Spotlight on Rhodes old town history

March 5, 2024

The Old Town of Rhodes - Greece Is

A fascinating journey through time

What makes Rhodes Old Town history so awe-inspiring? It has seen centuries come and go, civilizations rise and fall. It blends truth with fable and weaves stories into fairytales.

A Visit to the Delightful Old Town of Rhodes - Paliparan

Rhodes is an island with a history like no other, in Greece and in the world. Throughout the ages, there have been times of peace and great prosperity and there have been times of sieges, followed by raids. There were even times when templar knights in shining armour rode on horseback along the cobblestone alleys of this enchanting castle-town. And there were palaces and towers and courtyards and chapels… and those still stand today. Exploring Rhodes’ Old Town history is a fascinating journey through time, through the urban fabric of local history that lies in plain sight.

Rhodes Old Town is a historic walled city located on Rhodes island, Greece. It is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe and has been listed as one of the eighteen Greek designated UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Rhodes Old Town history dates back to the 5th century BC when it was founded by the ancient Greeks. In 1309, the Knights of St. John took control of the city and transformed it into the stronghold-capital of the Order of Knights’ island-state. This fortified castle-town became a flourishing center of commerce and culture in the Mediterranean, becoming a pole of attraction for the affluent societies of the day.

The Old Town is divided into two main parts: the Upper Town and the Lower Town. The former is the oldest part of the city and is surrounded by massive walls and towers. It is home to many historic buildings, including the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, which was built in the 14th century and now houses a museum.

A self-guided walking tour of Rhodes Old Town, Greece (with map)

The Lower Town features narrow cobblestone streets and a maze of furtive alleyways alongside historic buildings and mosques. It is found outside the walls of the Upper Town and was developed during the Ottoman period, which began in 1522. The Ottomans made significant changes to the structure of the town, by adding new buildings and fortifications. The city remained under Ottoman rule until 1912 when it was then claimed by Italian forces. Under Italian rule, Rhodes Old Town was extensively renovated and restored to its medieval appearance.

Following World War II, Rhodes Old Town was finally returned back to Greece. Today, the Rhodes Old Town is one of the island’s most popular points of interest, attracting many visitors who wish to experience the atmosphere of such a fabled place. In fact, sauntering around it tops our list of the 8 most romantic things to do in Rhodes.

And while it retains its Medieval charm in many ways, Rhodes Old Town is a mesh of modern and past eras. You will find a plethora of quaint little shops, cafes, bars and various restaurants and eateries, plus galleries showcasing the city’s rich history and culture. Discover it and more during your stay at one of our unique hotels in Rhodes Greece.

Rhodes Town: Photos, Map, See & Do | Greeka