Lindos is a medieval village on the Greek island of Rhodes. It has only seven hundred inhabitants, greatly outnumbered by tourists in the high season. Being one of the main attractions on the island it is often overcrowded in the mornings when the tourist coaches arrive. These usually depart by 12noon, whisking their patrons off for lunch and the next destination.
The main attraction of Lindos is the town itself, winding paths between small traditional whitewashed buildings. Be brave and leave the main streets and explore the backstreets! Free maps can be picked up from the tourist information centre. These are obviously incredibly useful, but for some reason the map is without street names, and so it’s still very easy to get lost.
Dotted around Lindos you will stumble across many Captain’s Houses. These date from the 1400s and are particularly attractive. Double points if you can enter them as well as find them!
Visit the ruins of the Acropolis and the (still unfinished as of mid-2009) reconstructed temple of Lindian Athena. Entrance fee to the Acropolis itself is €6, but you do have a nice view from there. It’s open till 6:40PM from March to December. There is also the remains of an Ancient Amphitheatre carved into the slope of the Acropolis. If you wish to avoid the tiring climb you can hire a donkey at the entrance of the town. Walking up the road that leads high up to the acropolis, the first ruins you will encounter are the medieval walls. In the early 14th century the Crusaders built fortifications upon the remains of earlier defenses, from both the Byzantine era and more ancient times. There are a few towers along the medieval walls which follow the natural contours of the high ground.
You can also see St Paul’s Bay where the saint supposedly crashed on the island and brought Christianity with him.
Lindos was founded by the Dorians led by the king Tlepolemus of Rhodes, who arrived in about the 10th century BC. It was one of six Dorian cities in the area known as the Dorian Hexapolis. The eastern location of Rhodes made it a natural meeting place between the Greeks and the Phoenicians, and by the 8th century Lindos was a major trading centre. Its importance declined after the foundation of the city of Rhodes in the late 5th century.
In classical times the acropolis of Lindos was dominated by the massive temple of Athena Lindia, which attained its final form in around 300 BC. InHellenistic and Roman times the temple precinct grew as more buildings were added. In early medieval times these buildings fell into disuse, and in the 14th century they were partly overlaid by a massive fortress built on the acropolis by the Knights of St John to defend the island against the Ottomans.
Above the modern town rises the acropolis of Lindos, a natural citadel which was fortified successively by the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Knights of St John and the Ottomans. This makes the site difficult to excavate and interpret archaeologically. The acropolis offers spectacular views of the surrounding harbours and coastline.
On the acropolis of Lindos today parts of the following buildings may still be seen:
Some scenes of the well-known film, The Guns of Navarone, were filmed here.