In the labyrinth of the town’s narrow streets are many well-preserved private houses—examples of a fine local architectural style which emerged in the 16th century. The Papakostantis House of 1626 (now a cafe) is the most accessible example and is also a pleasant place for refreshment. Stone-built, flat-roofed, and generally constructed around two or three sides of a flowering courtyard which is densely paved with the characteristic black and white pebble floor in abstract designs or figuring cypress trees or ships, the houses nearly always present a monumental doorway to the street outside: this is characteristically embellished with a striking stone door-frame, often carved in a ‘rope’ design and surmounted with a decorated lintel or arch figuring doves, flowers, rosettes or crosses, and sometimes bearing the date and family name of the owners. Windows, occasionally with ogival frames, may be similarly decorated. A peculiarity of some of the houses is a windowed room on the upper floor built out across the street from one side to the other, which affords views of the street and its life. Most of the houses are built over a cistern cut into the rock below the courtyard pavement. Inside, the main reception area generally faces the entrance across the courtyard while the service rooms are to the side(s). Decorated wooden ceilings (see, in particular, the Ioannis Krikis House, of 1700) were supported by a single, wide, pointed arch: the furniture was heavily carved, and the floor often paved with intricate designs. Fine coloured ceramics adorn the walls: these are mostly examples of—or pieces inspired by—17th century Iznik ceramic work from Ottoman Turkey. Later on, this kind of ceramic-work was exported through Lindos, and subsequently imitated locally in workshops in the town. It became known abroad as ‘Lindos ware’.
Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.