At the south end of the bay is the modern village of Trianda (7.5km). The centre is to the left of the main road where the low, stone church of Aghios Nikolaos (on Aghia Aikaterini Street, 200m west of the main square) is decorated with remnants of wall-paintings from the late 15th century. The legible scenes are few, but powerful. Some—in particular the -Mocking of Christ on the north side of the vault, which constitutes a veritable glossary of rude gestures—are evoked by the artist with an originality, directness and vitality uncommon in Byzantine tradition. The back of the prothesis niche is also decorated with adoring angels and its borders edged with decorative designs. Excavations near the coast at this point have uncovered an extensive and important prehistoric settlement established in the 16th century bc by the Minoans to facilitate trade between Crete and Asia. This was superseded by a larger Mycenaean settlement. At one of the lowest levels excavated, a 30cm layer of volcanic ash from Thera was found. At the moment of Thera’s eruption in the 16th century bc, the prevailing wind in the Aegean was blowing from northwest to southeast, carrying the clouds of ash towards Rhodes and eastern Crete. Further back towards the base of the hill to the south, a wealth of burial finds have come to light from successive periods—Mycenaean through to Classical times. The finds are exhibited both in the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes and in the British Museum. The village of Trianda occupies the site of the commercial area of Ancient Ialysos, a prosperous independent Dorian city and one of the three major ancient settlements of the island, whose acropolis was on the summit of Mount Philerimos behind and to the south. It was famous in Antiquity for the Diagoridai, a family of oligarchs who also produced a number of Olympic victors: Diagoras, the most famous pugilist in antiquity, won the boxing competition no fewer than three times; three of his sons and two of his grandsons were also Olympic victors. He was celebrated by Pindar in his seventh Olympian Ode, of 464 bc: the ode, which tells the story of the island’s identification with Helios, is an important source of Rhodian mythology. Tribute is still paid to Diagoras’ fame: the new airport of Rhodes is also named after him.
Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.