Ancient Lindos and Acropolis

The ancient city state protected by its strong acropolis was a major maritime power, the birthplace of Kleoboulos (a moderate tyrant, one of the seven sages of the ancient world known for his “everything in moderation”).

Ancient Lindos has always been admired for its wealth, beauty and strategic position. Much the same can be said today although Lindos is to be enjoyed during the off season. Avoid full summer season when there are too many tourists and it can be too hot!

On the acropolis of Lindos parts of the following buildings may still be seen:

  • Doric Temple of Athena Lindia – dating from 300 BC, built on the site of an earlier temple. Inside the temple is the altar and the base of the cult statue of Athena.
  • Propylaea of the Sanctuary – dating from the 4th century BC, a staircase leads to a D-shaped stoa and a wall with five door openings.
  • Hellenistic arcade – with lateral projecting wings, dating from about 200 BC, this stoa was 87 metres long and consisted of 42 columns.
  • Well-known relief of a Rhodian trireme (warship) cut into the rock at the foot of the steps leading to the acropolis. The relief is said to date from about 180 BC.
  • Hellenistic staircase – (2nd century BC) leads to the main archaeological area of the acropolis.
  • Remains of Roman temple – possibly dedicated to the Emperor Diocletian, dates from about 300 AD.
  • Acropolis surrounded by a Hellenistic wall contemporary with the Propylaea and the stairway leading to the entrance to the site.
  • 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. Two towers, one at the southwest corner and one to the west survive.

The archaeological site of Lindos extends outside and includes the following monuments:

  • Theatre – on the southwest side of the hill, below the Temple of Athena; proedries, the seating for important officials around the orchestra, still survive; there are 19 rows of seats and the theatre held 1,800 spectators.
  • Four-Portico Building – remains of a four-sided building near the theatre.
  • Boukopion – at Vigli, northeast of the Acropolis, a place of sacrifices as identified by 38 inscriptions found on the surrounding rocks. A naiskos built of small field stones with temple (10th -9th BC) containing clay and bronze figurines, chiefly of oxen, was uncovered.

The two most important funerary monuments are:

  • Kleoboulos tomb – on the hill top entrance to Lindos Bay, this was the tomb of a local wealthy family, possibly no real connection to Kleoboulos. It is a circular structure with carefully built masonry and a vaulted roof dating from the 2nd-1st century BC.
  • The Archokrateion – At Krana, on the hill west of the Acropolis, is a rock cut tomb. The exterior facade has two stories, 19 graves were cut into the wall of the burial chamber.

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