Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Old Rhodes Town

I'm a bit late posting this, our holiday was in June, but better late than never!

My favourite part of Rhodes is the Old Town, Palia Poli. It's a World Heritage site and it's a fantastic historic place to visit, full of atmosphere.

My photos are in no particular order here, just as I posted them. They should enlarge if you click them, but who knows what mood Blogger is in!

You can enter through about ten different gates around the 4 kms of defensive walls built by The Knights of St John mainly as a defence against threats of Turkish invasion in the 1450s.

The dry moat surrounds the Old Town and for many years it was strewn with rubbish but now most of it is landscaped and is a pleasant place to walk. There are also stone missiles piled up there!

One of the Gates into Old Rhodes Town

This gate on the north east side of the Old Town leads from Mandraki Harbour. It's a very busy one, always lots of cars.



Mandraki Harbour

Inside this medieval city there's a mix of Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Moorish buildings in a medieval warren of streets, lanes, alleyways and courtyards.

One of my favourite streets it the Ippoton, Street of the Knights. You can see it through the arch on the photo below.

Archway leading to the Street of the Knights

It's a lovely cobbled street restored by the Italians and now occupied by municipal and cultural organisations. The Knights were organised by country of origin and by their language into national groups called Tongues. Each Tongue had its own "Inn" where the knights lived and you can still see the coats of arms above the doorways.

It's a very sedate street now probably nothing like the medieval one that would have been teeming with life. It's also hard on the feet walking on those cobbles in hot weather, best to use the path if you can.

Ippoton - The Street of the Knights

The Palace of the Grand Masters was the lavish home of the leaders of the crusades. It was used as a prison when the Turks took over, after that it fell into ruins and was destroyed by an explosion in 1856.

Palace of the Grand Masters

Archway in the Palace of the Grand Masters



I took this picture of one of the many canons in the Palace of the Grand Masters. It had a British coat of arms but it was from 19th Century.


Looking over the walls from the Palace of the Grand Masters



Looking Through the Koskinou Gate

The Church of Saint John was also destroyed by the explosion that wrecked the Palace of the Grand Masters. You can recognise the totally different Italian style and it's now under reconstruction. The photo below shows I really need a wide angle lens to do it justice.

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Church of Saint John

I'm pretty sure this is the Mosque of Suleiman but wouldn't swear to it.
I'll check in September!

I can't remember which church this was. There's lots!

Ruins of Temple of Aphrodite

These date from the 3rd century BC, one of the few ancient remains to be found in the Old Town.




Some ruins!

Now it would be nice if they would provide some information about what these ruins are. The only sign around shown in the photo below, says Byzantine Fortifications but that refers to the walls in the photo below!

Byzantine Fortifications

One of the many archways

Just take a look at this weathering!

There are so many parts of the Old Town in the process of renovation and you can just wander about quite safely along the back streets snapping away.

A typical little back street courtyard

How about renovating this?

or maybe this?

Here's a place that's well on the way to being completed. It has a sort of Italian look about this with the wooden shutters and balcony.




That drooping wire has me a bit worried! What health and safety regs are being broken there?

The street below is Sokratous Street, the main shopping street in the Old Town. Tacky as you'll find anywhere but absolutely charming! I love it.

Normally on a Sunday at the end of May it's absolutely heaving. The day we were there it was pretty quiet. A sign of the drop in tourists in May this year.


Sokratous Street

I love this square and fountain, not sure what it's called. If you've seen film, Escape to Athena you'll remember it! It's usually packed but it was quite peaceful the day we were there.


I really like this square, there are lots of restaurants and cafes here too. No water in the fountain though!

I love this walk along past numerous cafes and restaurants. The banter from the waiters trying to get you to to eat or drink is wonderful. They always make me laugh. Totally different from the ones who hassle you in some countries. If you click on the photo you can see a dog lying in front of a cafe and the suit of armour. No it wasn't dead, just relaxing in the heat!


We're going on a Mediterranean cruise for our Ruby wedding anniversary in September. The day we visit Rhodes is on our anniversary so we'll be back in the Old Town again. This time instead of just wandering about and snapping what takes my fancy, I'll be a bit more organised and plan what to see. Then maybe I'll remember the names.

Post 109

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