The Temple of Lindean Athena is open Monday: 2:30 to 6:40, Tues-Fri 8 am to 6:40 and Sat & Sun 8:30 to 2:40, fee.
The Temple (left) soars majestically over the village of Lindos and is one of the more beautifully situated sites in Greece. To ascend to the top a steep route is negotiated on foot or for a small fee by available mule or donkey.
Along the ascent many locals display handicrafts: shawls, table cloths and embroidery. Some extremely small percentage may be authentic but most is machine made, imported and marked up 500%.
Lindos was known since the Hellenistic period for the quality of its embroidery.
Notice carved into the rock just before the knights stairway the prow of an ancient trireme. At one time it was embellished with a statue of Aigssandros the priest of Poseidon. Sculpted by Pythokretes of Rhodes who also created the Victory of Samothrace now in the Louvre in Paris.
Carved into the rock is the inscription bestowing a golden wreath upon Aigssandros as a reward for his having judged the the local games. Just above are two vaulted chambers and to your right the 13th C Basilica of St. John. Before you lies the Dorian style stoa of Athena (right). The temple precinct is above via the "stairway to heaven"
Athena, in all her manifestations, unlike Aphrodite, was a virginal goddess and women who had recently made love or whom were menstruating had to be purified by ritual bath before being allowed to enter, heads covered. Men too had to wear special white shoes containing no horse hair or bathe their feet.
Just beyond, the "stairway to heaven" leads to the Propylaea and to one side near the cliff, the Temple of Lindean Athena. In its heyday, a long gone primitive wooden statue of Athena stood there capped with gold and inscribed with Pindar's 7th Olympian Ode. Another smaller sanctuary to Athena has been found on the north slope of the Acropolis carved into the rock and was used to sacrifice bulls to the goddess and to keep it uncontaminated by blood.
From the summit stunning views are to be had particularly over the round placid harbor of St. Paul and which has a small less crowded beach. Also visible is the Grand harbor which contains the town beach much developed. Nearby and far below is popular Pallas beach which was where the 500 trireme strong navy was pulled up along the shore. At the far end the round, so called 'tomb of Cleoboulos' was converted into the orthodox church of Aghia Alilanos during the Knights occupation and predates the tyrant.
To reach Lindos it is necessary to travel to Rhodes in the Dodecanese by ship or by air from either mainland Greece or Turkey. Lindos is about an hours drive from Rhodes town on the east side of the island amd is best appreciated off season.
Read more Greece travel information about Lindos!
See Rhodes Guide!
Rhodes Ecotourism Guide!