No TARDIS Needed: Time Travel to Ancient Rhodes

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Jan 03, 2014 / 0 comments

You don’t need the Doctor to travel back in time while you’re visiting Rhodes, a Greek island that is famous for its beaches, cuisine, and history. You can explore centuries of history, just by exploring the island on your Rhodes holidays. While you may not be able to see Colossus of Rhodes, one of the original 7 wonders of the world, there is still plenty to see. While there is a plethora of sites to visit, here are my top 7 historical sites in Rhodes (consider this website your very own TARDIS).

No TARDIS Needed: Time Travel to Ancient Rhodes

Wikimedia Commons: Shadowgate, adapted by Wandering Educators

The Acropolis of Lindos

On the east coast of Rhodes lies the town of Lindos. Perched on a hill there is the Acropolis, which was built onto by many – Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and Knights of St John. On the Acropolis, you can see the remains of many buildings, including a temple to Athena (from 300BC), the Propylaea of the Sanctuary (300BC), a Hellenistic stoa (200BC), a relief carving into the steps of a Rhodian trireme (180BC), a Roman temple (300 AD), the Castle of the Knights of St John (early 1300s), and a Greek Orthodox church of St John (13th century) on the remains of a previous church (6th century). The Acropolis is surrounded by beautiful white houses down below (and the sea, of course). You can hike up yourself (bring water!), or ride a donkey for about €5.

Acropolis of Lindos, Rhodes, Greece

Wikimedia Commons: Wknight94

The Acropolis of Rhodes

Another ancient fortification, here you can find ruins of a Temple of Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus, a Nymphaia (caves!), a small restored Odeion, the Temple of Pythian Apollo, a Stoa, a stadium and gymnasium, and more. Original excavations were carried out between 1912-1945, and are still ongoing.

Acropolis of Rhodes, Greece

Wikimedia Commons: JanWolf

The Archaeological Museum

This museum is located in a medieval hospital, the Hospital of the Knights, built in the 15th century for crusaders (Knights of St John). Entrance is €3, and you’ll see a museum chock full of history – items from Hellenistic, Roman, and medieval eras culled from Rhodes and the surrounding areas. The building itself was started in 1440 and finished around 1503.



The Venetian Castle at Monolithos

More Crusader goodness! This Venetian Castle was built in 1480 by, you guessed it, the Knights of St John. This castle in south Rhodes is in ruins today, and you climb the hill via stairs cut into rock. Those stairs, up 300 feet? That’s your entrance fee – the climb up! Incredible views are your reward. You can also poke around the external walls and two 15th century chapels (St George – a ruin; and St Panteleimon – filled with frescoes).  The castle was built on older remains, which you can glimpse, as well.

Monolithos Castle, Rhodes, Greece

Wikimedia Commons: Karelj

Mosque of Suleiman

Located at the top of Sokratous, this mosque was built in 1522, commemorating the Ottoman victory against the crusaders. It was renovated in 1808. And, it’s pink!

Mosque of Suleiman, Rhodes, Greece

Wikimedia Commons: Wknight94

The Hafiz Ahmed Agha Library

I love libraries. This one is cool! Founded in 1793, Hafiz Ahmed Agha (Chief Equerry to the Sultan) donated 1995 manuscripts, and also paid the librarians to teach Arabic, so more people could read and study them. Now, there are 1256 manuscripts in the collection, including a Koran from 1540.

Hafiz Ahmed Agha Library, Rhodes, Greece

Wikimedia Commons: Bernard Gagnon

Ceiling, Hafiz Ahmed Agha Library, Rhodes, Greece

Ceiling detail. Wikimedia Commons: Szilas

Ruins at Ancient Kameiros

Located on the northwest coast of Rhodes, at ancient Kamiros you can see the ruins of a Mycenauan necropolis. Archaeologists are still hard at work here, finding Hellenistic houses, a temple, baths, and even a small acropolis.