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The City of Rhodes: where past meets present!

Rhodes Mandraki harbour at sunrise

Present day, with its 2400 years of history, Rhodes is a city that impresses and fascinates its visitors. Its medieval aspect, fortified behind an impressive wall, merges harmoniously with the refined, cosmopolitan air of a modern resort with luxurious hotels, broad avenues, rich commercial stores and offers one of the highest developed tourism infrastructure in Greece.

The Medieval City of Rhodes has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage City
The Medieval City of Rhodes has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage City
The new (modern) City of Rhodes
In the most picturesque of the three ports of the city, the yacht harbour of Mandraki, we are welcomed by two bronze deer, which have become the modern emblem of the town. Nearby on the mole stands the lighthouse tower of St. Nicholas, and the three old windmills. The impressive walls of the Medieval Town and the numerous monumental buildings that surround Mandraki add to its majestic air – among others the New Market, the Archbishops Palace, the Annunciation church, the Central Post Office, Town hall, Theatre and Government House (Italian building). At the north end of the town, and the most northern point of the island, stands the Institute of Marine Biology (Aquarium).

Today, Rhodes has to offer an enormous variety of colours and forms, activities and sightseing. Its marvelous beaches, big modern buildings, picturesque neighborhoods and imposing medieval edifices are all swamped in greenery - in the town itself the streets are lined with trees. Vegetation even grows up as far as the walls of the castle, and the numerous palm trees hint at the tropical.

For many, the best approach to Rhodes is from the sea, from which the Medieval City towering over the harbour can be seen, with its impressive walls, towers, bastions and battlements, and behind it, the domes and minarets of Turkish mosques, which had been build after the Turks invaded and took over the island in 1522 from the Knights.

The Medieval City of Rhodes (Old Town of Rhodes)
In the Medieval Town of Rhodes (or Old Town) you may for sure enjoy one of the most interesting waks on the island. Do not be misled by the term "medieval" into thinking that what you will see is a ruined and deserted city.
The Medieval City of Rhodes by night.
The Medieval City of Rhodes by night.
When you approach the walls of the Old Town of Rhodes, you are about to enter the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe.

A bustling neigbourhood of some 6000 people, who live and work in the same buildings in which the Knights of St. John lived six centuries ago. It's a thrill to behold.

Medieval buildings, mosques, traditional fountains, oriental motifs, Byzantine and Gothic churches, shops and cafeterias are scattered throughout the Old Town of Rhodes, all blending together to create a unique and picturesque whole. There are roughly 200 streets or lanes that simply have no name. Getting lost here is not a defeat; it's an opportunity. Whenever you feel the need to find your bearings, you can ask for Sokratous street, which is the closest the Medieval City comes to having a main street.

The Palace of the Grand Masters, reconstructed by the Italians in 1940 after it was demolished by a gunpowder explision in 1856, stands out because of its imposing entrance and well built towers and battlements. The interiors of the buildings, decorated with priceless treasures, are equaly impressive.
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