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Lindos has the most impressive archaeological remains, the oldest Byzantine churches, and the finest vernacular buildings on the island: it is a town of architectural beauty in a consummate natural setting. This inevitably means that the flood of visitors in its tiny streets and spaces, from Easter to October, is daunting: on days when large cruise-ships are in the port of Rhodes the problem can take on impossible proportions. For a peaceful visit it is wise to go as early in the morning or as late in the afternoon as can be reconciled with the opening times of the acropolis (see below). The light and shadow are at their best at these times and further enhance the natural beauty of the setting. From a distance—whether approaching by sea or by land—the reason for the founding and for the enduring importance of Lindos is clear: an isolated and panoramic natural rock acropolis and two splendid bays for ports. In addition, there is a plentiful spring. These three elements compensated for a terrain which offered little possibility of agriculture and meant that Ancient Lindos, unlike Ialysos and Kameiros, had to live primarily on trade. Of the three ancient Dorian cities it was always the most important and maintained its influence, especially as a religious centre, long after the 5th century bc synoecism and the creation of the federal state of Rhodes . Lindos acquired prestige also through her early colonies, in particular Gela in Sicily and Phaselis in Lycia on the south coast of Asia Minor. The Lindians excelled in navigation and maritime commerce, developing a code of law for shipping on which ‘Rhodian (Maritime) Law’ was later based: this in turn became the basis for Roman, and latterly modern, Maritime Law. Neolithic and Mycenaean occupation of the promontory are attested by archaeology, while the cult of Athena Lindia appears to go back at least to the 10th century bc. Most of what the visitor sees today, however, dates from a later re-building during the 4th century bc. The site was too important to neglect in later epochs; passing crusaders and expanding Venetian trade brought Lindos prosperity in the 12th century, further nurtured by the Knights of St John who expanded the Byzantine presence, fortified the acropolis and stationed a permanent garrison here. The prosperity of many of the families of Lindos is reflected both in the dignified and decorated mansions which are to be found in the narrow streets of the lower town and in the finely painted churches.
Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island group