Acropolis Of Rhodes - Monte Smith
Acropolis of Rhodes: In the past the Acropolis of Rhodes overlooked the western part of the city. It was not Unlike most other ancient acropolis, this one wasn't fortified. The Acropolis of Rhodes was replete with Sanctuaries, huge temple premises and public buildings. The buildings were strategically built on precipitous terraces that were ably supported by impregnable walls. The Acropolis of Rhodes is one of the finest specimens of Hellenic style of architecture that blended harmoniously with the surrounding environment.
The renowned Italian Archaeological School was entrusted with the work of excavating the Acropolis during the period from 1912-1945. But, from the year 1946 the Greek Archaeological Service carried out excavations that provided fascinating insight to the history and topography of the Acropolis.
The entire Acropolis is yet to be excavated. An exclusive archaeological zone which is all of 12,500 m2 has been segregated from contemporary edifices with the primary goal of carrying out long term excavation works that surely is going to provide fascinating insight of the Old City of Rhodes. Some of the significant monuments discovered by archaeologists in the core archaeological zone are mentioned below in brief:
Temple of Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus: The Temple of Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus are located to the northern extreme of the Acropolis. They are distinctly Doric in terms of architecture and are conspicuous by their porticos on all sides. There are four massive column drums as well. It is here that the Rhodians preserved their treaties with other states.
Nymphaia: The Nymphaia is located to the east and comprises of four cavernous constructions that have been innovatively cut into the rock and is conspicuous with entrance steps, passages and a large aperture in the innermost part of the roof. The Nymphaia is replete with water cisterns and luxuriant foliage. In the past the Nymphaia was meant for worship and recreation.
Odeon: The Odeon is located to the Northwest of the Stadium. It had a capacity to accommodate 800 spectators and archaeologists are of the opinion that the Odeon was used for musical performances or for conducting classes in rhetoric.
Temple of Pythian Apollo: The Temple of Pythian Apollo stands majestically to the southern part of the hill. This temple is much smaller in size when compared to other temples that have been found in the site. The North Eastern part of this temples has undergone restoration work.
Stoa Building: The Stoa Building had an impressive facade that was visible from the lower town as well as the harbor.
Artemision: The Artemision is located to the Northeastern side and happened to be the place of worship of the Artemis cult.
Stadium: The Stadium is located to the Southeastern part of the hill and was excavated by the Italians during their rule of the island of Rhodes. The stadium was all of 600 feet in length. At present the only original components are the Sphendone, Proedries and a few rows of seats in the auditorium. Also preserved is The starting apparatus used in athletic events too is well preserved.
Gymnasium: The Gymnasium is ideally located to the east of the stadium. Excavators were able to unearth a part of the western side of the Gymnasium. In recent times, the Northeastern part of the Gymnasium too was excavated by a team of archaeologists. The Gymnasium was basically a massive square shaped edifice and archaeologists have been able to unearth significant art works from the site.
Library: The Library in the past used to be well stocked with priceless works of Rhetoric. It was located in close proximity to the Odeon and the Gymnasium.