The Acropolis of Rhodes
Rhodes Town
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Rhodes Town

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The Acropolis of Rhodes, a major archaeological attraction, is situated close to the city amidst pristine natural surroundings, making it a favored spot for local joggers and walkers. The lower section, featuring a vast stadium, is particularly family-friendly, welcoming visitors with young children.


The elevated region in the westernmost part of Rhodes housed an Acropolis that stood distinct from other ancient citadels due to its lack of fortifications. This significant historical site was characterized by an array of sanctuaries, grand temples, civic structures, and subterranean areas dedicated to worship, all arranged on terraced levels reinforced by robust retaining walls. According to the second-century orator Aelius Aristides, the Acropolis of Rhodes was replete with verdant fields and groves.

The fusion of natural splendor with man-made enhancements perfectly encapsulates the beauty of the Acropolis’s Hellenistic architectural style. These structures are from the Hellenistic and late Hellenistic eras, dating back to the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE.

During the Italian occupation of Rhodes Island, from 1912 to 1945, Italian archaeologists conducted extensive excavations on the Acropolis grounds. G. Jacopi unearthed the Temple of Athena in 1926, and further digs were carried out in 1934 under the direction of L. Laurenzi.

Following World War II, the Greek Archaeological Service embarked on restoration efforts of the heavily bomb-damaged ruins, including artillery-impacted sites. Since 1946, Greek archaeologists have been excavating the area, uncovering significant historical insights and the layout of the ancient site. In the 1960s and 70s, they reconstructed the western base of the Temple of Pythian Apollo. In 1996, further restoration of the Temple and the Nymphaeum was undertaken. Excavations are ongoing within the 12,500 square meter Acropolis archaeological park. Archaeologists believe that the artifacts found so far are just a fraction of the ancient city of Rhodes' illustrious past.

Major Attractions in the Archaeological Site

Among the significant monuments, the following stand out:

  • The Temple of Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus: Located on the northern edge of the Acropolis, this temple faced east and was a peripteral Doric structure with a rectangular portico on all sides. Its grandeur is evidenced by the oversized column drums and parts of the entablature still visible on the excavation site. This sacred site was where the Rhodians safeguarded their treaties with other states. The temple was situated on an expansive plot bordered by the eastern wall.
  • The Nymphaeum, nestled to the southeast of the stoa’s wall, is a complex of four underground grotto-like chambers carved into the rock, interconnected by passages with stairways at their entrances, and featuring a large opening at the center of the roof. Recesses in the walls served as niches for small statues. Surrounding water reservoirs and lush greenery create a serene ambiance. This sanctuary served as a tranquil retreat for relaxation and divine worship.
  • Restored Odeon. To the northwest of the stadium, there’s a small, refurbished marble Odeon. It seated roughly 800 people and was likely used for either musical events or to attend lectures by renowned orators from Rhodes.
  • Pythian Temple of ApolloLocated at the hill’s southern end on the west side of a large rectangular terrace, the temple was a modestly sized peripheral sanctuary, smaller than the temples of Athena and Zeus. A section of the northeast side, featuring four columns and part of the entablature, has been reconstructed.
  • The Stoa’s Remnants. Only the foundation wall of the Stoa remains today, initially designed with a grand facade meant to be seen from the lower city and the port.
  • The Sanctuary of Artemis. In the northeastern segment of the Acropolis in the city of Rhodes, one can find the remains of several sacred structures, among them a site dedicated to the worship of Artemis.
  • The Olympic stadium. Located on the southeastern slope, this historical site was excavated and restored by Italian teams. Measuring around 210 meters in length, it features a semi-circular end with a turning post, official seating, and some original lower tier seats. A starting device used by ancient competitors is also preserved. This venue was dedicated to the deity Helios, hosting athletic events in his honor. Today, it continues to be a spot where locals engage in sports training.
  • Sports Complex. Located east of the main arena, the sports facility’s western section was uncovered some time ago. Recent excavations revealed a section of its northeastern corner under a modern snack pavilion. The structure was a large square, approximately 200 square meters.
  • Library. This site once hosted a magnificent library filled with notable works. An inscription unearthed suggests it was situated near the gymnasium and the Odeon.

Walking to the Acropolis

You can reach the Acropolis on foot within 15–20 minutes. Start from St. Athanasius Gate at the southwest corner of the Old Town and make your way via Komninou and Diagoridon streets.

Alternatively, take bus number 6 to the Acropolis of Rhodes. From Lindos and other towns on the island, the state-run white and orange KTEL Rodou buses are available.

Check the ticket price to the Acropolis of Rhodes either at the bus station ticket counters or directly with the bus driver.


  • The ancient site is open to the elements, and you can walk in freely at any time. To avoid the scorching sun, consider an evening visit during the hotter months for a more pleasant experience.
  • You can approach the site from any direction, but the seaside entrance is particularly recommended. If you opt to traverse the forest route, stay alert for snakes.
  • Entrance to Rhodes' Acropolis is without charge.
  • Allocate a minimum of 60 minutes for a thorough exploration of the site.
  • You can find parking areas to the left, in front of, and behind the Acropolis, specifically on Diagoridon Street.
  • Don’t miss the chance to experiment with sound in the amphitheater, known for its impressive acoustics.
  • Be aware there’s another famous Acropolis on the island, located in Lindos. Ensure not to confuse the two as they are distinct historical sites.