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AEGEAN ISLANDS

The Acropolis of Rhodes (Monte Smith)

The acropolis of Rhodes does not have a defensive character, like other acropolises of Greek cities. On the contrary, it was rather a zone of monuments with temples, underground places of worship, parklands, stadiums, gymnasiums, odeons... It is situated at the highest point of the city, on the hill of Monte Smith. The excavations began in 1924 by the Italians and one of the most important monuments brought to light was the Doric temple of Pythian Apollo (the Italians restored the four columns that are now standing). The ancient stadium, which is located under the temple of Apollo and has been entirely restored, was built in the 2nd century BC. A number of visitors choose to go for a jog or to exercise there.

Next to the stadium you can see the Roman odeon with a seating capacity for 800 people. Only two or three seats in the first row and a few steps are original. The rest is part of the restoration works made by the Italians. Today the odeon is used for hosting ancient tragedy performances and various events.

In the area in front of the odeon ruins of the Gymnasium survive, while to the north were found remains of the Doric temple of Zeus Polieus and Athena Polias. This is the highest part of the area and you can enjoy a panoramic view of Rhodes. At this area there was the site where the English admiral Smith had chosen to build his observation tower, which was shattered in 1965. In the same spot the ancient astronomer Hipparchos made his observations of the starry sky. In the wider area around the temple there are two Nymphaea, namely domed sanctuaries carved into natural caves.

In 1802, the British built an observation tower on the hill above Mandraki, in order to observe the movements of the fleet of Napoleon, who had conquered Egypt. The hill was named after the head of the British forces, admiral William Sydney Smith.

 

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Free pass to the archaeological site.

 

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