Rhodes Old Town
Rhodes Old Town is one of the oldest medieval towns in Europe, a maze of kept ruins and cobbled lanes that was once a vibrant and glorious medieval city. It’s just a dream scene for someone who likes to take pictures! The Old Town of Rhodes is a very inspiring place.
The medieval town of Rhodes belongs to the World Heritage and is under protection of UNESCO. It is considered one of the few best preserved medieval cities in Europe.
In the 14th century Knights of the Order of St. John conquered the island and started the construction of the fortress. Its walls are still very impressive and draw the attention of every visitor. The Old Town of Rhodes consists of three parts: The central district around the palace of the Grand Mater, the most famous part – Kollakio – the Street of the Knights and the area beyond the walls where lived simple civilians.
Between few medieval gates of the fortress the most popular one is from the port of Mandraki known as “the Gate of Freedom” or in Greek – Pyli tis Eleftherias. Entering this gate, you will find yourself on the Piazza Simi. There used to be the Temple of the goddess of beauty Aphrodite. Nowadays unfortunately there are only ruins of former splendid construction. On the same square you may find curious Byzantine museum - Panagia Kastoru. That is what makes the Old City unique – harmonious combination of different civilizations and epochs.
One of the most famous sights in the historical center is former hospital of the Knights of St. John. The hospital is unusually well-preserved which makes it a priceless source of information about the life of the crusaders. The building of the hospital was converted into the Archeological Museum which has a very rich collection of the objects found on the Dodecanese.
From the square Moussiou you can walk to the Palace of the Grand Master along the Street of the Knights. This very impassive avenue consists of the medieval buildings where the Knights lived. Some of them like the Hotel de Provence were restored, others are used for the different modern purposes.
After absorbing the heroic spirit of the Knights’ street, you will find yourself near the Palace of the Grand Master. The residence was built by the crusaders. Unfortunately, in 1856 it was destroyed by the earthquake and rebuilt only in 1940 as the summer residence of Mussolini. The palace has beautiful collection of mosaics, porcelain and different pieces of decorative art.
Let yourself stroll and get lost in the narrow streets of the Old City. You will fall in love with their multiple character! You will find Turkish Mosques and Jewish Synagogues, ancient library and bathhouses. All these apart from charming medieval spirit produces unique atmosphere which will not leave you indifferent!