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WHEN IN RHODES. . .

September 4th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

This time last year we were in the Adriatric and traveled from Rovinj, Croatia to spend our anniversary (August 31st) in Venice—very romantic indeed.  So, wanting something equally memorable this year we left Symi, Greece on August 30th and arrived in Rhodes the day before our 7th anniversary. 

Windmills & Fortifications greet our arrival in Rhodes

Windmills & Fortifications greet our arrival in Rhodes

We had a reservation in the old harbor, called Mandraki—which was purportedly once the site of a 110 ft. bronze statue of Helios, the sun god, called the Colossus.  It is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world—although there is a dispute about whether it actually straddled the opening to the harbor as many ancient drawings indicate. 

Once docked the entrance to Mandraki is off our stern

Once docked the entrance to Mandraki is off our stern

Whether it did or not, we were impressed to be entering the port through the deer statues that now greet visitors and be in view of the ancient fortification that protected the harbor.  Destiny was placed in a coveted spot (of course it cost us 100 euros for the reservation) with the mega-yachts.

Destiny in the "high rent" district

Destiny (center) in the "high rent" district

View of Deer Statue from Destiny at Mandraki Harbor entrance

From Destiny's mooring we see the Deer Statue in one direction. . .

and the fortification at the harbor entrance in the other.

and the fortification at the harbor entrance in the other.

Rhodes Town on the northern most tip of the Greek island of the same name is a UNESCO World Heritage site that reflects a diverse history that encompasses Greek and Ottoman influences.  There are Orthodox and Catholic churches as well as Mosques. 

Remnants of an early Christian church

Remnants of an early Christian church

. . .and nearby a mosque.

. . .and nearby a mosque.

The Old Town is surrounded by miles of restored walls that are considered one of the great medieval monuments of the Mediterranean. The walls are reported to be 40 ft. thick in places. 

Modern life exists along side the ancient walls

Modern life exists along side the ancient walls

Harbor peek through fortress walls

Harbor peek through fortress walls

Defensive moat was never filled with water

Defensive moat was never filled with water

Gates are located in various places around the walls and elsewhere.

One of many gates through the Wall

One of many gates through the Wall

Gates also lead to ancient religious sites

Gates also lead to ancient religious sites

In 1312 the Knights of St. John (inheritors of the Knights Templar) used their considerable financial resources to fortify Rhodes.  They built within the walls the Palace of the Grand Masters, which is located on the highest spot in the Old Town

Castle of Grand Masters dominates the Rhodes skyline

Castle of Grand Masters dominates the Rhodes skyline

Castle of Masters from Street of Knights

Castle of the Grand Masters from Street of Knights

Bell Tower from Castle of the Grand Masters

Bell Tower from Castle of the Grand Masters

Along the Street of the Knights are numerous buildings from their era, including the Inn of France, once a gathering place of the Knights, and now the French consulate.

Doorway on the Street of Knights

Doorway on the Street of Knights

Facade of modern French Consulate and former Inn of France. . .

Facade of modern French Consulate and former Inn of France. . .

adorned with ancient emblems

adorned with ancient emblems

The narrow streets that wind through the Old Town are overhung with flowers and lined with shops. 

Narrow streets shaded by bougainvilla

Narrow streets shaded by bougainvilla

Shops line Old Town streets

Shops line Old Town streets

There are old fountains, the remnants of medieval churches and government buildings. 

Jolie drinks at a fountain in Old Town

Jolie drinks at a fountain in Old Town

Typical Medieval Goverment Building

Typical Medieval Goverment Building

View of Old Town from Clock tower

View of Old Town from Clock tower

Set above the town on Mt. Smith is the remains of an ancient acropolis from Greek times. 

Remnants of the Rhodes Acropolis

Remnants of the Rhodes Acropolis

The new town surrounds the ancient city and sprawls in all directions from the walls that define the Old Town.  The west coast is lined with beaches and hotels.  Rhodes is the fourth largest Greek island and lies halfway between Athens and Crete. 

The west coast is urban chic with beaches and modern hotels.

The west coast is urban chic with beaches and modern hotels.

In addition to the ancient harbor of Mandraki where Destiny was moored there is a bustling commerical harbor that is host to vessels ranging from ferries to cruise ships.

Rhodes commercial harbor

Rhodes commercial harbor

. . .also hosted a Windstar boat we honeymooned on--small world.

. . .also hosted a Windstar boat we honeymooned on--small world.

Rhodes Town is lush with many parks and fountains.  The multi-cultural influence is seen in buildings and gathering places.  The Hamman (Turkish bath) built in 1515 during the Ottoman era still operates on a daily basis to steam away aches and pains in progressively hotter rooms.

The Hamman is heated with a wood stoked fire

The Hamman is heated with a wood stoked fire

 All in all, we spent four wonderful days exploring Rhodes and had another memorable anniversary.  Can’t wait to see where 2011 finds us on August 31st.

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