All Unmarked Roads Lead to Rhodes

in Town

Rhodes is the largest of the Doecanese Islands and is its historical capital: a fact which is evident wherever you look on this little suntrap of an island. From thousand year old temples, to streets steeped in history and tales of ancient monuments towering over towns, Rhodes has its fair share of historical oddities and intrigues.

The most common one that tourists visit today is Rhodes Old Town, where it’s easy to lose yourself in more ways than one! Rhodes Old Town is the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe, having been formed in 208BC when the cities of Ialyssos, Kamiros and Lindos merged and its historical and cultural significance has been recognised with its naming as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The town has seen many masters, from the early Greeks, to the Romans, Arabs and Ottoman Empire, and this influence is apparent in the city’s layout and design. For a start, there are around 200 streets that are laid out in a manner that can only be described as haphazard – you’ve no chance of finding gridded streets here! The other thing to note about these streets is that not a single one of them is named bar the main street which is known to locals as Sokratous. Getting lost in this amazing town isn’t unusual for tourists and is an experience in of itself as some of the most stunning architecture is hidden down back alleys you would probably skip over if you had a map to hand.

The Street of Knights is another road that locals can point you to, being known as Ippoton locally. This street used to lead from the Acropolis of Rhodes straight to the port and became lined with inns which were occupied by ship builders and traders during Rhodes golden eras. The name comes from when the inns became occupied by the Knights of the Order of St. John and used as lodgings for visiting dignitaries. Each inn was put to use by a particular country, similar to foreign consulates today, and each building’s façade was adapted to reflect the culture of their countries.

Rhodes ancient harbour may be gone and replaced by a modern port, but the tales of its grandeur still endure with locals and tour guides. Rhodes town was once home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the aptly named Colossus of Rhodes. This was an enormous stone and bronze statue of the Greek God Helios, which was erected over the harbour in celebration of the island’s victory over the attempted invasion of the Cypriots. The Colossus stood for only 56 years from around 292BC before being toppled by an earthquake in around 226BC, where it lay broken in ruins for over a millennium before being disassembled and sold off in 654 AD by the invading Arabs. Although the statue is gone, the site where it once stood is still a top tourist attraction.

Stay in style while on your historical visit to Rhodes by visiting this website.

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John Hendry has 16 articles online and 2 fans

John Hendry is a professional writer and an avid traveller. He loves to explore exotic destinations around the world.

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All Unmarked Roads Lead to Rhodes

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This article was published on 2011/08/23