Rhodes is one of Greece's favored vacation centers and was an important cultural center with a well-known School of Rhetoric attended by such greats as Cicero and Caesar. Rhodes' most famous attractions originated with the Knights of St. John, who occupied parts of the island from 1310 to 1522 and left a medieval town, dominated by the Palace of the Grand Masters and Knights' Hospital, which houses an Archaeological Museum with interesting exhibits of national archaeological finds. Rhodes has inspired many artists. The Old Town offers shopping opportunities and lively nightlife. At Mount Filerimos a church has been built on the site of an ancient temple. A popular excursion is to the charming village of Lindos. Its premier attraction, the ancient acropolis, stands atop sheer cliffs. Walls of a 13th-century Crusader castle enclose the site. Today, the winding path up to the acropolis is lined by stalls, where locals sell lace tablecloths and souvenirs. Mandraki Harbor's entrance is flanked by stone columns topped by figures of a stag and a hind, the town's heraldic animals.
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