The ancient city of Rhodes
|Agios Stephanos Hill (Monte Smith)
|Hill Saint Stephen (Agios Stephanos), named Monte San Stefano by the Italians, which overlooks the modern city and the medieval city , is the site of ancient Rhodes Hellenistic. The acropolis of the city stood on the eastern slope of the hill.
This hill is also called Monte Smith today, after the name of the British Admiral Sir Sidney Smith, who, on these heights (111 m), built in 1802 an observation post to monitor the movements of Napoleon’s fleet during the Egyptian campaign, while the English fleet watching the area around the Sea of Marmara.
The hill of St. Stephen the cliff falls sheer into the sea, leaving only a small ledge for the passage of a sunken road.
The hill offers breathtaking views, especially at sunset, on the coast, the island of Symi and the sea to the Turkish coast about 20 km away.
|According to recent excavations, the ancient city of Rhodes had two citadels: an acropolis on the hill of Agios Stephanos (stadium, theater, temples of Zeus and Athena Polias and Pythée Apollo or Helios) and an acropolis where is now the Palace of the Knights or Collachium (temple of Aphrodite and Dionysus temple).
The ancient city was built in 408 BC according to the plans of checkerboard Hippodamos of Miletus traced in chalk, it stretched from the northern tip of the island at the site of the current city of Knights and Smith goes to where stood the acropolis.
|The Acropolis (Akropoli) dominated the western and highest in the city. It has not been enriched or fortified as were most of the ancient acropolis. It consisted of a monumental zone with Sanctuaries, large temples, public buildings and places of worship. The buildings were built on terraces reinforced by powerful walls. The Hellenistic architecture combined with the natural beauty of artificial arrangements. Different buildings date from the late Hellenistic and Hellenistic periods (third and second century BC). The Acropolis, the ancient city extended to the northern tip of the island and east to the future city of the Knights .
The excavations were carried out by the Italian Archaeological School under the domination of the island by the Italians between 1912 and 1945. Since 1946, the Greek Archaeological Service took over. The entire site has not been excavated. Any contemporary construction was prohibited in an area of 12,500 m² to allow the continuation of the excavations and the discovery of the remains of the magnificent ancient city of Rhodes. It was after 1946 that the Greek archaeological service has carried out restoration work in the vicinity of the temple of Pythian Apollo having suffered considerable damage during the bombing in the second world war and the installation of artillery in this place. During the 60s and 70s, the western side of the temple undergoing restorations. In 1996, renovations were made to the temple Nymphaia.
In an olive grove to the east are the restored temple of Apollo, the stadium of the third century BC and the theater.
|The Temple of Apollo
|Access to the temple of Apollo (Naos Apolonos) by a wide staircase built in the Doric style, the temple was dedicated to Apollo, protector of the city. Located north of the acropolis was a temple colonnade (portico with columns on all four sides). The four columns and architrave oversized tent still visible on site are a good indication of its monumental character. It was there that the inhabitants of Rhodes preserved texts of their treaties with other states. The temple is connected to the stoa.
Apollo’s temple, destroyed by an earthquake, has been partially restored.
|Temples of Zeus and Athena
|On the Acropolis you can see also some remains of temples of Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus.
|The Stoa and the Temple Nymphaia
|Today only the base of the "stoa" is preserved. She had to have an impressive facade visible from the city and lower portions.
The temple Nymphaia, partly dug into the rock, is located southeast of the stoa wall. It consisted of four interconnected parts. The roof of the central section had a large opening. Statuettes were housed in cavities inside walls and we find niches offerings. The site was in communication with the underground aqueducts.
|The Ancient Theatre
|North-west of the stadium was a small Odeion (theater) of the second century BC marble to accommodate approximately 800 spectators. The rectangular shape is original. Assume it was used for musical events or for attending lessons rhetoric given by famous local speakers.
|If we are to believe Diodorus of Sicily, it was that the little theater, another, much larger, stood near the harbor, Symi place .
Almost entirely rebuilt by the Italians before the last war, only the bottom shelf is authentic.
Today, as in antiquity, they play concerts and musical and theatrical performances.
|The ancient stadium (Stadio Arheo), the second century BC, is located southeast of the hill and oriented north-south, it measured 190 meters long by 35 wide.
Excavation and reconstruction were carried out by the Italians. Its length is 600 feet (or 210 meters). Authentic original parts are sphendone (rounded end with the pole of rotation), the proédries (seats of officials), some of the lower tier seating system and for departures athletes.
|A gymnasium was located east of the stadium. Part of the western side had been discovered in the past, and recently it’s northeast corner that has been uncovered in a house later. It was a large square building, measuring approximately 200 m wide. It contained many works of art.
|The ancient cemetery of Agios Ioannes is located near the ancient city.
|South of the city, 3 km, Rodini Park (parko Rodiniou), lovely botanical garden fresh and green can relax and cool off in the shade of its many cypress trees.
A wine festival is held in summer, from July to September.
In antiquity, the school of rhetoric sat in the Rodini Park.
Dorian is a cemetery located a few meters.
|The Acropolis is within walking distance in 30 minutes from the old town and the port. We can get out of the city along the western side walls, the streets and Agios Friderikis Ioannou, then turn right into the street Diagoridon: after a few hundred meters, a path on the left leads to the ruins on the hill of Agios Stefanos.
You can also take bus No. 5 to Mandraki harbor , which also continue to park Rhodini.