Rhodes Old Town: A Journey Through Ancient Streets

Rhodes Old Town: A Journey Through Ancient Streets

Nestled on the eastern coast of the Greek island of Rhodes lies an ancient gem, the Rhodes Old Town. With its cobblestone streets, medieval walls, and centuries-old buildings, this historic town is a journey through time. As you wander through its ancient streets, you can feel the presence of civilizations that once thrived here.

The history of Rhodes Old Town dates back to 408 BC when it was founded by the Ancient Greeks. Over the centuries, it has been ruled by various empires including Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Ottomans. Each civilization has left its mark on this small but mighty town.

One of the most remarkable features of Rhodes Old Town is its imposing walls that stretch over 4 kilometers around it. Built by Knights Hospitaller in the 14th century during their reign over Rhodes, these walls protected the city from invaders for centuries. Today they serve as a reminder of Rhodes’ turbulent past and offer visitors a chance to take a walk along history.

As you enter through one of seven gates in these walls into Mandraki Harbor Square – one of Europe’s largest medieval squares – you are greeted with stunning views and bustling cafes and restaurants. This square is also home here to two iconic landmarks – The Colossus Statue (one of seven wonders in ancient times) which no longer stands but still draws many tourists for a photo op; and fortresses built by Knights Hospitaller named Tower Palace Street.

Beyond Mandraki Square lies Magestic Street lined with colorful shops selling souvenirs made from olive wood or local wine specialty Chartakiiou wine leaves among others. Don’t miss out on sampling some delicacies such as locally grown figs or traditional Greek baklava while strolling down narrow streets off Magestic street leading deeper into old town.

As you make your way towards Virgin Odigitria Church at heartland Citidal, you will be struck by the diversity in architecture. On your right stands impressive Gothic and Muhammadic mosques influenced buildings while on your left stands an old Venetian Inn (now National History Museum) and palace; a reminder of the Italian reign over Rhodes. The citadel is also home to archaeological structures dating back to Hellenistic Era such as ruins of Temple of Aphrodite.

As shadows grow longer, head towards St Athanasios Gate located inside citadel walls to take in magnificent sunset views over Rhodian coastline from top floor balcony and bid goodnight before exiting through a bustling nightlife street leading through Hafizin Sokak gate.

A journey through Rhodes Old Town is incomplete without experiencing its vibrant culture. With many festivals held yearlong, visitors can witness live performances exhibiting local music, dance, and traditional games. This town offers not only a walk along history but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in Greek culture.

In conclusion, Rhodes Old Town is not just another tourist spot; it’s a journey through time that leaves you feeling enriched with its ancient stories and vibrant present.