Monte Smith Hill ― Acropolis of Rhodes City
Also known as Agios Stefanos hill and Saint Stephen hill, Monte Smith hill was named after Sir Sydney Smith. He was an English admiral who was stationed on the hill in 1802 during the war with Turks to monitor the movements of Napoleon’s fleet. The acropolis of ancient Rhodes was a colossal area with multiple sanctuaries, public building, monumental temples, and even underground cult areas. These structures date back to the 2nd and 3rd century BC. It won’t be a stretch to say that the current findings represent only a fraction of the magnificent history of the glorious past of Rhodes. One of the best places to admire the relics of past in Rhodes is the acropolis of Rhodes. Situated at a distance of about 3Km from the center of the city, the acropolis is an extremely intriguing archaeological site. Moreover, the excursion offers extraordinary views of the pristine beauty of the surrounding area.
Temple of Pythian Apollo and the Odeion (Classical Theater)
The temple of Pythian Apollo is a majestic structure on the west side of the terrace. It is located on the southern part of the hill. While the temple is smaller than those of Athena and Zeus, which are located on the northern edge of the acropolis, it was a poros peripteral temple. Out of the remaining structure, part of the architrave and some part on the northeast side have been restored.
The Odeion situated below the site of the temple, Oedion was a small theatre with around 800 seats. Today, only a few seats and the orchestra remain of the original structure. It is speculated that the areas were used by for affairs of the Apollo cult and the Rhodian School of Rhetoric. It is believed that another theatre, which was much larger in size, was also situated on the same grounds around the hill. According to an inscription found in the area, a huge library was also sited near the Odeion and the gymnasium.
Rhodes Ancient Stadium and the Gymnasium
Situated on the south-east side of the hill, the ancient stadium of Rhodes was a 210-meter long stadion. Grand athletic competitions were conducted in it as a part of the famous Haleion Games. These games marked an important celebration that was held to honor the god of the sun, Halios. The stadium was excavated and restored by Italians. They preserved the starting mechanism that was used in ancient times for athletes, along with the sphendone and some of the lower seats in the auditorium.
The gymnasium is located to the east of the stadium. It was a huge building, which was square in shape and measured around 200m on each side. It was valued due to the pieces of art that it contained. Till date, only the west side and northeast corners have been discovered.
Views from the Acropolis of Rhodes
The views from the acropolis of Rhodes are simply breathtaking. From a vantage point, one can admire the incredible view of the Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea, the Coastline of Asia Minor and Rhodes Town.