Best places to visit in Rhodes' medieval city
Rhodes’ medieval city is clearly the island’s must-see attraction.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest and best preserved fortified city in Europe!
There are only pedestrian streets inside the walls. You will be able to take a nice stroll and enjoy its charming paved alleys and historical monuments. Nowadays, the medieval city of Rhodes is entirely dedicated to tourism: you will find there many taverns, restaurants and shops. The place is also very busy for the most months of the year.
Are you ready?
Palace of the Grand Master
Often called the Kastello, the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is a castle at the highest point of the medieval city of Rhodes. The city of Rhodes is on the island of Rhodes in Greece.
Originally built as a fortification, the Palace of the Grand Master played an important role in the defence of Rhodes throughout its history.
Visitors today can tour the castle, seeing parts of the structure built during different time periods and enjoying the museum collections housed there.
The castle reflects the fascinating history of the island and is a rare example of Gothic architecture in Greece.
Walking around the palace, you’d definitely be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere in northern Europe and not on a sunny island in the Mediterranean.
Administrative Information here.
See the street of the Knights.
If you love strolling around the old cobbled streets of Rhodes Old Town then you must head to the Street of the Knights for a little wander. The street of the Knights (Odós Ippotón) is one of the highlights of the Medieval Town of Rhodos. It is a fascinating and obligatory visit for all guided tours, one of the most admired attractions in the Old Town.
Following an almost exact east to west direction, the well preserved cobble paved street uses, in part, an ancient straight road that connected the port with the Acropolis of Rhodos. The medieval road is about 600m long. Starts from the square in front of the Knights’ Hospital, the seat of Archeological Museum and leads to the Grand Master’s Palace.
Once served as the place where knights would muster before an attack, it’s one of the best things to do in Rhodes if you’ll enjoy a little slice of history. Back in the day, these knights were divided according to their birthplace and accordingly there were seven “inns” depicting seven languages.
Although only four inns still remain, this street will certainly make you feel nostalgic.
Visit Modern Greek Art Museum
The Museum of Modern Greek Art presents extensive painting and engraving collections as well as numerous sculptures, drawings and documents of historical value. The works of engraving and painting form a comprehensive collection of Greek art of the 20th century created by Greece’s most eminent artists. Some of these works of art are considered to be of great significance and have been selected in order to illustrate the development of modern Greek art. The central idea of all these collections is to present the history of Greece through the eyes and the soul of Greek artists of the 20th century. The Museum of Modern Greek Art reflects the uniqueness and simultaneously the international character of Greece.
The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes
The Archaeological Museum is located in the Old Town of Rhodes. It is housed in the medieval building of the Knights’ Hospital, in the Palace of the Grand Master. Construction of this building began in 1440 by Grand Master de Lastic and was completed in 1948 by Grand Master d’Aubusson. The building was renovated at the beginning of the 20th century by the Italians, as well as the entire Medieval City of Rhodes.
Today the Archaeological Museum contains findings from excavations throughout the island and some small islands of the Dodecanese. Visitors can see a collection of vases, figurines, small objects and groups of tombs from Ancient Ialyssos and Ancient Kameroro dating from the Geometric to Roman periods. There are also mosaic floors from Hellenistic times and burial plates of the Knights.
Definitely for lovers of archeological finds it is an attraction that you should not miss!
Administrative information here.
Visit Great Hammam
The Great Hammam is one of the few remaining Turkish baths in the Medieval Town of Rhodes, built in the 14th century during the Ottoman occupation of the island. This hammam is also known as the Baths of Souleiman, Mustafa Baths and Yeni Hammam (New Baths).
The Great Hammam was originally constructed in 1558. The first part of the Great Hammam was the men’s baths, a beautiful square of the symmetrical structure. The women baths were added some years later, under the rule of Mustafa Pasha. The interior is even more impressive, the men’s chamber is embellished with luxurious marble and elegant fountains as a decoration at the center. The rest of the areas also have a distinctive character with small apertures in the domes.
The building today has been renovated and it is used as a hammam-spa, offering massages, exfoliation, and traditional head-to-toe wash.
Exploring the medieval moat of Rhodes
From the walls you can admire the Medieval moat, which has been exemplary preserved and remodeled as a promenade.
Its purpose was to keep enemies and their siege gear off the main fortification system of the walls and bastions. The Rhodian Moat has never been submerged in water; rather, it relied on its considerable depth – considerable enough to have helped surface more ancient vestiges of urban life, such as irrigation ducts, sewers etc.
In fact, if you are a sportsman, a very good idea to visit it is with a wonderful running tour activity with explore rhodes (more info here) .
Finally, in the moat is the Melina Mercouri Theater which every summer hosts excellent performances by renowned Greek and foreign artists. Don’t miss one!