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Unesco Monuments
Medieval City of Rhodes
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The Medieval City of Rhodes, a UNESCO World Heritage, is one of the oldest medieval towns and active meeting place of many cultures. It includes samples of different architecture styles from all periods of history. The dominant period is the one of the Knights (Order) of St. John and that of the Ottomans.


The city was built on portions of the earlier Hellenistic, on the northern tip of the island. The town was built in the 7th century to protect the inhabitants from raids, as proven from written sources and confirmed by excavations.

In 1309 the city was conquered by the Knights of St. John. Since then and for the next two centuries, Rhodes was the administrative and political center of the knightly state, which included most of the Dodecanese islands. The city has quadrupled in size compared to the Byzantine period and significant fortification projects were performed. These projects expanded the existing Byzantine fortification and the city developed into a major area of about 800,000 square meters around the harbor.

Inside the fort there was an intermediate wall dividing the city into two unequal parts which were joined by a gate.
The northern, lower part called Kollakio was intended solely for the activities of members of the knightly orders. The Kollakio included the street of the Knights, who was the main axis ie. the accommodation of nations or ethnic groups, the hospital, the houses of knights, the church of St. John, the church of the Holy Lady of the Castle, the chapel of the Holy Trinity and the Palace of the Grand Magister.
The most larger southern part, was called Chora or Burgo and was the place where the local population, ie Greeks, Jews and Latinos lived and worked. Chora was crossed by the wide street of the local market which ended in two very important buildings of the area; the church of the Virgin of Burgas and the Hospice of St Catherine. Among others, the Turkish bazaar around the Mosque of Suleiman, the old market and other buildings of interest are located here.

The state of Knights faced constant threat from the Ottomans.
In 1480 the city of Rhodes was besieged by Mehmed B’ the Conqueror, who eventually was defeated even if the Turkish army was outnumbering them.
In 1522 after a grueling siege, the Knights capitulated and were forced to surrender the city to Suleiman the Magnificent and leave the island. The period of Turkish occupation lasted until 1912 and was followed by the period of Italian occupation (1912-1948), during which the city grew as Rhodes. The Italians undertook extensive infrastructure projects such as new roads, electricity, port, etc. and radically transformed the city of Rhodes, constructing elegant buildings, highlighting the archaeological sites and rebuilding of medieval buildings. The houses which were built on and beside the walls during the Ottoman period were demolished and the Jewish and Ottoman cemeteries turned into a "green zone".

The remaining elements of the Knights period were kept, while Ottoman additions were removed. Simultaneously the Grand Magister's Palace, which was destroyed in an explosion of gunpowder in 1856, was rebuilt.


Contact information
Rhodes
85100, Rhodes
Tel.: (+30) 22410 25500
Email: protocol@4eba.culture.gr

Opening hours
The site is constantly open for visits.




© myGreece.travel photo
© myGreece.travel photo
© myGreece.travel photo
© myGreece.travel photo