Visiting the Acropolis of Lindos
Trip Start Nov 10, 2013
18Trip End Dec 04, 2013
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Rhodes is really called "Rodos (pronounced "row dose") by the locals. It is the 4th largest Greek island. Winter population is about 120,000 while in summer it doubles because of its weather and beaches so tourism is an important part of their economy. They have over 300 days of sun a year with virtually no rain from May until late October.
The two main attractions are the ancient temple at the village of Lindos and the fort/hospital built by the knights of St. John ( who are now the Knights of Malta) in the the old town of Rhodes. We toured both and ate a typical Greek lunch at a local taverna
All these islands experienced multiple rulers over the ages. Rhodes was ruled by the Persians, Romans, the Knights of St. John, Ottoman Turks, Italians, Germans, British (and probably a few others) before settling under the umbrella of Greece in 1947. The impression I got was they simply shrugged their shoulders and moved on with life.
Reaching the ancient site of the Acropolis ( literally translates as the city at the top) of Lindos was a little daunting, involving climbing almost 300 cobble stone steps to reach the site where a temple of Athena (the war goddess of protection and patron of arts and crafts) was located. The original temple dates back to the 4th century BC. It was further expanded in the 3rd-1st centuries BC. It was a important religious site and even Alexander the Great was known to have visited the temple to offer sacrifices.
Most people know Rhodes not for the Acropolis but for being the site of one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world: the Colossus of Rhodes. This was a bronze statue dedicated to Helios, the sun god. It was about 30 meters ( 90 feet) high and was built around 300 AD. It has always been rumored (and pictured) to have been located at the entrance of the harbor but historians now feel it is not true and that it was really located on a hill near the harbor. It was destroyed in a earthquake in 227 BC and was ultimately recycled because of the value of the metal.
The other major attraction is the old town of The town of Rhodes. In the 14th century the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (quasi religious, quasi military) showed up and saved the island from invasion of the Turks. They made Rhodes their headquarters and built a large ( 3 separate walls and 3 dry moats) fort , the Palace of the Grand Masters and a hospital which still stands.
It is the end of tourist season here so many of the shops are already closed. No great shopping so far.