The Old Town of Rhodes

rhodes-old-townThe Medieval Town of Rhodes is known among locals as “The Old Town”. The site is incredibly well preserved and there are projects conducted to restore and improve the medieval town. The oldest inhabited medieval fortress in the world has over 200 streets or lanes with no name on them. It’s really easy to get lost but don’t be afraid: there is a lot to see and do!

The medieval town of Rhodes has been designated by UNESCO as a world monument of architectural heritage.

The Medieval Fortress

The fortress is divided into three parts: The Kollakio (Kollako) to the north, the Burgh (Hora) to the south and the Jewish Quarter. The Kollakio includes the Street of Knights, the Palace of the Grand Master (Castello), the Hospital (today a museum), the official churches of the Order and other important buildings. The Hora comprises the Turkish bazaar located around Suleiman’s mosque, the old market and many other buildings. The Jewish Quarter is least developed commercially as it’s mostly a residential area.

The town developed around a fortress built probably just after the earthquake of 515 AD.

Within the Medieval Town you can visit: Eleftheria (Liberty) Gate, the Byzantine Museum, Panagia tou Kastrou, the Mosque of Suleiman, Simis square, Ippokratous square, The Palace of The Grand Masters, The Minaret of the old city & The Great Hamam, The Archaeological Museum, The clock tower and the Street of Knights (Ippoton street).

The most interesting part of the Old City is the Street of Knights. An incredible medieval road, fully restored, it stretches from the Archaeological Museum to the Grandmaster’s Palace.

After spending time inside the Medieval Town, you might want to take a walk around its walls. The magnificent medieval fortress with all the gates and towers offers a great example of how imposing the medieval structures are.

Word of advice: don’t expect to be able to visit the entire Old Town in a day. The place is incredibly big and you won’t know what to do and where to go first. So plan to visit it on several days just to make sure you won’t miss anything.

The Municipal Gallery

The Municipal Gallery is located within the Old Town, in a lovely building in Symis Square. When coming from the Freedom Gate, the Gallery of Rhodes is the first building on the right hand side of the road.

The Gallery was opened in 1962 and houses one of the most representative collections of the 20th century Greek panting. Don’t miss some of the most important items on display: “The hero of the Greek War of Independence and “Miltiades Yataganas” by Theophilos The items on display change regularly. Of the 690 exhibitions housed by the gallery, only 90 are opened for the public. It can be visited from Monday to Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM (hours might vary so do check in advance).

A second building of the gallery, located opposite to the Mosque of Suleiman houses rare maps and engravings. This building is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. A third gallery building will be opened in the New Town within the next years.

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