Palace of the Grand Master
From the outside, the magnificent Palace of the Grand Master looks much as it did when erected by the Knights Hospitaller during the 14th century. During the 19th century, however, it was devastated by an explosion, so the interior as you see it today is an Italian reconstruction, completed in the ’18th year of the Fascist Era’ (1940). The dreary magisterial chambers upstairs hold haphazard looted artworks, so the most interesting section is the exhibit on ancient Rhodes downstairs.
Lindos is probably the most popular resort on the island of Rhodes, located on the east coast at about 47 km from the island’s capital (50 km from the airport) . The village, once the capital of the island, today is an attractive holiday resort evolving around the picturesque, whitewashed, preserved medieval village, topped with a fortified ancient Acropolis, reached through a series of steps, which can be ascended on donkeys.
From the outside, the Acropolis does not betray its Hellenistic origins because the original complex was surrounded by a strong fortification in the Middle Ages by the Knights of St John, but inside are the Doric Stoa, propylaean ruins, the sanctuary of Athena and the Byzantine church of St John. The ruins of an ancient theatre have been discovered on the slope below the Acropolis.
There is a preservation order on the village, building that is very restricted. All the newer complexes are built in the surrounding areas, mainly up on Krana Hill.
Many celebrities have chosen to buy or build holiday homes in this beautiful traditional village with cobbled narrow streets and white-stuccoed houses sloping down to the sea.
Castle Of Monolithos
The castle is located near the village of Monolithos at the summit of the tall, craggy rock, dominating the view. It’s a bit far from the main tourist attractions of Rhodes to reach, but it’s totally worth it! You can drive to the foot of the cliff, park your car at a convenient spot, and follow the narrow little steps all the way up until you reach the summit. Be careful not to slip on the smooth stones.
In old times, this castle was considered one of the four more powerful fortresses on the island, but today only the external walls fortifications remain. Inside the perimeter of the walls there are two 15th century chapels, St. Panteleimon and St. George. Looking around the ruins it is easy to notice that the castle was actually built on the foundations of another, older castle.
But it’s not for the ruins or even the beautiful whitewashed churches that you would embark on the strenuous climb to the top – it’s the breathtaking view from there that looks over the sea and the numerous islets off the western coast, the mountain of Akramytis and innumerable hills, as well as the village of Monolithos below. As a visitor said: “In Greece, you know, the landscape often gives you a sense of the presence of Gods. The site of Monolithos is certainly one of these”.
The site is open all day and has no entry fee. There is a café opposite the entrance for a much-needed drink or snack. Take your time with the steps to reach the castle … plenty of places to stop to catch your breath, enjoy the flowers and take a photo or two.
Picture Credit – Discover Rhodes