Lindos is well known for it’s Captains’ Houses – mansions with unique architecture, impressive entrances, doorways and courtyards dating back to 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.
These noble houses or “archondika” of Lindos belonged to wealthy Lindian merchant seafarers. With their shipping and trading activities, they acquired power and economic strength during the period of Turkish domination. Their impressive villas demonstrated wealth both in the decoration of the interior spaces as well as the exterior, especially the facades, showing influences from Gothic, Byzantine, and Arab architectural features.
The houses are built of stone and decorated with sculptured marble, sand-stone embellishments with unique ornaments, coats of arms, characteristic windows. Especially impressive are the carved wooden courtyard doors with relief decorations and the captain’s loft or “watchtowers” above the doorways for the captain to observe the harbor. The courtyards and rooms are decorated with the pebble-mosaic floors called “hochlakia” (fine white & black pebble flooring with various patterns).
Nowadays thirty Captains’ Houses remain in good condition, and most of them are called after their owner’s name. Some of these mansions are open to visitors and featuring their original furnishing and items belonging to the owners’ families. Several of the houses are operating as a folk museum & souvenir shop, a restaurant, a bar or a luxury accommodation.
The most representative archontiko is that of Papakonstantis, which dates back from 1626. It houses antiquities and is under the responsibility of the Archaeological Service. An easily accessible house is the Captain’s House Bar with a fascinating stone-carved doorway, courtyard garden, flooring! Why not have a stop for a cold dring in the Captain’s mansion after visiting the Acropolis?!