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Greece » Dodecanese islands » Rhodes island » Rhodes Sightseeing » Rodini
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Rodini

Situated within the urban area of the town of Rhodes, Rodini is a small valley, with rich wild vegetation, thanks to the abundant current waters. The place is full of huge perennial plane trees, oleanders, willows, several species of bushes, smaller trees and other plants, which make an ideal environment for a variety of micro-fauna. A brook with clean cool water flows through the valley, passing beneath the ancient bridge of Korakonero.

The Municipality of the town of Rhodes is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the place, which is actually a park. The Municipality has undertaken small scale works, establishing a café and paths among the plants and flowers. Rodini used to be a park also during the Ottoman domination, while in the period of the Knights of St John it was situated here the villa of the Grand Masters.
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The whole area around Rodini is a huge archaeological site, with great importance for the history and archaeology of the town of Rhodes, but also for the whole of the island. Archaeologists and scholars suggest that both the natural and the human environment has been maintained pretty intact since ancient times, so, what we see today, presents a unique sample of the landscape architecture. The big funeral monuments and the caves hidden behind the wild vegetation bear in mind the “Nymphea”, the caves well known from the Acropolis of Athens, show us how the space was arranged to be a place of relax and cult during the Hellenistic times, the peak period of the flourishing of Rhodes (3rd and 2nd centuries b.C.)

Some of the most important monuments of the site are the following:

Situated at Pefkakia, the funeral monument of the Ptolemys’ dynasty is a mausoleum of big dimensions, hewed out of a rock at a hill. According to tradition, the monument was constructed for Ptolemy the First after whom it had been called “the Ptolemy’s tomb”. It is a square construction with each side 28,50 meters long, decorated with columns at the four external sides. Inside, the construction is divided in an antechamber followed by a room, both of rectangular shape. There are conches on the walls for the placement of the sarcophagi with the bodies of the deceased. The roof in the interior is gabled, while at the exterior it has the form of a barrow. The whole construction stands on a base with three steps, hewed out of the rock.

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The so-called “Corinthian tomb” is a burial complex hewed out of the rock, with three underground chambers. Columns and “blind” openings alternate at the façade. It is thought that the capitals of the columns, of which none has been preserved, were of Corinthian style and this feature gave to the complex its actual name.

Several cave-like constructions are visible on the site. All of them have conches for the placement of small statues, domed roofs and small altars standing on bases. All these constructions are in perfect harmony with the natural environment. Several of these constructions have been constructed by Italian archaeologists in 1924, after an extensive study of the ancient data available.

No systematic excavations have been carried out on the site, although archaeologists think that there are a lot of monuments to be discovered in future.
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