The Medieval city of Rhodes or as it’s also called “The Old Town” is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. A beautiful place with gorgeous scenery, a lot of history, and incredible surrounding areas. It fully merits it’s UNESCO world heritage label. Fantastic!
This attraction is equal to travelling in a time machine. Once you get behind those huge Medieval walls, it’s like being transported back in time by a few hundred years. The condition of the buildings and antiquities are incredible. The walls are a monumental achievement- 2 miles around. The architecture in the city mixes Greek, Turkish, Romanesque and Hellenistic influences.
The Old Town of Rhodes was built in the 14th -15th century by the Knights of Saint John to protect the people of Rhodes from all sea and land dangers.
Inside its walls, 600 Knights Hospitallers helped by a few thousand mercenaries and armed civilians resisted an Ottoman force of 200.000 for six months. After conquering it through treachery from inside, the Sultan was so impressed, that he allowed the Knights to leave for Malta with all they could carry.
There are 2 museums within the city, the Grand Master museum of the knights and the archaeological museum.
The Grand Master museum
The Palace of the Grand Master is not the original palace, which was destroyed by an explosion during Turkish occupation, but a reconstruction led by Italian archaeologists and historians, during Mussolini’s time, when the island was under Italian rule.
Maybe today archaeologists would provide a more faithful reconstruction, but the result is impressive enough, and was originally used as a summer palace by the King of Italy.
The archeological museum
The archeological museum was once the Hospital of the Knights, now it houses numerous important archaeological finds from the entire island, some of which dated back to 160 BC.
There are also some open gates to ancient tunnels which you are not supposed to explore but I found very exciting.
The Old Town
“The Old Town” has something for everybody, history, shopping, restaurants and nightlife. It is a place that you will definitely want to have your camera.
Even if you don’t want to go into the museums, there are tons of restaurants and a million shops to spend your time in.
Take time to explore, or just chill out with an ouzo in one of the many cafes in the town centre. It is one of those places that I think everyone will get something different out of it. The walk around the walls is great, but not at the hottest time of the day!
Walking here in the day and at night provides completely different experiences, so worth doing at both times if you can.