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Ancient Kamiros Rhodes Greece

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Ancient Kamiros Rhodes Greece


The Ancient Kamiros located 37 km / 23 ml from Rhodes Town on the west coast, and It was one of the three powerful cities on the island (Linfos, Ialyssos, Kamiros) before the city of Rhodes was founded. The first signs of habitation in the wider region date back to the Mycenaean era. After 408 BC (founding year of Rhodes), Kamiros went into decline and it vanished forever in the 2nd century AD. The city had been built over the ruins of an older settlement after the earthquake in 226 BC and is a characteristic example of Hellenistic urban layout and design, with its division into zones of public and private buildings.

Acropolis and temple of Athena Kameiras

  • The temple of Athina, a tetrastyle peripteral, with porticos on all four sides, was surrounded by a peribolos. It replaced a previous Classical temple which was destroyed by the earthquake of 226 BC. Only its foundation has survived.
  • Archaic Cistern (Reservoir). A rectangular construction lined with plaster. Terra-cotta pipes and two apertures with stone covers on the bottom served to carry the water to the settlement. It had a capacity of 600.000 liters / 158.503 US gallons of water, a reserve sufficient for 300-400 families. Steps on the sides facilitated access to clean the reservoir, which was covered. It dates to the 6th-5th c. BC. In the Hellenistic period its place was taken by a Stoa, which put it out of use.
  • Hellenistic Stoa. This consisted of two rows of Doric columns and shops or lodgings at the rear for the worshippers. The Stoa had the shape of the Greek letter Π and was 200 meter / 700 feet long. There was an impressive water supply system under the floor with wells, subterranean tanks and terra-cotta water pipes, which replaced the earlier Archaic Cistern.

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The remains of the temple of Athena The impressive cistern (reservoir) The remains of the two rows Doric columns Stoa

Private dwellings on the side of the hill

Settlement of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Built according to the Hippodamian system, with a grid of parallel streets and residential blocks of the same size. Its arrangement around the natural slops of the hill to right and left of the main street linking the lowest level with the acropolis. A principal feature of the houses was the interior colonnaded courtyard with one side usually higher than the others. They were adorned with mosaic floors and facades with architraves and painted decoration on plaster.

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  The main street A house with an interior colonnaded courtyard

The Agora (with a religious character)

  • Doric Temple. Located on the third and lowest terrace of the archaeological zone at the north west edge of the Fountain Square. It was a poros distyle temple (having two columns in antis at the front), with a pronaos, cella and opisthodomos. It was probably dedicated to Pythian Apollo.
  • Fountain Square. To the east of the temple is the so called Fountain Square, a rectangular open area with a large number of inscribed votive bases. The facade consists of 6 Doric half-columns faced with plaster and supporting an entablature. Panels closed the intermediate spaces. Inside it was an open cistern from which the water was drawn (mid-4th c. BC). At a later period (3rd c. BC) the cistern was replaced by a well.
  • Hellenistic Sanctuary. Opposite Fountain Square preserved a Hellenistic Sanctuary dedicated to the gods and heroes of Kamiros with altars within an enclosure. This was probably the Hierothyteion of Kamiros, known from inscriptions.

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Pythian Apollo temple Fountain Square Hellenistic sanctuary

Kameiros has been often compared to Pompeii, something which is not correct since Kameiros did not fall into decline because of a natural disaster. Its decline, like the decline of Ialyssos, was the result of the gradual abandonment by its residents, who decided to move to the city of Rhodes, which as mentioned above, was established in 408 B.C.

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Ancient Kameiros Rhodes

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