Touring Old Town Rhodes
Posted on June 20, 2012 by sguese
Enclosed with massive walls, Rhodes Town has long known what it means to be important. The island serves as the capital of the Dodecanese in Greece. Throughout ancient times, Rhodes held appeal for its strategic position. As proof of that fact, the ancient city of Rhodes dates back to 407 B.C. It would develop as one of the most important seafaring and trading centers in the Eastern Mediterranean. And Rhodes Town still seems important on a tour through town. From its medieval fortress like buildings, bastions and gates to its mosaic of different cultures and civilizations, pick up your car hire in Rhodes and put your touring cap on. Rhodes Town will show you what it’s made of for the past 24 centuries or so.
Stroll the Avenues of the Knights: The Avenue of the Knights has more than just a nice ring to it. It remains one of the best-preserved medieval streets in all of Europe. The Avenue of the Knights makes for the prime spot to begin exploring the Old Town of Rhodes. Exuding an atmosphere of nobility, the thoroughfare packs with medieval inns. These spaces used to play host to the soldiers of the Order of the Knights. The lofty structures stretch 600 meters long along the avenue.
Hit the Old Town’s Highpoint at the Palace of the Grand Masters: Originally a Byzantine fortress built at the end of the 7th century A.D., the Palace of the Grand Masters is easily Rhodes’ highpoint. The Knights of the Order of Saint John would convert the grand residence into the home of the Grand Master of the Order and the administrative headquarters of their state in the early 14th century. The Italians would have to rebuild the Palace when a gunpowder explosion in 1856 largely destroyed it. Now the Palace of the Grand Master is home to a museum with sculpture, mosaics and antique furniture.
Step Through Rhodes’ Past at the Archaeological Museum: When you have 24 centuries under your belt, you can bet there are archaeological finds all over the place. The Archaeological Museum in town resides in the 15th century Knights’ hospital. Its most famous exhibit is easily the Parian marble statuette, the Aphrodite of Rhodes. The statuette is the first century B.C. adaptation of the Hellenistic statue. Also within the museum is the prized fourth century B.C. Afroditi Thalassia.
Perk up with the pink Mosque of Süleyman: Rhodes houses the Mosque of Süleyman and all of its pink domed perfection. Built in 1522, the mosque’s construction commemorated the Ottoman victory against the Knights. It was largely renovated in 1808. If you have more time, be sure to roam Sokratous Street, leading down from the mosque. The street fills with cafes shops and plenty of life.
Close out at sea at Mandraki Harbor: A tour through Rhodes comes to a conclusion at Mandraki Harbor. The narrow channel is the makeup of legends. It is said that one of the seven wonders of the ancient world once stood, the great Colossus of Rhodes statue. You can walk around the harbor front and marvel at the Old Town walls.
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