Castles of Greece


Lindos, Rhodes, Dodecanese,South Aegean

Acropolis of Lindos

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Acropolis of Lindos
Lindos, Rhodes island
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
South Aegean
Municipality > Town:
City of Rhodes
• Lindos
Elevation ≈ 116 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
between 1309-1317  
Castle Type   Condition
Relatively Good

Lindos is perhaps one of the most ancient castles in the world and one of the important archaeological sites of Greece.

Most probably, it was already a fort in the time of the Trojan war and continued to be an acropolis during the archaic period, the Greek classical period, the Roman and the Byzantine periods and during the occupation of the island by the knights of the Order of Saint John.


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. In Hellenistic 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.

Structure, Fortification & Buildings

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, the most important monuments come from antiquity, such as:

The Doric Temple of Athena Lindia, dating from about 300 BC, built on the site of an earlier temple.
The Propylaea of the Sanctuary, also dating from the 4th century BC.
The Hellenistic stoa with lateral projecting wings, dating from about 200 BC. The stoa is 87 metres long and consisted of 42 columns.
The well-known relief of a Rhodian trireme (warship) cut into the rock at the foot of the steps leading to the acropolis.
The Hellenistic staircase (2nd century BC)

The Castle of the Knights of St John was built some time before 1317 on the foundations of older Byzantine fortifications. The walls and towers follow the natural conformation of the cliff. A pentagonal tower on the south side commanded the harbour, the settlement and the road from the south of the island. There was a large round tower on the east facing the sea and two more, one round and the other on a corner, on the northeast side of the enceinte. Today one of the towers at the southwest corner and one to the west survive.


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Road map to Acropolis of Lindos

Approach to the monument:
Easy access from the city of Lindos.
Open: Tuesday-Sunday, 8.30-15.00 and May to September 8.00-19.00 & Monday 12.00-19.00.
Ticket is required.

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