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Lindos, Rhodes Island

The modern settlement of Lindos is situated at a distance of some 48 kilometers far from the capital town of Rhodes at the South and occupies the same place as the ancient homonymous city. The whole settlement has been has been listed by the Ministry of Culture as a historic settlement with conservation status and thus the visitor can see how the village was in recent past. The actual form of the settlement was established after 1610, following the strong earthquake, which destroyed it totally. The village was reconstructed and decorated with new buildings, at the expenses of the wealthy local ship owners. As the soil around Lindos was pretty barren, the residents of the village were orientated to the sea and soon they became famous skippers and ship owners, sailing all over the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea. Today, the majority of the 800 permanent residents of the village are occupied in tourism.

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The visitor enters Lindos from the road of the North and arrives at the unique square of the village, with the impressive plane tree, watered by the fountain whose construction goes back to the period of the Knights. However, several ruins around remind to the modern visitor that in antiquity the place was full of aqueducts. Just before entering the village, the visitor comes across the cemetery of the old village, with the imposing church of Faneromeni, dedicated to Virgin Mary. Close enough there are also the remains of the Muslim cemetery, with few graves to survive up to now.

Below the central square of the modern settlement there is the small church of Taxiarches Michael, Stratelates. Within a shallow niche it is preserved a post- Byzantine representation of Archangel Michael, carrying the souls to death (“Psychopompos”). There are also traces of earlier frescoes, going back to the Byzantine times.

Western to the church, at the Muslim cemetery, it is preserved a shallow niche with the representation of a Saint on horseback, called Aghios Georgios o Kammenos (St. George the Burnt) and dated in the 15th century.

The parish church of Lindos is dedicated to Virgin Mary. It is an oblong building with an oblique aisle forming a cross. In 1489, the Grand Master Pierre d’ Aubusson sponsored the restoration of the older church and constructed a groin-vaulted vestibule. The Grand Master’s blazon is still visible at the southern part of the bell tower, beside the blazon of the commander of the castle, Pierre d’ Aymer. Several inscriptions are found on the church, the older of which is the one giving the date 1637. Some of the old frescoes of the church survived, but the majority of the painting is due to the painter Gregorios of Symi, who depicted the whole church in 1779.

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At the site of Vigli, eastern to the acropolis and below it, it is preserved the mosaic floor and the marble tiling of an Early Christian basilica, dated in the 5th century.

Another church, church of Aghios Georgios Chostos (St. George) is situated at the northwestern edge of the village. It is an inscribed cruciform church with a cupola, preserving traces of five layers of frescoes at the apse of the sanctuary. The older of them are dated in the post-Iconoclast period (9th and 10th centuries), whereas the most recent go back to the post-Byzantine times.

The church of Aghios Georgios Pachymachiotis, or Aghios Georgios Pano (“upper”), is situated a bit higher. This church is also an inscribed cruciform church with a cupola. According to an inscription found at the southern part of the arch, the church was built in circa 1394. Frescoes are preserved on the southern wall, presenting full-figure saints dressed in the luxurious Byzantine style. The arches of the sanctuary are also depicted with frescoes, presenting hierarchs.

Similar to the church of Aghios Georgios Chostos is the church of Aghios Menas. Interesting frescoes, dated from the 12th century (Byzantine period) up to the period of the Knights in the 15th century, are preserved on the walls of the church.

Finally, it is worth seeing the church of Aghios Demetrios. Situated at the Northeast of the acropolis , it is a small barrel-vaulted church with a blind apse at the northern wall where there is a presentation of the saint on horseback, dated in the 15th century.

And, of course you should visit the small church of St. Paul, situated at the homonymous small port. According to tradition it was here that Apostle Paul set ashore, when he visited the island in 58 A.D. to preach Christianity.

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In what concerns its plan, the village is similar to the old medieval settlements of the Aegean. The houses are built very close to one another, with the courtyards in the interior, a feature that assured protection. Porous stone and limestone is the main building material. The stones are plastered and whitewashed. Some of the houses are very simple and resemble to the country cottages, others have a courtyard and some are the old mansions. The most representative mansions are dated in the 17th and 18th centuries and are known by the names of their owners: the House of Papakonstantis, of Kyriakos Koliodos, of Makris, of Krikis, of Marietta Markoulitsa and of Ioannidis, where it is housed a small folk collection. Later on, in late 19th and early 20th century, some wealthy families of Lindos have constructed big houses in neoclassic style. The building of the old school, beside the church of Panaghia, is a typical sample of neoclassicism in the village. The building is actually used as a cultural center and houses some cultural associations of the area.

Of course, you may choose to see the old settlement and the ancient city from the acropolis of Lindos, which you may reach in an absolutely traditional way: on a donkey’s or mule’s back.

A wide range of accommodation is available both in Lindos and in the area around. You will enjoy gorgeous dishes in the traditional taverns and fresh fish in the seafront taverns. You have also several alternatives for amusement and nightlife, both within Lindos and at the nearby beaches. For your shopping you will find many stores of souvenirs and gift shops, where you may buy nice souvenirs and handmade needlework.

Several small coastal and inland villages, close to Lindos, are worth visiting. Vlycha is found at a distance of 4 kilometers northern to Lindos. If you drive to the Southwest, it is worth seeing the villages of Pefki, 5 kilometers far from Lindos, Kiotari, at a distance of 16 kilometers and the village of Gennadi, 20 kilometers far away. On your way to these villages, you may also visit the village of Lardos, at a distance of 8 kilometers western to Lindos.

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You will enjoy swimming at the beach of Lindos, as well as at the beaches of Vlycha Bay, northern to Lindos, or at the beaches southern to Lindos, up to the southern edge of the island.

In case of health problems, a local Medical Center and a pharmacy are available in the village. A pharmacy is also available at the nearby village of Lardos. Lindos has also a Post Office, a Tourist Information office, a Police Station and Port Authority office.

A series of cultural activities are organized in summer by the Municipality of Lindos. The events attract many people and usually end up with songs, dance and a lot of fun. The locals celebrate the name day of the Apostles Peter and Paul, on the 29th of June with a local feast (“panighyri”). A local feast also takes place on the 15th of August in honor of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. And finally, the locals celebrate the memory of a local saint, St. Malachias of Lindos, who died a martyr in Jerusalem in 1580.

Access to Lindos from the town of Rhodes is easy, by public buses, running regularly, as well as by rented or private car and motorbikes. A common means to visit Lindos is to catch one of the excursion boats, departing daily from Mandraki to the port of Lindos. If you have a yacht, supply facilities for boats and yachts are available at the port of Lindos.
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