The village of Asklipio or Asklipeiio is nestled in the mountains and serves as the home to Asklipio Castle, known as one of the island’s more remarkable castle ruins. There is also that exciting opportunity of being able to see the stunning view that reaches as far as the sea. A visit to the village and its castle is almost in all the things to do in Rhodes island checklists!
A small and sleepy village, Asklipio consists of the aged Byzantine church and small white houses. With a history that can be traced back to 11th century, the Church of the Dormition is situated at the village’s main square. Aside from Asklipio Castle, this church is considered as the most exemplary building in the entire village even though there is not really much to see here. The name of the village was possibly meant to preserve the memory of Asclepius cult.
Asclepius was the god of medicine and healing, and the son of god Apollo and Coronis. He learned his skills from the centaur Chiron, who instructed him in both hunting and medicine. When he grew was able to bring back to life those who had died. Zeus destroyed him with a thunderbolt because he believed that people were using Asclepius to avoid death.
He was also the patron god, and reputed ancestor, of the Asklepiades (Asclepia) ancient guild of doctors, who were the ministers of the god. Asclepius is often represented with a snake coiled around a staff or rod, which is believed to have been used to produce a painless wound so that he could heal it.
Asclepius cult was very famous in the classical era with many temples established throughout Greece as well as its colonies. The god’s cult center was the sanctuary of Epidauros which purported to cure supplicants of their ills.
No visit to Asklipio village will ever be complete if you don’t check out Asklipio Castle. This castle is only short stroll from the main square up the hill. It is situated on a partly steep limestone rock.
The Grand Master D’Aubusson built this castle back in the 15th century. These days, the castle is already in ruins. However, one look at it and you can easily imagine how impressive the castle might have been during its days of glory. Portions of the two towers remain standing to this date, with a gate still leading up towards the courtyard that you can access easily as long as you enter the area with care. Inside the walls there are some preserved ruins of buildings and two deep tanks.
But, more than the chance of seeing Asklipio Castle in flesh, one of the biggest perks of visiting the area. That makes it more than worthy of the climb and time is the view that awaits you once you reach the castle. You can see the entire span of the valley with the wide sea on the backdrop. Going for a trip here is highly recommended, especially if you got the free time during your stay in Rhodes.
The Ministry of Culture that the castle was built in the 15th century. A period that dimly set apart two phases of construction. The initial phase was the fortification of the square tower while the second phase was the repair of the northwest tower. A dedicatory inscription can be found on of the entrance gate.
The tiny quaint village of Asklipio is just 25 minutes away from Lindos. The Castle itself is perched on a 250-meter hill within the village’s vicinity. It is situated inland a good distance away from the east coast and approximately 65km from Rhodes town.
The castle was constructed for the purpose of protecting the village, with its strategic location allowing the monitoring of large areas of inland roads and coastline that include the ones led by Gennadi on the island’s south corner. It gave Asklipio castle a critical role in defending the rural areas.
The shortest way to reach Asklipio Castle from the north part of the island is driving down south the east coast. Right after you pass Kiotari take the 1st exit at the roundabout. Just 3km further you will notice the castle on the top of the village.
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