Amazing Rodini Park
In the area known as Rodini at the end of Lindou Street, there was a monastery called Rhodine in the Byzantine period, of which nothing has so far been discovered. The name has survived, however, of this green, very attractive area, which is crossed by a small stream. Generally speaking, the entire nat¬ural environment, with its rich vegetation is a relic of ancient times, and has scarcely changed from the Hellenistic period to the present day. The area has been declared a protected monument, on account of both its exceptional natural beauty and its general archaeological importance.
The area is now approached by way of Lindou Street, from where a narrow, winding street leads to the ‘Ptolemaion’. Human intervention in the general natural environment of Rodini is represented by what was originally the Roman aqueduct, which was greatly used and maintained in the period of the Knights and the Turkish domination, a cavern structure and the rather unclear remains of what is probably an ancient villa or sanctuary.
A tomb of enormous dimensions cut into the soft rock, at which the winding road now ends, gives an idea of the colossal monuments that were by no means rare in ancient Rhodes. The south and west sides of the tomb extended down to the level of the Rodini stream. It is a rectangle in shape with a long side of 28.50 m., and stands on three cut steps. On all sides there are half-columns about 48 cm. wide and at least 5 m. high, like the sides of the rock above the steps. We know from other tombs that there were carved architraves above the columns, with metopes, triglyphs and a sima, and there was probably a similar arrangement here. Finally, the exterior of the monument was probably surmount¬ed by a pyramidal roof. The lush vegetation, and particularly the roots of the large trees have destroyed most sides of it, and only the north side, with the entrance to the tomb, is still almost intact. It is significant that the entrance is not in the middle of the north side, but towards the west end, on the axis of the ancient rural road that used to be known as Makry Steno (it now coincides with Pan. Tsaldari Street), which ran almost north-south as far as the entrance to the tomb. The entrance was deliberately set off-centre so that it could be seen from this road. At this point the road turns west and leads to other tombs.
Valley of the Butterflies
The valley of butterflies (Petaludes), is a small part of eden that lies 26 km away from the city of Rhodes. A thickly planned valley with running waters, wooden bridges and lakes make even the most demanding visitor short of words in front of this unique sight and the feeling of tranquillity. The valley extends in an area of about 60 hectares, along the sides of the river Pelekanos. Wooden bridges and paths will guide you through the rich vegetation of this rare biotope. The valley of Butterflies is part of the Natura 2000 network, distinguished for its unique flora and fauna.
From late July until late September the valley gets filled up with millions of multicolor butterflies, a sight that offers an even more enhancing view. The butterflies belong to the rare species of Panaxia Quadripunctaria, also known as tiger moth. They gather in the valley due to its microclimate, to feed and multiply. During the day they rest on the foliages, on the tree trunks and on the rocks away form the sun, seeking for humidity. They are more active at night when they fly to find food and mate.
The valley of Butterflies is a major tourist attraction on the island of Rhodes. It is estimated that more than 700.000 people visit the valley during the summer months. This, together with the degraded environmental conditions, has the unpleasant effect of a drastic reduction to the population of the butterflies during the recent years.
The preservation of this ecosystem is a responsibility for all of us. Visitors are invited to show respect to the butterflies and the ecosystem, avoiding to disturb the butterflies.