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Rhodes Island

Written by Tim Ross
What an incredible place. Rhodes offers almost any kind of holiday you could want. If you want peace and quiet, youíll find it on Rhodes. If you want activities and night-life, Rhodes has got it. If you want to explore history and culture, that is there too. The island is clean, the locals are very warm and friendly to tourists. English is spoken everywhere and most signs are in English too.
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Churches & Monasteries - Southern Area

Tsambika Monastery nearby the village of Archangelos is a tiny white Byzantine church perched high at 984ft (300m) with commanding coastal views both north over Kolymbia where the avenue of eucalyptus trees can be picked out and the grid layout appreciated and south over Tsambika beach and beyond to distant Lindos. Inside is miraculous eleventh-century icon of the Blessed Virgin found on the mountain by a childless , infertile couple who later conceived a child. The legend is that if a childless womann wishing to conceive walks barefoot up the mountain to pray to the Virgin, she will be blessed with children. Children so inspired are named after the monastery, Tsambikos for a boy and Tsambika for a girl, a name unique to Rodos. As it is so common on the island, it is more likely that fertile women named their offspring after the monastery by way of thanks that it had not been necessary to undergo this ritual.
The saints day is 7 September, an especially potent occasion for the infertile.

The domed Church of the Panagia, in the beart of the village of Lindos, just off the main square. This fifteenth-century church has a dark interior with a black and white pebbled floor and is decorated with eighteenth-century frescoes by Gregori of Symi. With typicaI polarization male saints are on the right and female on the left.

The Byzantine church of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin at the village of Asklipion. Built in 1060, it started as a cross but extended later to accommodate a larger congregation. There are some fine frescos to see. Nest to the church is a museum displaying ancient religious artifacts, old bibles and icons in the one room while the second room depicts the old way of village life with agricultural tools, bread making implements and even an old olive oil press. This is a co-operative venture by the villagers themselves who contributed many of the exhibits and well worth a few moments.

Moni Thari, nearby the village of Laerma. Built around the thirteenth century on much earlier foundations offers some fine, old frescos. The north and south walls are the oldest, twelfth century, part of the building but some ninth-century remains can be seen in the surrounding grounds. The dome, the apse and the nave all carry frescos of exceptional craftsmanship. Some parts of the wall have as many as four layers of painting, the earliest from 1100. The apse has three layers. Centuries after construction, it is now expanding with the addition of sleeping accommodation. It is a quiet and tempting place to picnic with facilities on hand, unless there is a festival in full swing. The 21 and 22 May is one of those occasions.

Moni Ipseni, nearby the village of Lardos, is of recent construction and unusual in that it is a living, working monastery with nuns who greet visitors kindly and happily show them around. Cool elegance awaits with citrus trees surrounding a fountain in the quiet courtyard. Outside is a large area used for festivities and a white chapel overlooks from a nearby hill.

Moni Skiadi, nearby the village of Messanagros. One of the more important monasteries on the island made famous by its miraculous ikon of the Blessed Virgin (panagia). Legend tells of a heretic who stabbed the painting many centuries ago and brought blood from the cheek of Mary. Still visible brown stains provide their own persuasive evidence. The ikon is carried around at Easter time from house to house and village to village until it finally comes to rest for a period on the island of Halki. Most of the present buildings arise from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries built around a thirteenth-century Church of the Holy Cross. In its present form, the tiered campanile is attached to the church building which has a typical cross vaulted roof. Rooms are available for guests wishing to stay overnight but expect it all to be full on 8 September
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