Greek islands are recognized for his or her aquamarine shores, pearl-white seashores, and sunsets that unfurl dramatic streaks of color. However Rhodes’s true novelty and appeal isn’t in its seashore aesthetic: it lies in its layers of historical historical past and the lasting presence of those that got here earlier than.
From Rhodes’ Previous City to its flowered shoreline, the tales of historical days are celebrated within the stays of medieval streets, majestic church buildings, fortresses, and acropolises.
Listed here are 10 historic websites that’ll maintain your thoughts and toes wandering.
The Streets of the Knights
The Order of the Knights of St John housed its European members on this 600m cobblestone avenue, divided into seven inns for the seven nations from which they got here. It’s flanked by a splendid archway, full with a bridge, turrets, and arched doorways and home windows.
This may trick you into believing it’s merely one other quaint boulevard main from the Archaeological Museum to the Grand Grasp’s Palace: however take a second to identify the unique reliefs lining the road, exhibiting off the patriotism, faith, and cultural sentiments of the 14th century.
Probably the most spectacular options embrace the previous hospital and the coats of arms honouring Grand Masters Philippe Villiers de L’isle Adam and Raymond Bérenger; the Pope; and England.
Palace of the Grand Grasp
This 14th-century palace served because the Knights’ administrative centre and the Grand Grasp’s residence. The palace revels within the Knights’ army victories and its important function as Rhodes’ main defence, with its spherical towers and 12m-thick partitions. The colossal granite cannonballs, triumphantly used in opposition to the Turks, litter the bastion’s intensive grounds.
Twenty-four rooms are open to the general public, together with the Grand Reception Corridor and the Grand Grasp’s personal chambers. These show 16th-17th century furnishings, hand-woven medieval textiles, multi-coloured marbles, ornately carved seats, and mosaics depicting Medusa. The oriental vases are a surprise and communicate volumes in regards to the Knight’s intercontinental actions, however they really feel jarringly misplaced.
Medieval Clock Tower (Roloi)
On Orfeos Avenue within the Previous City, you’ll uncover a fastidiously restored Byzantine-style clock tower with baroque parts, a copper dome, a weathervane, and symmetrical columns.
Relationship again to the seventh century, the highest of the tower delivers an excellent 360-degree vista, and it may be reached by merely climbing a set of 53 wood steps.
Right here, you may hear the bells clang whereas marvelling on the distant Aegean Sea and harbour, fronted by the Suleiman Mosque and Palace of the Grand Grasp. You may need to cease off on the terrace café beforehand to benefit from the complimentary beverage included within the admission ticket!
Church of Panagia tou Bourgou
Neighbouring the harbour, the 14th-century Church of Our Woman of the Burgh is a casualty of the Second World Warfare. However, its skeletal stays are maybe one of many best examples of Gothic structure within the Previous City, providing a faint glimpse of its former glory. Its three aisles are bordered by 4 sturdy columns, topped with pointed archways and distinct rib-vaulting, backed by lengthy, oval home windows.
The location is extra spectacular at evening, because it’s illuminated by spotlights, evoking an amazing ecclesiastical really feel. This sense is simply enhanced when the church’s steps and inside are ringing with orchestral tunes in the course of the music occasions often held right here.
Panagia tou Kastrou
As the most important and oldest preserved church within the Previous City, the 11th-century Church of the Panagia tou Kastrou is an interesting perception into Greece’s spiritual adjustments. Initially, it functioned as an Orthodox church devoted to the Virgin Mary. However, in the course of the 14th-15th centuries, Catholicism reigned underneath the Order of the Knights of St. John, who renamed the constructing Sancta Maria Castelli Rodi. Even later, in the course of the time of the Ottoman Empire, it was transformed into the Enderum Mosque.
The rib vaulting, pointed-arched home windows, and coats of arms celebrating Grand Grasp Villeneuve and Pope John XXII are must-sees. Subsequent, attempt to spot the fragments of wall work representing 4 saints and the mom of God.
Acropolis of Rhodes
The Acropolis of Rhodes lies on the Monte Smith hill, and, though just a few ruins are repaired, there’s sufficient to visualise the websites’ authentic function and grandeur.
In true Hellenic fashion, the acropolis fuses naturally with its surrounding topography. Consequently, it’s replete with underground websites for cult worshipping, monumental temples – together with the Temple of Pythian Apollo – sanctuaries, and public buildings.
The 2nd-century BC stadium is by far essentially the most spectacular characteristic. It’s 210m lengthy and shows some authentic elements, just like the athletes’ beginning mechanism, the sphedone (turning posts), decrease auditorium seats, and proedries (the seats assigned to officers). Subsequent door is the marble odeion (theatre) which nonetheless levels occasions, providing you an opportunity to expertise conventional Greek theatre.
Acropolis of Lindos
From the white-washed labyrinth of Lindos village, the Acropolis may be seen perching atop a 116m excessive cliff, enclosed by mighty crenellated battlements. Search for the Rhodian battleship rock carving on the foot of the steep steps resulting in this website.
As soon as inside the partitions, you’re offered with the temple’s ruins to the goddess Athena Lindia. Right here, you may see the superbly preserved Hellenistic stoa, the Propylaea, and the Byzantine St John Chapel. The previous has 20 Doric-inspired columns, which type a stark silhouette in opposition to the blues of the ocean and sky.
Lindos’ archaeological website extends past the Acropolis, amongst which lies the Theatre (a round orchestra and auditorium), many church buildings, cemeteries, and the Boukopion – a spot of sacrifices.
Go to the Historic Kamiros on the islands north-western coast. The Dorians based the city within the sixth and fifth century BC, and it lasted till the Byzantine Emperor Justinian’s reign. The stays of the agora (market), the Acropolis, and temples – such because the one devoted to the goddess Athena Kamirada – are intensive, exhibiting the splendour and prosperity of this historical civilisation.
In line with the Hippodamian system, the city format was designed with parallel streets divided into personal residences and public buildings. The complete construction is completely preserved, offering an intimate perception into the inhabitants’ day by day life: their commerce (mainly olive oil, wine, and figs), ceramic business, settlement, and worship.
Monastery of Filerimos
This Gothic monastery is hidden amongst a colony of pine timber, holding a tranquil place on Mt. Filerimos (267m excessive) and relationship to the 15th century and the Knights of St John.
Go to the baptistery’s cross-shaped ruins and the underground church of St. George with its frescoes depicting the knights. There are remnants of historical Ialyssos, monks’ cells, and the Knights’ church with 4 chapels. The innermost chapel nonetheless shows the unique mosaic flooring from the sooner Christian church.
There’s additionally the Through Crucis, a tree-lined pathway exterior the monastery claimed by sprightly chicks and regal peacocks. On the proper facet are reliefs portraying scenes of the Ardour of Christ, guiding you to a lookout spot with an unlimited iron cross. From right here, the vista beneath turns into a weave of white, blue, and purple, fading collectively because it stretches in direction of Asia Minor.
From a distance, the Monolithos Fort is hid inside the cascading terrain, regardless of sitting on a lonely rock summit 236m excessive. The supplies utilized by the Knights of St John within the 14th century soften seamlessly into this precipice. It’d look underwhelming, however the fortress is likely one of the most necessary defences in Rhodes’ historical past, withstanding pirate raids and enemy assaults for 500 years.
Right here, you’ll discover the fortress partitions and two 15th-century chapels, one superbly white-washed and the opposite a stone shell of its authentic type, looking to the mountain of Akramytis.