Lindos is studded with these lovely old residences, hearkening back to the 16th and 17th centuries, when they were constructed by wealthy merchant seafarers as visible evidence of their success. Some were destroyed or badly damaged in the earthquake of 1610, which devastated Lindos, but they were rebuilt sympathetically to their former glories. They vary in size from simple, two-story houses to large, handsome Gothic mansions, with Byzantine and Moorish architectural features, standing in large courtyards and sheltering behind high walls.
Most of the Captains’ Houses feature the beautiful hohlaki pebble flooring, whereby different-coloured stones are set into the ground to produce stunning scenes and pictures. Some houses feature this only on their front steps, whilst others have hohlaki floors throughout the house, as well as in their courtyards.
The houses are also graced with fine Lindian doorways called pyliones, usually featuring exquisite carvings that complemented the rest of the house.
Today, many of the houses have been converted to bars and one in particular to see is the Captains Bar, not far from the church of Panagia. This features stunning flooring and doorways, yet the bar has not detracted from the beauty of the original house.
Others are now private dwellings, although several are open to the public. These are invariably linked to a restaurant or taverna “front of house” where you will be afforded your viewing upon the purchase of a drink. Some do ask that you request permission to take pictures prior to firing away, although this is always granted.