65 km away from the center of Rhodes, built around the village castle that dates back to the Byzantine era, in a mountain area, is the whitewashed village of Asklipio. The village was named after the cult of the mythical god Asclepius who represented the healing power of nature.
In the center of the village stands the church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. Dated around 1060 AD, it was erected in two construction phases over time and was decorated with numerous frescoes based on the style of the “Kalymnos art school”. The frescoes are classified as significant not only because the presentation of scenes from the Book of Revelation [the “Apocalypse” of St. John] is a unique rendering of the topic in the area of the Dodecanese but also because this rendering is one of the earliest ones in Greece, as it dates back to 1676/1677. Next to the temple, there is an exhibition of sacred relics and ecclesiastical items, while a visit to the folk art museum of the village will travel you back in time, taking you into the traditional life of the villagers, as items from their daily and professional lives that reflect the culture of that old village are on display.
A path that starts in the village at about 600m away from the church, leads to a 250m rocky hill, where the Byzantine fortress of the village is located. Built at a strategic spot, the castle exercised control over land-based and partly maritime communications, as its location allowed for the supervision of a large part of the coastline and inland trade routes leading from the settlement of Gennadi to the south of the island. The fortress would also offer the villagers, as well as the inhabitants of the surrounding villages of Lachania, Gennadi, and Vati, protection against enemy attacks. Legend has it that during periods of large-scale marauding forays and raids, in order to avoid any attacks, the inhabitants of the village used to put straw hats on pole tops to make them look like a vast army.