Explore The Medieval Past of Rhodes
From 1309 to 1523, the city of Rhodes was transformed into a medieval stronghold by the Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem. He commissioned the erection of grand palaces, stunning hospitals, epic towers and beautiful churches, all located within a 4km long wall. Walking through these ancient streets is a haunting and eye-opening experience that truly drags the medieval era back through the centuries. Rhodes is home to one of the rare survivors of the medieval world, with buildings that have stood unscathed and perfectly preserved for centuries. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988, the Medieval City has quickly become a popular tourist destination in Greece. To help you dip into the medieval past of the island, we have listed the very top medieval sites in Rhodes for you to explore.
The Palace of the Grand Master of the Order
The infamous ‘Castello’ is one of the most important monuments to be built in the Middle Ages. Not only was this grand building the administrative centre at the time, it was also the home of St John of Rhodes, leader of the Knights. Unfortunately, the palace of the Grand Master of the Order was badly damaged during the Ottoman period due to a large explosion, but in 1912, the Italian rule brought it back to its former glory with a few interesting architectural twists. Today, this castle-like building is home to the Museum of Rhodes and one of the most important archaeological collections of ancient eastern Mediterranean history. Here you can find countless tombstones, paintings, jewelry, the Trophy of Mithridatic Wars and the famous mosaic of Medusa. For any history lover or architecture buff, this is one of the top medieval sites in Rhodes.
Hospital of the Knights
A gothic masterpiece filled with spectacular arches ceilings, grand staircases and imposing stonework, the Hospital of the Knights is definitely one of the top medieval sites in Rhodes. Stroll through the arched hallways and peer into the eery rooms that used to house the dying and contagious, climb the many stairs and gaze down at the large courtyard below, or take some time to visit the Archaeological Museum held within its walls. This ever-popular museum contains some of the best relics and artifacts from the islands unique medieval history, and even shows some of the buildings on the Street of the Knights. After spending a few hours marveling at all the wonders the Archeological Museum holds, you can take a stroll through the Hospital of the Knights’ picturesque gardens and surrounding estate.
Church of Agia Triada
The Church of Agia Triada is one of the best preserved medieval churches on the island. Built between the late 15th century and early 16th century, this unique church still has many of its original fresco paintings. Inside you can see large sections of the Ezekiel prophetic vision, the Ascension, the Sacrifice of Abraham, Genesis, the life of Jesus, the crucifixion and the Second Coming. Gazing upon these ancient paintings is truly an awe striking moment. In recent excavations, sections of a medieval road and four individual thumbs have been uncovered, which are now all visible to the public. Thanks to its well preserved interior and mysterious past, the Church of Agia Triada is truly one of the best medieval sites in Rhodes.
Medieval Clock Tower
Located in the heart of the Medieval City, this 7th-century Byzantine tower is a testament to the fine workmanship and architectural glory of Rhodes’ medieval era. Damaged by an explosion in 1856, this imposing tower was rebuilt by Fhet Pasha with the addition of a few Baroque flourishes. Today, the Medieval Clock Tower has been opened up to the public as a viewing platform. Those who brave the long climb to the very top are rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Seeing the domed mosques, the shining red-tiled roofs and the harbor glinting in the distance is well worth the effort. If you don’t feel like walking all the way to the top, you can simply enjoy a refreshing drink out on the terrace and gaze out at the surrounding Medieval buildings. Seeing the ancient city from above is one of the best ways to explore the medieval past of Rhodes.