Acropolis of Lindos
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Perched atop a sheer cliff, 116 meters high, the Lindos Acropolis on Rhodes is a stunning testament to ancient times. Initially fortified in the 6th century BCE, it now features battlements from the Knights of Saint John. Little remains of its original form.

A Historical Overview

This natural podium offers breathtaking sea views, encased by robust defensive walls and the expanse of the sky. Despite its transformation, the acropolis remains a picturesque landmark, distinct from other ancient structures and blending seamlessly with the local landscape.

Atop the summit, remnants of the Athena Lindia sanctuary, 4th-century BCE temples, grand Hellenistic colonnades, and a Byzantine St. John chapel stand. The Knights of St. John fortified the area with robust walls. Lindos thrived until the 19th century. However, its origins stretch back further, with discoveries ranging from the Neolithic to the Mycenaean era.

In ancient times, Danaus, a Libyan king, fled to Rhodes to escape his rival sibling after losing his throne. There, he founded Lindos. Yet, his story takes a dark turn. Aware of a prophecy that his death would come at his son-in-law’s hand, Danaus commanded his daughters to slay their husbands. All but one followed his orders. Eventually, it was the disobedient daughter’s spouse who fulfilled the grim prophecy, murdering Danaus roughly 4000 years ago.

Lindos, with roots tracing back to the 13th-12th centuries BC, is mentioned in Homer’s «Iliad.» The most credible account, however, points to its establishment in the 10th century BC by Tlepolemus, a Dorian ruler and son of Hercules. The worship of Athena Lindia predates the Greeks, though evidence is scarce. After a fire in 342 BC, the current temple, Propylaea, and grand staircase were constructed, marking the Hellenistic evolution of the site. Despite the introduction of the Zeus Polieus cult in the 3rd century BC, Athena remained the Acropolis’s primary deity.

It’s widely acknowledged that the precise origins and history of the Lindos Acropolis on Rhodes are unclear, mainly due to the scant remains that have survived to this day.

Main Attractions

Modern visitors must ascend a steep path with 34 steps, mimicking the ancient approach, to reach the historic remnants aloft. Presently, one can observe fragments of ancient structures within the Acropolis.

  • Doric Temple of Athena Lindia. Constructed around the 4th century BCE, this temple stands on an older sacred site. It houses an offering table and the base of the very first Athena statue.
  • Sanctuary Propylaea. Built in the 4th century BCE, a grand staircase leads to a D-shaped platform and a wall with five gateways.
  • Hellenistic Stoa. Dating back to the 3rd century BCE, this 87-meter long structure featured 42 columns and had prominent side wings.
  • A prominent depiction of a Rhodian warship from around 180 BCE features a prow adorned with a sculpture of General Hagesander, crafted by Pythokritos.
  • An ancient Hellenistic staircase, dating back to the 2nd century BCE, guides visitors towards the main archaeological site of the Acropolis.
  • The ruins of a Roman temple possibly dedicated to Emperor Diocletian and estimated to be from around 300 AD.
  • The Knights of Saint John constructed their castle around 1317, building upon ancient Byzantine fortifications.
  • A Greek Orthodox Church dedicated to Saint John dates back to the 14th and 13th centuries, erected over the remains of an earlier sanctuary that may have its roots in the 6th century.
  • An antique theater was established on the northwest side of a hill, with a nearby Tetrapylon structure, likely serving religious ceremonial purposes.
  • For those interested in exploring ancient family sepulchres, Lindos offers access to the illustrious Arhocrates and Cleovoulos tombs.

From Faliraki, an hourly bus service provides transportation to Lindos. Once there, follow the signs and a map to reach your destination. Visitors from other cities should look for buses heading towards Lindos. If you’re starting from Rhodes, a shuttle from the central station will take you to the Acropolis.


  • Ensure you carry a hat and some water with you. The summit provides no shade, and the sun-heated rocks can make the air even hotter.
  • Wear comfortable footwear with a non-slip sole for your walk.
  • Keep a close watch on any children with you, as the site can be slippery and there are numerous drop-offs and loose rocks underfoot.
  • The climb to the hilltop is strenuous. Consider skipping the climb if you have any musculoskeletal or blood pressure issues.
  • Sometimes, adventurers are tempted to climb or descend cliffs using donkeys. However, safety can be compromised. Walking may be the safer option.
  • For a more pleasant experience, consider arriving early morning. This allows you to avoid crowds and the intense heat of the sun.