In the Medieval Old Town of Rhodes one may for sure enjoy one of the most interesting walks on the island. Do not let the "medieval" mislead you: rather than a ruined, deserted setting, you will be pleasantly surprised to wander through an intricate network of busy little commercial streets delightfully alternating with quiet alleys, in what is a very much alive town consistently dwelt in over the last two thousand years! No wonder, therefore, that for some time now, the Medieval Quarter of Rhodes - the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe - forms part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage network!
This is a bustling neighborhood of some 6000 people, who live and work in the same buildings in which the Knights of St. John dwelt, six centuries ago. An emotion certain to remain forever alive on one’s memory!
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 alleys - some of them bearing no name! Getting “lost” here is not a defeat; it's an opportunity. Whenever you feel the need to find your bearings, you may ask for Sokratous street, which is the closest the Medieval City comes to having a main street.
The highlights - what to see in the Old Town of Rhodes
The Palace of the Grand Master, reinstated by the Italians in 1940 after almost a century of abandonment (the building had been destroyed as a result of an explosion in a forgotten powder store in its basement, in 1856), stands out because of its imposing entrance and exquisitely well-preserved towers and battlements. The interiors of the buildings, decorated with priceless ornamental objects, are equally impressive.
The Archaeological Museum is housed in the Gothic building of the Great Hospital of the Knights and preserves masterpieces of art on Rhodes, finds from ancient lalysos and Kameiros and mosaic paintings from the city of Rhodes.
The Knight's Street, the imposing street that leads to the Palace of the Grand Master, keeps alive the accommodations of the "language" of the Order of Knights.
It is worth visiting the Panagia tou Kastrou, the Panagia tou Bourgkou, the clocktower, the synagogue and the mosques of the Suleyman and Recep Pasha.
The medieval city of Rhodes is one of the few remaining medieval cities in the world that is still inhabited and alive.