Idea #309 – Visiting the medieval city of Rhodes
The old town of Rhodes was established in 408 before J.C. by the synoecism of Lindos, Kamiros and Ialyssos. Its famous plan in checkerboard was realized by Hippodamos de Milet. The old Byzantine city was enlarged and strengthened by the knights of Saint Jean, who keep it from 1309 till 1523. Masterpiece of military architecture, the fortifications reconstructed by the order towards half of the XIVth century on the plan Byzantine, are strengthened after the siege of the Egyptians, that of the Turks of 1480 and after the earthquake of the next year.
The place falls to the hands of Soliman the Magnificent, in 1523, after a seat(siege) of 6 months led by 100 000 Turks. The city, kept and maintained by the Turks in the XVIth century and restored in the XXth century, form one of the biggest medieval fortified towns of Europe. The very complex defence system, is 4 km long, and encloses the high city, called Collachium, including eleven doors, numerous bastions, and a succession of curtains and ramparts, protected by wide dry moats. In ramparts open about eleven doors, among which the door of Amboise and saint Athanase’s door by which Soliman the Magnificent made its entrance to the city in 1523.
The ” Palace of the Great master ” was built in the XIVth century, transformed into prison for the Ottoman period, but will be destroyed in 1856 by the explosion of a powder magazine accommodated in saint Jean’s church, when it rose in the opposite part of the place. It has been reconstructed during the years of the Italian domination and is finished in 1940, shortly before the Italians leave the island. The entrance with its impressive tower is one of of original elements. Its inside contains a big courtyard with porticoes luxuriously decorated. The city and its surrounding wall were registered on the world list of the heritage of the humanity of UNESCO in 1988. Let’s go, we areabout to visit the Great Master !
Where is it ?
Rhodes, Dodecanese, Greece