Looking for a new adventure? A great love for history? In for souvenir shopping? Or just want to enjoy good food in a great atmosphere? In this case you definitely have to visit Rhodes Old Town. The historical part of the city of Rhodes is the oldest inhabited medieval town of Europe. I fell in love with this city immediately and that’s why couldn’t hold myself to write another blog about Rhodes. This time I will tell you about Rhodes Old Town in Specific.
For a visual impression, click on the picture below
The Medieval Walk:
Rhodes Old Town offers you a few great historical places you absolutely can’t miss. However, Rhodes Old Town consists out of a labyrinth of cute, historical small streets with hidden treasures everywhere. Getting lost here is the best way to discover the great places the city has to offer. Don’t worry, I’ve add a map at the end of my page. We are lucky to live in a time that getting lost is almost impossible. You can use this map whenever you are searching for one place in specific or when you want to see which place is close to your location.
An absolute “must see” is the Palace of the Grand Masters. The Gothic architecture of the building is one of the few examples you will find in Greece and in combination with the Greek Island flow it’s an unique experience. For the origin of the architecture of the “Kastello” we go back to fourteenth century, when the Knight Hospitallers started to use this building as their head quarter.
The Knight Hospitallers arose as a group of individuals from mostly western Europe. Their mission was to provide care for sick, poor or injured pilgrims coming to Jerusalem. A military was needed to complete this job. You can find traces of the roots of the knight hospitallers in the architecture of their buildings. Some rooms inside of the Palace of the Grand Masters made Ben and me think of the Louvre in Paris. A visit to the Kastello does not only offer you more information about the interesting history of the Knight Hospitallers, it is also a beautiful building.
The Streets of the Knigths (Ippoton) leads you to the Kastello. The lodges on both sides of this streets were the home of the Knight Hospitallers. They were divided into tongues / language. A walk through this street takes you straight back to medieval times.
Not only the Palace of the Grand Masters is a “must see” if you are interested in history, also the Archaeological Museum, the former Knight’s Hospital, is pretty interesting if you’re interested in the history of Rhodes and the Knight Hospitallers. In my opinion it’s one of the most interesting Archaeological Museums I have seen so far. It doesn’t only tell you about the history of the Knight Hospitallers, but starts with the Neolithic period, 6500-3200 BC and the collection goes on until 1204-16th century. The beautiful gardens with historical treasures are what make this Archaeological Museum unique.
Another historical treasure you will find in the streets of Rhodes Old Town is the Hora. This pink beauty is one of the traces from the Ottoman Empire. During this period a lot of churches where converted to mosques. The Ottoman rule the island of Rhodes for about 400 years. You can find traces of this period everywhere in Rhodes Old Town. Across the street you will find a Muslim Library that houses a collection of Korans handwritten on parchment.
The Hora is located at the end of the Sokratous, the main shopping street in Rhodes. From this street you can walk to several side streets with souvenir shops everywhere. Beside souvenir shops, there are lots of jewellers and fashion stores.
The Roloi Clock Tower is located Inbetween the Ippiton and Sokratous. From the 7th-century clock-tower you can enjoy a stunning view of Rhodes Old Town. You will immediately recognize the highlight and you will clearly see the boarders of the Old Town since this is where the resorts start raising up. Climbing the tower was not what I expected, it’s very small but this actually makes it really cosy.
Don’t worry if you’re hungry after walking though Rhodes Old Town. There are many bustling squares like Ippokratous Square, Square of the Jewish Martyrs and Vreon Martiron Square where you can perfectly sit down and enjoy some traditional Greek Food or treat yourself with a drink.
Special ticket package: €10,-
Valid for the Grand Masters’ Palace, Archaeological Museum, the church of Our Lady of the Castle and the Decorative Arts Collection.
Roloi Clock Tower: €5,-
Includes 1 Drink
Prices for food: Restaurants will cost about €20,- (without alcoholic drinks), A cheap meal will cost about €10,- and a Gyros lunch will cost about €3,-.
How much time you need to discover this beautiful city surely depend on how much you’re planning to do and see. Keep in mind that you easily forget about time once you start walking through this city and the amazing historical buildings it has to offer. It took Ben and me two days to see everything of the city that we had planned to see without being in a hurry. This includes some shopping time and a few breaks to enjoy some delicious food.
When you are planning to do some shopping, keep in mind that it’s a common thing to haggle a better price.
When you are (like me) not that good in price negotiating, it is also an option to go from one shop to the other. They will notice that you have been to other shops before and are searching for a good price.
If you are a morning persons, starting your City Trip early in the morning will give you great advances. The city looks fabulous during sunrise and most tourist are still sleeping.
Do you want to be sure you have the best place to sit for dinner, start your dinner early. When you have started your day early you will be hungry enough and an extra benefit is that the waiter will have more time to give you an excellent service.
More time left? Check my previous blog About Rhodes Island: