Walking Through the Medieval City of Rhodes, Greece

Greece RhodesTake a step back in time as you walk through one of the seven gates in the medieval walls surrounding the Old Town Rhodes, Greece.

Old Town Rhodes is one of the best-preserved, medieval towns in Europe, which was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

The Town of Rhodes was formed in 408 BC and prospered for three centuries during its Golden Age. The town prospered with sea trade and skilled shipbuilders until Roman times. The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was built by the Lindian sculptor Chares between 304 and 293 BC. After twelve years, it was completed in 282 BC. The statue representing their sun god Helios stood at the harbour entrance.

The Town of Rhodes went through many conflicts and changes of power over the centuries. In 164 BC, Rhodes came under Roman Period followed by the Byzantine, Knights, Italian and Post World War 11 periods. There are still many traces of these periods still existing throughout the town.

Today’s Old Town Rhodes remains the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe with a population of approximately 6,000 inhabitants. Old Town is divided into three parts: the northern part includes the Acropolis of the Knights and the Palace of the Grand Master and the southern part includes Hora, a mix of residential and commercial. The Jewish Quarter is the third section and the least developed commercially in terms of tourism.

Old Town Rhodes’ roughly 200 narrow streets or lanes are not laid out on a grid and are great fun exploring with its world of tourist shops, restaurants, cafes, art galleries, museums and residential areas. There are so many things to do and see within these medieval walls - Acropolis of the Knights, the Palace of the Grand Master or walking the restored and beautifully preserved Street of Knights lined by the buildings where the holy warriors spent their time in prayer or military practice. Visit the New Hospital-Archaeological Museum. Stop in one at the many bazaar-style shops or just sit at one of the outside cafes for a delicious Greek salad or a drink.

Jo-Anne Tinlin,
Today’s Woman Traveller


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