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AEGEAN ISLANDS

The Acropolis of Ialyssos

Ialyssos was the hometown of the Olympic champion Diagoras, and one of the three “superpowers” of ancient Rhodes, along with Lindos and Kamiros. Its exact location is not known. The excavations have brought to light several small settlements and cemeteries (the oldest evidence of habitation in the area dates back to the end of the 3rd millennium BC), but no big cities. Given that the findings are spread over a large area, archaeologists speculate that Ialyssos consisted of many rural settlements (demoi), which had a common acropolis. The city began to decline after Rhodes was founded and it was completely destroyed probably in 155 AD by an earthquake. The acropolis is situated on the hill of Filerimos, in front of the monastery of Kira tou Filerimou (Our Lady of Filerimos). Very few of the monuments located in the acropolis of the once powerful Ialyssos city survive today. One of them is the temple of Athena Polias from the 2nd or 3rd century BC, which replaced an older 5th-century BC temple. At the same site, on the ruins of the temple of Athena, a basilica was built around the 5th or 6th century AD, of which only the baptistery survives. To the west of the temple the underground Byzantine church of Agios Georgios (Saint George) can be found Chostos dating to same time period as the basilica.

Another one of the ancient acropolis remains is the 4th-century BC Doric drinking fountain featuring spouts in the shape of a lion’s head. It is standing on the southern side of the hill.

 

Ιnfo

Tel. number: +30 22410 25500, 4th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities

 

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