This Rhodes Guide is provided free courtesy of Rhodes Select. 

RHODES GUIDE - RHODES TOWN

Introduction Rhodes Town The East Coast Lindos The West Coast

Rhodes Town is situated on the northern tip of the island. It is a vibrant cosmopolitan place with many local and international shops and restaurants of all types ( including Marks & Spencers and BHS !! ) to choose from in both the Old and New Town areas.

The Old Town is the largest, inhabited medieval walled city in the world and would take many days to explore properly. It is also an officially designated World Heritage Site.


Evening in Rhodes town with castle towering high.

Old Rhodes town cobbled street.
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A warren of narrow cobbled streets fan out from the main squares and within these streets the locals live in original 14th century houses. Some have been beautifully restored into modern homes whilst others have been converted into fine quality gift and craft shops, gourmet restaurants or bijoux hotels. Others are still in disrepair waiting for improvement. It is easy to half close your eyes in this area and imagine life as it was 650 years ago.

The Old Town was originally built in the 14th century by the Knights of St. John, a religious-military order dating back to the 12th century, whose mission was to capture the holy city of Jerusalem from the Infidel. These crusaders came from England, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy and the different nationalities were known as Ď the tongues Ď referring to their differing languages and origins.
 


Gerard, founder of The Knights of St. John 
in Jerusalem in the 12th. century.

De Villaret, first Grand Master of the 
Knights of Rhodes 1305-1319.
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In the Street of the Knights, probably the best preserved medieval street in the world, can be seen the Inns of the Tongues each with itís coat of arms carved in the stone.

These were the headquarters of the different nationalities making up the Knights Order. The street leads to the Palace of the Grand Masters which dominates the town and houses a wonderful museum featuring many ancient artefacts and some beautifully preserved mosaic floors dating back to the 1st. century B.C.

After the failed first siege of Rhodes by the Turks in 1480, Suleiman the Magnificent with a 200,000 strong army, laid siege to the city in June 1522. The 290 Knights and a further 6,000 inhabitants and mercenaries defended the castle walls until in January 1523, short of food, water and ammunition they negotiated the surrender and departed for Crete. It was a bloody affair with c. 2,000 defenders and 50,000 Turks killed.


Street of the Knights

Rhodes Town in the 15th century
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The Italians took over the island in 1912, improved the islandís infrastructure and restored many of the ancient and medieval antiquities. They were generally regarded as benign occupiers. During World War 2 the Italian garrison, stationed mainly in Kalathos, came under periodic air attack from the RAF until the Italian surrender in 1943 at which time the Germans occupied the island until the end of the war. The British then administered the Dodecanese Islands until 1948 when they were handed back to Mother Greece.


Fortified towers surround the Old Town.

This arched gateway faces Turkey.
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Greek shopkeeper's afternoon siesta!

Fountain and clock tower near the harbour.

The New Town has extensive shopping areas, bars, clubs, all kinds of restaurants, cinemas, a casino and accommodation ranging from simple pensions to 5 star hotels. During the summer season it buzzes with a sophisticated life of itís own whilst in the quieter winter months the cruise ships continue to visit and the fun loving locals let their hair down.


Casino in Rhodes Town

Mandraki Harbour, on the edge of the Old Town walls and adjoining the many stylish civic offices built during the Italian occupation, is a wonderful place to take a leisurely stroll. Many boats from fishing skips to luxury yachts can be seen bobbing at their moorings and sea trips to Lindos, Symi or even Turkey can be taken from here.

At the northern end of the harbour there is a lovely beach from which, on a clear day, the Anatolian mountains of Turkey look so close it seems that you could reach out and touch them.


Mandraki Harbour

Palace of the Grand Masters

Turkey from Rhodes beach
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Modern resorts such as Trianta and Ixia are situated on the northwestern coast, close to the capital and feature mainly 4 and 5 star hotels.

Introduction Rhodes Town The East Coast Lindos The West Coast
This Rhodes Guide is provided free courtesy of Rhodes Select.