From the 14th century onwards, the acropolis of Lindos was graced by the domicile of the Knights who played a pivotal role in the historical narrative of the region. The fortress, intrinsically tied to the Knights, is particularly redolent with the tale of Foulques de Villaret, the first grand master of the Order of the Hospital in Rhodes. His tenure (1309-1319) concluded with political upheaval, leading him to seek asylum within the acropolis in 1317.

One cannot review the architectural magnificence of the Commandery without mention of the House of the Commander. Erected in the waning years of the 15th century from the indigenous calcareous sandstone, this edifice comprised two multistoried structures with interconnected doorways on the upper floors. During the early 20th century, there were remnants of an additional southwesterly structure; however, the architectural integrity of this part was since compromised by excavatory undertakings.

Access to the fortified ensemble was facilitated through a strategically crafted staircase guarded by stout defensive walls. One would then encounter the west building’s arched gateway, secured by a brattice—a Medieval testament to ingenuity, as it allowed residents to dispense boiling substances onto besieging forces through a strategically placed aperture within the floor architecture.

Vaulted ceilings, elegantly reinforced by trilateral arch structures, were intrinsic to the ground levels’ design. Interestingly, the east building incorporated three Late Hellenistic vaults, signifying a palimpsest of historical periods. Upon excavation, disparities in floor elevation bore witness to the evolution of use and modifications undertaken through time.

Residential functions were primarily ascribed to the complex’s upper stories. Access across the levels was enabled by a collection of stairs—one steeply ascending beside the entranceway, another spiralling within the western structure, and an additional doorway adjoined to the church of Saint John.

Of particular distinction are the northern apertures of the east building’s prime floor, from which one could surveil the bustling harbour. Ornamenting the apertures are aesthetically engraved relief guilloche patterns, floral motifs, and a marble ensign showcasing the heraldic emblem of grand master Pierre d’Aubusson (1476-1503), a symbol of order and authority.

The chambers’ interiors were demarcated by fireplaces and were formerly adorned with fresco murals, rendered a secco, illustrating a complex iconography of heraldry from the 15th century’s conclusive decade. These mural remnants—prior to their detachment—featured layers of motifs, ranging from whimsical aquatic creatures to the symbolism-rich arms of Knight Fr. Jacques Aymer de la Chevalerie.

Conversely, the western establishment’s upper chamber was a singular expansive area before its subsequent bifurcation, which implied the obstruction of one north wall window. Embellishments once graced this façade, including black strokes against a white foundation and the symbolically charged cross moline of d’Aubusson.

Despite the incomplete preservation of the southwestern component, archaeologists could still discern the remnants of walls, a staircase, and chimney traces, offering a glimpse into the past structural complexity.

The House of the Commander’s legacy extended to its modern restoration endeavours, facilitated initially by Danish explorers, followed by the Italian Archaeological Service. Modernity and functionality were married through the addition of a stone stairway at the entrance, converting the ground level into an archaeological repository, showcasing artistic and epigraphic relics from the Athena sanctuary.

This scholarly portrayal underlines the House of the Commander’s role as a bastion of medieval chivalry and architectural innovation, establishing it as a landmark of cultural and historical import within Rhodes’ storied annals.