Rhodes. It was during his forty year reign that the Temple of Athena was rebuilt on the site of a previous sanctuary from the geometrical period. The temple was burned to the ground in 342 BC and re-built to the same plan as that used under Cleoboulus. Other buildings were erected in the Hellenistic period and the acropolis took on its final form. Later, in the Middle Ages, it was reinforced with new structures by the Byzantines, and later by the Knights. During the latter period it was one of the most robust and best fortified strongholds on the island. The largest surviving part dates from the Middle Ages.

Lindos Acropolis: The acropolis, on a hilltop, can be reached on foot or by donkey. From the last houses of the village one crosses an area of level ground before reaching the external stairway of the castle, where there is a relief carving on a rock showing the stern of a ship, used as a base for the statue of the admiral Agesandrus. As we ascend the steps we come first to the governor's building, and then the site of the ancient sanctuary. Next to the mediaeval governor's building are the remains of the Byzantine Church of Aghios Ioannis (13th century). On a level area supported on arches lies the great Doric stoa (circa 200 BC). Of the original 42 Doric columns, only 20 have survived. Behind the middle columns of the stoa is the monumental stairway with its 34 steps, leading to the propylaia, of which only the foundations remain.

Temple of Lindian Athena (2nd half of 4th century BC): The most important monument on the Lindos acropolis. It is a Doric tetrastyle structure, with a portico at each end, and has survived in relatively good condition. The temple is built on a higher level of the rock (116m above sea level) and enjoys a remarkable view of the other parts of the acropolis and the surrounding bays and coves. Archaeologists believe it once boasted a gold and ivory statue of the goddess, like that in the Athens Parthenon.

The region beyond the acropolis is also of great archaeological interest. The most important monuments and finds include:

Theatre (4th century B.C.,Lindos, SW side of hill, below Temple of Athena): The circular orchestra and spectators' area were carved into the side of the hill. The special seats for important spectators around the orchestra have survived. The audience area comprised 19 rows of seats below the landing and seven rows above. Only 5 of the 9 tiers remain. The theatre could seat 1800 spectators.

Building with porticos on all four sides (Lindos, SW side of hill, below Temple of Athena): Remains of a four-sided building have survived to the side of the stage of the theatre.The interior had columns on all four sides, supporting a gable roof and enclosing an open-air courtyard. The entrance on the north-western side of the building was decorated with a row of columns bearing an epistyle. The structure had a capacity of 1500 spectators. It must have been designed for religious ceremonies.

Voukopion (Lindos, Vigli, NE of the acropolis): A place of sacrifice. There are 38 inscriptions on the surrounding rocks enabling us to identify the place. An important key to understanding the geometrical past of Lindos is offered by the little temple of small, uncut stones, with a pronaos and kind of antechamber, probably intended as a place to store offerings to a divinity, whose identity is as yet unknown (10th-9th century BC).

The surrounding area contained the cemeteries of ancient Lindos, in which the two most important monuments are the following:

Tomb of Cleoboulus (2nd-1st century BC): The tomb of a wealthy family. This is a circular structure with carefully laid masonry and a vaulted roof. The name ‘Aghios Aimilianos', indicates the building's later conversion to a Christian church.

Archokrateio. (Lindos, Kampana Kranas, a hill to the west of the acropolis): A tomb carved into the rock. Funerary altars were set into the upper front wall, with the names of the deceased on their bases, while the corridor inside led to a place for funeral ceremonies. 19 graves were cut into the sides of the chamber. The later name ‘Frangokklisia' allows us to infer that the structure was used as a church at the time of the Knights.

Archaeological finds (Kalathos): There are ancient remains to be found all around the area, especially close to the shore at Loryma. The name of the ancient deme of Klasion, a part of the Lindian state, has survived in corrupted form in the modern name Kalathos.

Knights' fort (500m from Lardos - early 15th century): Now in ruins. Lardos had been given to Vigniolo Vignioli. A coat of arms on the village fountain is a reminder of its heyday. Remains have been found nearby of other, smaller forts, look-out posts/beacons, and at least one early Christian basilica, now in ruins.


Archaeological finds (Apolakkia): A Roman necropolis and the remains of a fort can still be seen.

Ancient temple (Arnitha): The site takes its name from the priest of Apollo Arno, evidence of the existence of an ancient temple of the same name.

Archaeological finds (Asclepeio): There are archaeological finds in the surrounding area dating back to the 7th century BC. It is very likely there was a sanctuary of Asclepius here.

Knights' fort (Asclepeio, 1476-1503): A rectangular structure with towers, now in ruins but still impressive. Built under the Grand Master D'Aubusson.

Funerary monuments (Vati: A large number of plundered graves have been found around the village. The area had been inhabited from archaic times and in the classical period was the deme of Kamyndion, part of the state of Lindos. The village probably takes its name from the diminutive form of the name of the ancient founder, Vatida (BΑΤΙΟΝ ΧΑΙΡΕ).

Knights' fort (Gennadi): This must have been a small fort for the protection of the local people in the first period of rule by the Knights. There was certainly a settlement here around 1479 - we have evidence of this in one of the knights' decrees. Yennadi, Asklipio, Profylia and Pedi appear to have made up the deme of Pedieon, part of the ancient state of Lindos.

Archaeological finds (Istrios): Graves have been found here with valuable grave goods, the remains of Hellenistic structures, vases, etc. In classical times the settlement probably formed part of the deme of Vrasion. It has been continuously inhabited since classical times, up to the present day.

Knights' fort (Kattavia): A decree from the end of the 15th century attests the existence of an important fort at the entrance to the modern village, to which the people of the surrounding villages could come for protection.

Knights' forts (Lachania): The Knights fortified this exceptional geographical position with a fortress, in which the people of the surrounding villages could seek refuge. The surrounding area is rich in remains attesting to habitation as early as 1500 BC.

Early Christian settlement (Lachania, Armeni): Destroyed in the 7th century.


Archaeological finds (Damatria): Excavation in the surrounding area has confirmed habitation over three thousand years. It is assumed there was a sanctuary of Demeter which gave its name to the ancient settlement. The prosperous deme of Damatrieon was part of the state of Ialysia.

Temple of Apollo (Theologos - Tholos): At the entrance to the village lie the foundations of the Temple of Apollo Erethymios. The village certainly dates back to the 15th century, its name appearing in a decree issued by the Knights concerning the safety of the local population.

Knights' fort (Kremasti): Once a robust stronghold with the coats of arms of the Grand Master Caretto. The Knights chose this verdant coastal area to build their country villas. The settlement was probably founded no later than the mid-15th century. There are also traces of classical and Hellenistic habitation at Kremasti.

Knights' fort (Paradeisi-1330): Very few parts of the fort remain, and of surrounding buildings and churches. The fort was built by the Grand Master Elion Villeneuve (1319-1346), who also founded the village on a site chosen for its superb location and natural beauty.

Municipal Gallery (Medieval Town, Symi Square): Collections of engravings and paintings as well as exhibitions of well-known painters.

Nestoridion Melathron (Rhodes, Haritou square): It is the main building of Rhodes Municipal Gallery - Modern Art Museum. It hosts one of the most important collections of Greek art of the 20th century.

Modern Art Center (Medieval Town, Socrates St., Palio Syssitio Hall): It accommodates the collection with the maps and the gravures of the Municipal Gallery collection since 1400 as well as modern art exhibitions.

Old Town folk dances Theater: Various cultural events are hosted with emphasis on traditional dances and songs from all over Greece. It can sit seven hundred people.

Public Library (Medieval Town): It is accommodated in the ground floor of Castellania, a commercial company in the Knights' rule period. It is a lending library with 50.000 books that cover various fields. Presentations of books and painting exhibitions are organized.

Rhodes Historical and Archaeological Institute Library (Medieval Town, building of the Knights' hospital): It cannot be visited by the public. Its content are of historical and archaeological interest.

Archaeological Museum (Medieval Town): One of the most imposing buildings of the Old Town, it started being built in 1440 by the Great Magistrate De Lastic and it was completed in 1489 by the Great Magistrate D' Aubusson. It operates as a Museum since 1914. At the center of the building is the central entrance and right above it raises the three-side recess with windows, part of the chapel of the Knights' Hospital. There are findings that extend from the Mycenaean period till the late Christian period and Knights' rule: Tombs by ancient Ialisos and ancient Kameiros, mosaics, tombstones, statues, architectural elements etc.

Popular Ornament Collection Museum (Medieval Town): In a building from the Knights' rule period, it is a small and yet well-arranged and representative collection. Objects representing many arts are exhibited: Ceramics, embroidery, rugs, carpets, wood carved room partitions, traditional costumes and items, tools and furniture.

Folklore Museum (Apollona): Items used in early history are exhibited (sarcophaguses, parts of columns, column capitals etc.), mill stones, farming tools and everyday items, almost unchanged from Middle Ages.

Asklipio Museum: A selection of archaeological relics, religious items and folklore memorabilia of functional items for rural life.

Traditional olive press (Dimilia): The olive press has been transformed to a small museum.

Konstantakis Museum (Embonas): The family house of an important local poet.

Folklore Museum (Koskinou): Traditional windmill, one of the many that have been preserved, that has been transformed to a museum worth a visit.

Popular Art Museum (Kritinia, central road): Impressive in size, very close to the castle.

Papakonstantis traditional house (Lindos): A collection of traditional plates, traditional costumes and old photographs as well as a Folklore Museum.

Folklore house (Salakos): Old objects from the locals' life are exhibited.

Folklore Museum (Soroni): An old house that has been transformed to a museum, with decorative plates on the walls, traditional furniture and textiles.

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