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
The landscape south of Apolakkia is one of eroded sand stone, whose sharp ridges look like waves whipped into peaks by the sea. The presence of rounded rocks and stones a considerable distance inland suggests that it was not long ago that the area was under the sea. The long sandy beaches and dunes on both coasts are attractive, but often windswept. Four kilometres inland of the west coast-road is Moni Skiadi which, although originally an 11th century foundation (c. 1060), was re-built in 1877. Its unusual name is a corruption of ‘Skitiadi’ or ‘Mikri Skii’, meaning a ‘small cloister’. Six kilometres to its east along an un-surfaced track through an empty landscape is the village of Mesanagros, set on a strategic inland ridge as a refuge from coastal piracy in the Dark Ages. The 13th century -church of the Dormition at the entrance to the village rises over the floor of a much larger 5th century, Early Christian basilica; its apse fits snugly into that of the older building. The latter was decorated with mosaic floors: there are abstract designs visible outside in the south parecclesion; and an area of roundels with birds to the northwest of the existing church. There is also an area of patterned, brick-tile floor. A marble column from the basilica set on its side forms the lintel of the doorway of the existing church. The interior is a single—unusually wide and low—vault which springs from re-used, early Christian capitals and columns, with small areas of the 5th century marble floor under foot. A magnificent, free standing baptismal font fashioned from a single block of marble stands in the middle of the floor, bearing its Byzantine inscription referring to the redeeming power of the Saviour through baptism. In the valley 2.5km below Mesanagros, on the north side of the road to Lachania, is the 14th century chapel of Aghios Thomas, with buttress blocks to its north and south sides. There are darkened paintings inside: to either side of a painted altar table decked with monstrance and salver in the apse, stand SS. Paul and Nikitas. Beyond the church, the road subsequently descends to Lachania, in whose main plateia are two fine fountains, one with Ottoman inscription.
Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.