RHODES



redline

Rhodes - Lindosthe Upper town - Acropolis - general

(Open Apr–Oct 8–7.30; Nov–Mar 8.30–2.30; closed Mon only in winter.) The inhabited settlement was never contiguous with the acropolis, but separated by a clear break of open rock and pine-trees. Visible to the right before reaching the entrance gate to the acropolis, are ancient votive inscriptions to the gods cut into the facets of the rock outcrops beside the pathway. (A couple—one particularly long— may be seen clearly from the path as you climb up, at about shoulder height and higher, on the outcrop of naturally faceted rock to the right-hand side, just as the path turns right into the last straight stretch up to the entrance.) Once through the outer gate, there is a shaded terrace punctuated by three prominent mouths of large, plaster-lined Byzantine cisterns: the acropolis had no spring within its walls, and depended on water collected in such cisterns; there are many more above, on the summit. At the first turn in the path the visitor is faced with an impressive -votive relief of the stern of a ship, and to its left a dedicatory exedra—both skillfully carved into the living rock. Though contiguous, these are two separate dedications. An inscription on the side of the ship states that the work was ‘dedicated to Agesander, son of Mikion, by the people of Lindos’, and that it was the work of the Rhodian sculptor, Pythocritus of the 3rd/2nd centuries bc. Delicate chisel and point work can still be seen on the surface. Stylistic similarities have linked the piece and its artist to the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre. The kind of ship meticulously portrayed here possessed two rudders or steering paddles: visible are the helmsman’s station on the near side, and a part of the serpentine shape of the rudder holding (something similar can be seen on a Venetian gondola). A break in the carving shows where a sculpted rudder itself would have projected downwards—if not in stone, perhaps added in wood. The boat’s deck acted as the base for a statue of Agesander, possibly wearing the golden crown referred to in the inscription below. The exedra to the left may be a little earlier; it surrounds a base on which an honorific statue would have stood. Much later, in the 3rd century ad, the long inscription (originally picked out in red) was added by Aglochartos, priest of Athena Lindia. To the left of the present stairs leading up to the acropolis there are vestiges of the ancient Sacred Way and steps. Much higher up to the left, is a flight of 14th century steps added by the Knights of St John, which originally gave ac cess directly into the Governor’s Residence by means of a wooden drawbridge. The Residence—now extensively restored—dates from the period of Grand Master Pierre d’Aubusson (1476–1503) and bears his arms in grey Lardos marble high up on the exterior wall: its interior was once painted with garlands, landscapes and coats of arms. These have faded considerably, and some areas have been removed to safety in Rhodes ; the building now houses the local archaeological offices. The security of the building relies—as does the whole enceinte of walls—on the natural defences of the steep site, rather than on anyenious military architecture. Some substantial machicolations can be seen high above the main door however. The vaulted entrance, containing a number of capitals and finely inscribed altars and statue bases, gives onto an inner esplanade covered with many more of the same. This (only a fraction of the total number on the site) gives some indication of the forest of votive statuary in bronze and marble, as well as paintings and other works of art, which would have greeted the pilgrim in ancient times: in addition to the mute evidence of these fragments, writers (Philostratos, Plutarch and Pliny) also mention the works of art and spoils of war which were dedicated here—each piece vying for attention with the next. The plateau of the acropolis is a roughly triangular area of 8,400sq. m rising to a height of 116m. The layout we see today dates from a building program begun in the 4th century bc; before that the Archaic Sacred Way had led across the open area, from the entrance directly up to the Temple of Athena at the summit. Some part of its paving can be seen in the floor, beside the long base of a Hellenistic monument, in the undercroft beneath the Governor’s Residence reached by turning sharply to the left. This pas sage in turn leads out onto another esplanade crowded with more fragments of broken monuments. To the right, a line of (restored) vaulted chambers, originally built in the 1st century bc and used as storage spaces, support the first terrace of the grand approach to the Temple of Athena, created during the Hellenistic re-building. Just in front of the foot of the staircase that divides this line of vaults, is a rare and pleasing curiosity—a block of stone on the ground which fortuitously preserves an ancient mason’s sketch of a piece of lifting machinery, scratched into the surface facing away from the steps. To the left is a dark grey marble exedra which—according to the inscription at its back—was surmounted in the 3rd century bc by a bronze statue of Pamphilydas, priest of Athena. At the northern (left) extremity of the area once stood a Roman pro-style temple (no longer visible), which faced towards the Temple of Athena. The wide area in front, littered with ancient material, shows how four different colours of stone have been used on the acropolis: *Lardos marble; an indigenous, mottled-grey marble quarried a few miles to the west of Lindos, sometimes tending to a solid, dark grey, used especially for in scribed surfaces; *Cycladic marble (from Paros/Naxos ); small amounts of this have been used, mainly for sculptural needs or decorative refinement; *a homogeneous, deep rust-red ‘poros’ limestone from the area of Atavyros; *the honey-coloured ‘poros’ limestone of the native rock of the acropolis.


Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.


access

Rhodes Island, Greece.

By air: With a total of 6–7 daily flights from Athens to Rhodes operated by both Olympic Air and Aegean Airways, Rhodes is easily accessible at all times of year. Its airport is also the hub for local flights within the area to Kastellorizo, Karpathos and Kasos (almost daily), and to Kos, Leros and Astypalaia (three times weekly). There are also daily connections direct to Thessaloniki and to Heraklion (Crete). The airport is 15km southwest of the centre of Rhodes town (€15 by taxi).
By boat: The port of Rhodes is also the principal hub for the Dodecanese Islands, with daily connections to all the principal islands, though the frequency of connections to the lesser islands varies considerably according to season (see entries for individual islands). There are year-round, direct connections by car-ferry to Piraeus (c. 16 hours) every day; and connections to eastern Crete twice weekly. In the holiday season, there are also daily connections (by private carriers) to Marmaris in Turkey. Since the port is large and has several harbours, it is important to ascertain from which part of it a ferry will leave.
The neighbouring island of Chalki is served twice weekly from Rhodes town, but there is a daily service from Kameiros Skala (2 hours). The GNTO office in the New Town (corner of Makariou and Papagou Streets, T. 22410 44335) provides helpful sheets with weekly boat departures, museum opening times, a price-list for taxis and schedules of bus times and fares for the whole island. Its web-site is: www.ando.gr/eot

Rhodes Travel Guide

eating

Rhodes Island, Greece.

Rhodes offers some of the best and most varied eating possibilities in the Aegean— although in the city itself, the visitor will need to explore outside the Old Town to sample the best Greek food. Within the walls of the Old Town, unimaginative and often overpriced tourist-fare prevails; we would suggest only: the -Marco Polo (see lodging, above); Dinoris Restaurant (upper medium price) in a tiny alley across from the entrance to the Archaeological Museum— an elegant and traditional taverna of long standing, one of the few in the Old Town regularly frequented by locals; Photis Restaurant (expensive; open all year) in Menekléous Street—also an elegant and well-established fish restaurant, where the undoubted high quality and presentation of its dishes compensates for the hauteur of the reception and service. At lunchtime, -Indigo (medium price), inside the Nea Agorá market building (at no.105/6) beside Mandraki harbour, offers delicious, finely prepared dishes from the cuisine of Greek Asia Minor. Further afield (but without question worth the short taxi-ride) in Zephyros, southeast of the city centre, is the -Paragadi fish restaurant (medium expensive; corner of Klaude Pepper & Australias Streets: reservation recommended, T. 22410 37775) with an exceptional quality of service and of seafood and fish dishes, prepared in the best and simplest manner. This is one of the best fish restaurants in the Dodecanese. Nearby, open all year, and usually packed with locals, is To Steki tou Cheila (inexpensive) at the southern end of Kodringtonou St., on the corner of Hadjiangelou and Dendrinou Sts: the symiakó (tiny shrimps) and the wine are both fresh and delicious.
Around the island: Mavrikos in Lindos (expensive; reservations, T. 22440 31232) is a fine and justly famous restaurant with pleasing setting, serving many homemade products. The excellent and panoramic -To Limeri tou Listí ("The robber"s den") in Prophilía (T. 22440 61578) in the central south of the island, certainly merits the long journey and represents one of the best places to eat on the island: it has imaginatively and care fully prepared traditional dishes of the highest standard, e.g. a light and unforgettable imam bayaldı. Nearby, Petrino in the picturesque plateia of Váti, is a good country taverna with fresh and unaffected cuisine.

Rhodes Travel Guide

further reading

Rhodes Island, Greece.

Cecil Torr, Rhodes in Ancient Times and Rhodes in Modern Times (first published by CUP in 1885, both now re-issued by Archaeopress ‘3rd guides’, Oxford); Lawrence Durrell, Reflections on a Marine Venus (Faber & Faber, London, 1953); H.J.A Sire, The Knights of Malta (Yale, London & New Haven, 1994); Vassilis Colonas, Italian Architecture in the Dodecanese Islands, 1912–1943 (Olkos Press, Athens, 2002); Elias Kollias, The Mediaeval City of Rhodes etc.,(Ministry of Culture, Athens, 1998).

Rhodes Travel Guide

lodging

Rhodes Island, Greece.

The most beautiful and characterful place to stay in the Old Town of Rhodes is the -Hotel Marco Polo (T./fax 22410 25562, www. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; open May–late Oct) at 42 Aghiou Phanaríou Street, not far from where it joins (the main) Sokrátous Street at the Mehmet Agha Mosque. With architecturally fine rooms of great individuality, and the thoughtful and friendly service that goes with private ownership, this is a memorable place either to stay or just to dine on its imaginative, traditional food in the peace and quiet of a mediaeval walled-garden. Elegant, modern luxury at a higher price, in an enviable location just off the Street of the Knights, is offered by the newly opened -Avalon Boutique Hotel (T./ fax 22410 31438/31439, www.avalonRhodes .gr), which is open all year round. The Old Town also has many small and characterful pensions: worthy of mention are, The Apollo Guesthouse (T. 22410 32003, www.apollo-touristhouse.com) and Hotel Andreas (T. 22410 34156, fax 74285, www.hotelandreas.com), at 28c and 28d Omírou Street respec tively (contiguous, but under separate management) not far from the St John/Koski nou Gate, and overlooking the ancient church of Aghia Kyriaki. Both are relatively inexpensive, and inhabit interesting buildings; the rooms are comfortable, but small. At Ippodámou Street, 61, is the delightful S. Nikolis Hotel (T. 22410 34561, fax 32034, www.s-nikolis.gr). These last three close between late October and the week before Easter. In the winter season, the New Town has a number of hotels which are open year-round and offer more conventional services and convenience. Comfort able and satisfactory, without being too big or expensive, is the A-class Hotel Mediterranean (T. 22410 24661, fax 22828, www.mediterranean. gr), opposite the Casino at 35 Kos Street; most rooms have good sea-views. Exceptional value year-round is represented by the Esperia Hotel (T. 22410 23941–4) at 7 Griva Street which is warm, pleasant and strictly functional: the pool-side rooms are quietest.

Rhodes Travel Guide

practical info

Rhodes Island, Greece.

851 00-09 Rhodes : area 1,401sq. km; perimeter 220km; resident population 115,334; max. altitude 1,216m. Port Authority: 22410 22220, 28888, 28666. Travel and information: www.travel-Rhodes .com

Rhodes Travel Guide

Book your Trip to Greece

ferry

advertisements