Historical Landmarks on Greek Island Routes

Ferrying through Time Historical Landmarks on Greek Island Routes

A ferry is a boat that carries people, vehicles, or freight across a river, lake, or ocean. Ferries form part of the transportation system in many waterside cities and islands.

Discover the stunning architecture and rich history of Greece’s islands. From 14th-century hermitages to ancient temple ruins, these famous landmarks are not to be missed.

Monolithos Castle

Until engineers learned to build permanent bridges across seas or tunnel under them, ferries were the most popular means of crossing large bodies of water. In ancient and medieval times, these vessels carried people, cargo, animals, and even cars and trains! In Greek mythology, Charon was the ferryman who carried the souls of dead people across the River Styx. Today, ferry is also the name of a variety of vessels that cross oceans and rivers. From tiny canoes and rafts to massive motor-driven passenger ferries, they offer safe and convenient access to faraway destinations in Greece.

Located about 73 kilometers southwest of Rhodes, the picturesque village of Monolithos takes its name from the huge rock that hangs over it. During Classical times, this rock served as a natural signal to ancient Phryctoria (a communication system using signals from towers on nearby hills). Later, it was the site of an important medieval castle that was rebuilt by the Knights of Saint John in 1480 to protect the island from pirate attacks.

Although the castle is mostly in ruins, you can still see its outer walls and part of the interior. A chapel dedicated to Agios Panteleimon is also on the site. The village is not far from a few beaches, which are good options for swimming and sunbathing. In addition, there is a great local olive oil and wine producer in town, Ladomilos, that you can visit for tastings.

Kameiros Ruins

Kamiros is one of three major ancient cities on the island of Rhodes and was founded by Dorians in the 5th century BC. Its inhabitants later joined with Lindos and Ialyssos to create a larger state of Rhodes. The remains of the Doric city are preserved in a stunning condition, as well as an aqueduct and a temple at its highest point. Kamiros was also a thriving port. The ruins are located off the northwest coast of Rhodes and are just a few minutes from the resort of Kalavarda. The site was discovered by archaeologists Salzmann and Billiotti in 1859. They found a Doric Acropolis with a temple and an aqueduct on the top of the hill, as well as the lower level that featured a grid of parallel streets and houses.

Excavations have revealed a rich and diverse history at Kameiros, which was twice destroyed by earthquakes. Among the many fascinating ruins are a temple dedicated to Athena dating back to the 8th century BC, as well as a Doric fountain house, a reservoir and a stoa.

The other famous landmark on the island of Rhodes is the magnificent Theatre of Epidaurus, an ancient Greek amphitheater that can seat up to 14,000 spectators and was a technological feat for its time. Its 55 rows of limestone seats are precision-cut and the acoustics are simply astounding.

Acropolis of Lindos

The clifftop Acropolis of Lindos, Rhodes Greece, has long been a place of religious veneration. The earliest temple on the site dates to the Geometric era (9th c. BC), and a larger Archaic temple followed, built using the Doric tetrastyle amphiprostyle pattern. In the Archaic era, a large stoa was added along with a propylaea and a carved Rhodian trireme believed to have been a votive offering to Athena Lindia (the local aspect of the goddess).

Acropolis buildings attained their final forms in Hellenic and Roman times. The acropolis also features a carved pylon and vaults that suggest a ceremonial function. Today, the Acropolis stands as an imposing structure and inculcates a sense of grandeur at first sight. However, a naval approach by sea to the Acropolis inculcates a different kind of feeling. Viewed from the sea, the acropolis resembles a pointed prow of a trireme or perhaps a locally designed Rhodian triemiolia. This maritime imagery embodies both the majestic sense of the site and programmatically channels the identity of the Rhodians in relation to the sea.

The path up to the Acropolis from the Lindos village is short but steep. Unless you take one of the donkeys, be prepared for a workout! It is doable for those with some physical limitations, but it’s definitely a good idea to have comfortable walking shoes and avoid them on a hot day.

Rhodes Museum

The island of Rhodes, home to the Acropolis of Lindos and the exceptional Monolithos Castle, boasts a wealth of historical influences that have helped to shape its enduring appeal. A visit to the Rhodes Museum offers a fascinating insight into this remarkable destination’s storied past, from the ancient civilizations that flourished here to the more recent parade of crusading knights and Ottoman rulers.

With a plethora of statues, vases and mosaics, the exhibits at this remarkable museum offer valuable insights into various periods in Rhodes’ history and reflect the broader narrative of Greek history. This is one of the most significant museums in Greece and should be on every traveler’s list.

This exceptional museum is housed in an imposing building and filled from top to bottom with many different collections, antiques and precious objects of interest. The ground floor is basically a Rhodian house, complete with traditional interior wall designs of plates and woven rugs, and the upper floors are full of art, general bits and pieces, and an impressive collection of female costumes from Symi, Astypalaia, Karpathos and Halki.

Located at the village of Apollonas, this museum is perhaps the most fascinating of all of the folklore museums on Rhodes. This is because it is the only one that focuses on the production of olive oil, which was very important for the local economy and the people of Rhodes in the past. The museum includes a large collection of old tools and equipment used in the production process as well as costumes.