Old Medieval Town of Rhodes

Rhodes Attraction

One of the oldest medieval towns of Europe, this place has been continuously inhabited until today. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

According to researchers, the Medieval Town of Rhodes developed without any specific architectural planning around the old fortress probably after the earthquake of 515.

Who built the Old Town of Rhodes?

A more functional architectural form was given to the town by the Knights of the Order of St. John who arrived in Rhodes in the 14th century. The impressive Castle of the "Knights of Rhodes" is located on the northwest side of the castle of the Old Medieval City, while during the Knights ruling period (1309-1522) it was called Kollakio or Chateau.

A walk through the alleys of the Old Town leads to Knights Street. This is the main street of Old Town, which is 6 meters wide and the majority of the medieval buildings are located.

When did the Ottomans ruled Rhodes?

In 1522, after several failed attempts, the city of Rhodes conquered by the Ottomans and the period of Ottoman rule begun (1522-1912). As expected, this period was not one of the brightest for the city, but rather the opposite.

The fortifications and most of the medieval buildings were preserved, but the changes in their uses were significant. The Palace of the Grand Master is turned into a prison, the Hospital of the Knights into barracks, while at the same time many mosques are being built, with tall minarets and baths.

The citizens of Greek descent lost the right to reside within the walls. In fact, all the Greeks who maintained shops or those who worked in them, were forced to leave the city by the sunset.

When was the Italian occupation on Rhodes island?

In 1912 a new period begins for Rhodes when it is occupied by the Italians. The period of Italian occupation (1912-1947) is a period of development and transformation of the city. Finally, this period ends after the end of the Second World War, and Rhodes together with other islands of the Dodecanese join the Greek state.

What are the most important sights of the Old Town of Rhodes?

The Old Town houses a series of ancient, Byzantine, Medieval, Ottoman, and Italian monuments some of which are:

  • the Temple of Aphrodite
  • the Knights' Hospital, which houses the Archaeological Museum
  • the Byzantine Museum
  • the Armory
  • the Museum of Decorative Arts
  • the Suleiman Mosque
  • and the Palace of Castellania

The Old Town is definitely ideal for romantic walks. It is, a vibrant settlement, that offers all kinds of shops, restaurants, taverns, while its nightlife is legendary.

The existing legislation prohibits any contemporary architectural intervention. This contributes to the preservation of its style, something that promotes respect for tradition, history, and the preservation of monumental architecture.

About Old Medieval Town of Rhodes

Last updated: 23 Apr 2021

address Rhodes, 851 00, Greece
nearby transportation