Rhodes offers two distinct realms within a city the Old Town and the New Town. While the Old Town provides you with a flavour left behind by the ruins and medieval buildings reminiscent of the St. John Knights and Byzantine Empire and adorned by a maze of cobbled alleys, the New Town is a hub of modern resorts with stunning beaches speaking volumes of the influx of the upscale tourists in Rhodes.
Old Town witnesses a significant exodus of tourists during peak seasons, mostly consisting of day-trippers and passengers from the moored cruise liners. If you are looking to escape from the possible madding crowd, try to visit here during autumn.
Let us find what Old Town in Rhodes has to provide to the tourists here and find out how to make the most of your visit here in Old Town.
Brief detail about Rhodes Medieval Town
The Old Town of Rhodes is home to around six thousand inhabitants and is surrounded by medieval walls on all sides. You can enter from these gates:
- Gate of St. Catherine (Agia Ekaterini, opposite Tourist Port),
- Gate of Virgin Mary (Panagia Gate)
- Marine Gate
- Arnaldou Gate
- Arsenal Gate
- Gate of the Apostle Paul,
- Gate of Liberty (Eleftherias Gate)
- Gate d’Amboise and St. Anthony Gate
- Gate of Agios Athanassios
- Gate of St. John (Agios Ioannis Gate), (Kokkini Porta)
- Acandia Gate
Although it has been modernised to quite some extent now with the presence of cafes, bars and upscale shops to cater to the tourists, the essence of its pronounced medieval presence is quite evident in the architecture of some of the buildings, monuments and the ruins present in the Old Town, connected by a maze of cobbled streets.
***See also: What is the best area to stay in Rhodes?***
It is famous for being the last refuge of the Christian Knights who were defeated by the Ottoman Turks. Although the guards fell after a siege mounted by the Ottomans, the Knights defended the city well, and hence a safe passage was provided to the resident Christians who refused to live under Turkish authority.
The city can be divided majorly into three distinct parts- the northern part named Collachio which contains the ancient Acropolis (does not exist nowadays) and the palace of the Grand Master, and the southern part includes the Borgo*(click for the meaning) where the commoners lived.
The Jewish Quarter is the final section which is mostly residential and is not as developed as the above two parts when it comes to commerce and tourism.
Borgo is a residential area as well but has a sufficient number of bars, cafes and shops meant for the tourists who arrive here.
Places to visit in Rhodes Old Town
Near the gate of Liberty you can find the remnants of the 3rd-century Greek temple dedicated to the Greek God of love, Aphrodite. You can also visit the Archaeological museum nearby, which contains some fascinating relics from the bygone era.
Find yourself lost in the essence of the medieval era with the streets that connect the building of this town, famously known as the Street of the Knights. It is lined with essential buildings of historical importance dating back to the 16th century and restored to their original glory till date.
Visit the Palace of the Grandmaster, which is a beautiful piece of architecture and one of the most significant buildings in all of the Dodecanese cluster of islands.
You can also catch a bird’s eye view of the city from the top of the Clock Tower as well.
You may also like: Best Things to See in Old Town
*What is borgo
Borgo is an Italian word (plural borghi), cognate with English borough, German Burg, French bourg, that usually means the new town outside the walls of an old town (the paese). Learn more:Wikipedia