- Published: Tuesday, 08 July 2014 08:56
Part of the places to visit, concerning antiquities in Rhodes, the Archaeological museum is a must see destination. The Rhodes Archaeological Museum displays mostly Classical and Hellenistic as well as some Archaic artifacts including statues, funeral pieces and decorative items. The building in which the Rhodes Archaeological Museum is located is also historically important, it being the Great Hospital of the Knights Hospitallers, built between 1440 and 1489. This Christian military order was based in Rhodes at the time and the Great Hospital is part of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage listing.
The Rhode’s Footbridge is an ancient Greek arch bridge in the city of Rhodes. Dating to the 4th century BC or early Hellenistic period, the modest structure represents the oldest known Greek bridge with a voussoir arch. The Rhodes Footbridge was unearthed in 1966−67 close to the eastern harbour of the city of Rhodes, the Akandia Bay. There, an artificial channel of 2.15m depth ran parallel to the ancient city walls, separated by a 11m wide street running in between. The sidewalls of the conduit were made of at least four layers of porous limestone blocks, the same material also employed for the arch.Nearly at its midpoint, the canal is crossed by a 8m broad arch of wedge-shaped stones which served as a footbridge.
The curved opening has a single span of 2.8m, identical to the width of the canal. Its surprisingly low rise, in the order of 1 to 3−4, gives it the appearance of a segmental or even multi-centered arch, of which it is the only known example in Greek architecture. While it has been argued that the footbridge remained the only vault bridge in the Greek world, there is debatable evidence of at least three more Greek true arch bridges of pre-Roman date.
Acropolis of Rhodes (Monte Smith Hill)
The Acropolis of Rhodes is the site that represents the city of Rhodes in the Hellenistic period. Containing several different sites, including temples, monuments and public buildings, the Acropolis of Rhodes represents the main ancient site in the city, dating mostly to the Hellenistic and Late Hellenistic periods (3rd-2nd c. BC).The Rhodes Acropolis dominated the western and highest part of the city. It was not fortified like most ancient acropolis. It consisted of a monumental zone with Sanctuaries, large temples, public buildings and underground cult places.
The buildings were built on stepped terraces supported by strong retaining walls. The excavations were carried out by the Italian Archaeological School during the Italian occupation of the island (1912-1945). From 1946 onwards the Greek Archaeological Service conducted excavations which added to our knowledge of the history and topography of the place. Whole Acropolis has not yet been excavated. The most important monuments in the archaeological zone are the following; the Temple of Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus on the northern edge of the Acropolis. This was where the Rhodians kept the texts of their treaties with other states. The "Nymphaia" located to the east and south of the wall of the stoa. Water cisterns and lush vegetation complete the picture. The Odeion northwest of the Stadium is a small restored marble Odeion. The Temple of Pythian Apollo stands on the southern part of the hill, on the west side of a large rectangular terrace. The Stoa building, the Artemision and the Stadium complete the layout. Part of the west side was uncovered in the past, and recently the NE corner was discovered under the modern refreshment pavilion. It was important for the works of art which it contained. There used to be a fine library containing notable works of rhetorics, near the Gymnasium and the Odeion, according to an inscription found in the area.
The district of Ialyssos encompasses the northern part of the island. It was inhabited in the prehistoric period. Remains of a Minoan settlement have been found at Trianta and Mycenaean cemeteries have been located on the surrounding hills of Makria Vounara and Moschou Vounara. The ancient city of Ialyssos extended around the hill of Philerimos, which was the ancient acropolis where there are remains of buildings from the Archaic, Byzantine and Knights' periods. The temple of Athena Polias, was built over the site of an earlier Classical temple. The depository on the west side produced pottery and votive offerings. In the Early Christian period a three-aisled basilica with an atrium was built on the remains of the ancient temple.
The more important buildings in the archaeological site include the following, the temple of Athena Polias, the Doric fountain-house comprising of two tunnels which brought water from the top of the hill to a cistern cut into the rock and closed by a wall in the form of a Π (pi). The Church of the Knights', with a vaulted roof and two hexagonal chapels, the Baptistery of a three-aisled Early Christian basilica, the Byzantine fortifications. Parts of the repairs made by the Knights are visible, the Ruins of the katholikon of a Byzantine monastery which is a cruciform inscribed church of the C type, the Medieval monastery with the monks' cells on the ground floor and the Abbot's quarters on the first floor, and finally, the Single cell chapel of Ayios Georgios Chostos. Excavations were carried out by the Italian Archaeological School during their occupation of the island. The earliest phases of the temple of Athena were excavated as well as the depository containing figurines, pottery and metal objects. The Doric fountain-house was also excavated and restored at this time.
Acropolis of Lindos
Standing on at the top of a one hundred and sixteen meter high cliff is the Acropolis of Lindos, a natural citadel which was fortified successfully 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, the temple of Athena Lindia dating from about 300 BC, built on the site of an earlier temple - inside the temple is the table of offerings and the base of the cult statue of Athena, the propylaea (gates) of the sanctuary, also dating from the 4th century BC.
A monumental staircase leads to a D-shaped stoa and a wall with five door openings, the great Hellenistic Stoa with lateral projecting wings, dating from about 200 BC - the stoa was 87 meters 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. On the bow stood a statue of general Hagesander, the work of the sculptor Pythokritos. The relief dates from about 180 BC, the Remains of a Roman temple, possibly dedicated to the emperor Diocletian and dating from about 300 AD, the castle of the Knights of St John, 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 managed to survive, and finally the Greek Orthodox Church of St John, dating from the 13th or 14th century and built on the ruins of a previous church, which may have been built as early as the 6th century.
Located approximately 40km west of Rhodes town, lies the Ancient Kamiros, twice destroyed by earthquakes,which was, with Lindos and Ialysos, one of the three ancient cities of the island, and an important commercial center for the Archaic of the Hellenistic Age. Located on Rhodes's north-western coast, oppositefrom the island’s more popular beaches. It is easily accessible by car and less crowded than the better-known acropolis of Lindos. Unlike Lindos, the ancient city of Kamiros has not been overlaid by a modern town, so its geography remains visible to the visitor. It was the most conservative of the three cities and supported the life and growth with agricultural production. It was discovered in 1929, during excavations in the region. It was built in the hillside overlooking the sea, without any fortifications or Acropolis.
In the archaeological site today are the ruins of the Hellenistic- Roman city of Kamiros and exact parts of houses and buildings, the agora, the Doric temple with a few arches, the Hellenistic temple, the central street of the city, the ruins of the aqueduct and traces of the Temple of Athena. Near the archaeological site stands the monastery of the Virgin Mary, in the same position as in the third century B.C. temple of Athena.In prehistoric times the Mylantian gods, who taught mankind milling and kneading, were worshipped here. The earthquake of 226 BC destroyed the Classical city and probably the classical temple of Athena Kameiras. The Hellenistic city was built on three levels according to the Hippodamian system. On the summit of the hill was the Acropolis with the temple of Athena and the Stoa. On the middle terrace was the settlement and lower down the Hellenistic temple, Doric Fountain-house, agora and peribolos of the Altars. The earthquake of 142 BC destroyed the city for the second time.The acropolis commands fabulous views across the sea to the coast of Turkey, and below it is, reasonably well preserved, the remains of a town with all its ancient conveniences.
Kritinia is located on a hillside between mount Attavyros and the western coast of the island of Rhodes. It is 10 km from Embonas, 51 km from the town of Rhodes, 53 km from Lindos and 35 km from Rhodes International Airport. The village, meaning New Crete, was founded by some families escaped from Crete during the Turkish rule in the island. Originally, the settlement was located by the coast, in the current position of Kameiros Skala; but after the Byzantine era it was moved on the hills, for safety against pirates. In 1658, the Venetian Doge Francesco Morosini tried to conquer Rhodes entering at Kameiros Skala beach, but the Venetian army was rejected. The castle above Kritinia, named Kastellos (Castle), was built in 1472 by Giorgio Orsini to protect the inhabitants of the village from the attacks of the Ottoman fleets. Until the liberation of the Dodecanese, the village was named Kastelli, from the Latin Castellum, meaning castle.
Vroulia is an ancient settlement located at the southernmost tip of the island of Rhodes opposite Prassonisi. This ancient settlement had early organized city planning, but as finding have shown, life in the settlement was very limited. Today the small harbor is a safe haven for small fishing boats. Anyone can visit the archaeological site, which is open to visitors all day.
Monolithos is a Greek village on the island of Rhodes located 10 km south-east of Apolakkia and 30 km from Prasonisi. Outside the village is the Venetian castle, built on top of a 100m rock. This castle was built in 1480 by the Knights of Saint John to protect the island from attacks. In fact, this castle was never conquered. The castle of Monolithos is widely ruined today but it offers great views of the sea and the two islets opposite to it. Inside the castle, there are two chapels that are no longer used. Access to the castle is by a staircase engraved into the rock.