Entering the Medieval Town (a UNESCO World Heritage site) through the Gate of Freedom, near the New Market (Mandraki), we come upon the Simis Sq. Here we will find exposed sparse remains of the Temple of Aphrodite. On the left there is the Municipal Art Gallery, part of the Modern Greek Art Museum (MGA) of Rhodes, containing works by famous Greek artists.
Close to the Gallery’s building there is the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Inn of Auvergne. It was used as a hostel by the Knights where those who spoke one of their eight Tongues, in this case that of Auvergne, were accommodated.
A little further on the right is the beginning of the famous Street of the Knights, where we feel that it remained unattached by the passage of the 500 years since it was first built (14th century). Here the Gothic order predominates. The Inns of the various Tongues stand in a row, with impressive arched doorways and important emblems carved above them.
Next, as we climb the hill to the direction of the Palace of the Grand master or the Castello as it is now called, we arrive to the Collachium, the quarter of the Knights. On our right we will find the Inn of Italy and then the Inn of France, the largest one. Still on the right, the next building is the Inn of Province, while on the left is the Inn of Spain. In front of the Castello is the Loggia of St. John.
The Palace of the Grand Master, without doubt the most imposing building of the Medieval Town of Rhodes, is at the end of the Street of the Knights. It was built during the 14th century, but was damaged and almost completely demolished in 1856 by an explosion of gunpowder that was stored in its basement by the Turks. It was restored in 1939, during the Italian occupation. During the restoration, any effort was made to follow the original design. The Palace was intended by the fascist regime as a residence for the Italian King Vittorio Emmanuele II or for Mussolini.
Following the Orfeos St. from the Castello towards the south, we arrive at the clock tower and the Mosque of Suleyman, before entering the Socrates St., the street that attracts most the visitors with it cafés, restaurants and stores. Following down the Socrates St. we arrive at Ippokratous Square, a main attraction in Rhodes. Facing is the Court of Commerce, a fine, early 15th century building. Walking the Aristotle’s Str, we come to a much bigger square the Square of the Jewish Martyrs.
Our walk continues towards east, to the recently, partially restored church of St. Pateleimon (15th century) and the ruined church of Our Lady of Victory, which was built in the memory of the victorious outcome of the Turkish siege in 1480. On the left we will find the St. Catherine’s Gate. We are now at the front of the commercial harbor, where ferries and large cruise ships anchor. We can return to Ippokratous Square, following the walls walking along the Ermou Str, as we come upon the Museum Square. On the front stands the Inn of England and the Archaeological Museum that is housed in the restored building of the Hospital of the Knights (15th century).