Rhodes

A to Z Challenge: R = Rhodes

R = Rhodes

ROld town Rhodes is an old, walled city first built in the 11th Century by the Knights of St. John’s (the same ones responsible for many of the sights to see in Malta). The city is a tapestry of winding streets, shops and restaurants, churches and mosques, and even an ancient temple to Aphrodite.  For people arriving on a cruise, it is an easy walk off the ship and into the city, making this one of my favourite places to explore. You can even walk along the beach! I feel like I stepped back in time – a truly magical experience.

Rhodes
Rhodes

The Palace of the Grandmasters is not as polished as the one in Malta. You get a sense that this was built to protect and keep the city safe from the canons on the battlements to the thick stone walls and plain interiors. I love the feel of this place and can “sense” a time when it was filled with activity. I could almost hear conversations from old.

Walls of the Old City Rhodes
Walls of the Old City Rhodes
Entrance to the Palace of the Grandmasters
Entrance to the Palace of the Grandmasters
Row of canons
Row of canons
Main courtyard in the Palace of the Grandmasters
Main courtyard in the Palace of the Grandmasters
Main staircase in the Palace of the Grandmasters
Main staircase in the Palace of the Grandmasters
Office of the Grand Master
Office of the Grand Master
Maltese Cross or the Cross of the Order of St. John
Maltese Cross or the Cross of the Order of St. John

Leading to the palace is the Avenue of the Knights. This street has the houses for the 8 languages that made up the Order of St. John – the points on the cross represent each of these languages.

Avenue of the Knights
Avenue of the Knights

At the base of the avenue, there is the remains of the Temple of Aphrodite. There are a lot of cats the roam the city, however on multiple visits, there seems to be one that has taken residence at the temple – a black and white cat that looks like my new kitten, Lola.

Temple of Aphrodite
Temple of Aphrodite
Temple of Aphrodite
Temple of Aphrodite
Temple cat
Temple cat

Close to the temple is the Museum of Archaeology. In one room, there is a large collection of grave markers for the knights. These are reminiscent of the decorated marble floor in the co-Cathedral of St. John in Valletta, Malta. These, however, are carved sandstone and have no colours.The symbols are the same, though.

Archaeology Museum
Archaeology Museum
Grave marker in the Archaeology Museum
Grave marker in the Archaeology Museum

As I always seem to do, I wander through towns – thinking that I know where I am going. It was in Rhodes that I discovered that I can get lost even in a walled city. So, after walking around the city, and getting lost, it is always nice to enjoy a nice cup of espresso.

Me with an espresso
Me with an espresso

There is a lot to see on the island of Rhodes, which is why it is on my long list of places to return to, but if you have a day – get lost in the old city.

Gate to the sea
Gate to the sea
Outside the walls
Outside the walls
Statue of dolphins along the beach
Along the beach
Me and travel companion Bryan on the beach
Me and travel companion Bryan on the beach
Ship docked near the walls
Ship docked near the walls

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