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Visiting Rhodes

Rhodes coastline

The Greek island of Rhodes (or Ρόδος) is located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is one of the largest and most populated of the group of islands known as the Dodecanese. Rhodes substantial population and size in comparison with many other Greek islands has guaranteed its status as an island of modern administrative and historical significance. The island itself is considered to be one the most beautiful of the Greek islands. Its landscape is comprised of rolling hills, forest covered mountains, splendid coastlines and a plethora of unique flora and fauna, all of which should be experienced when visiting Rhodes.

Rhodes is not only known for its modern beauty, however. Momentous achievements of the past are still remembered on this island. Rhodes is the former home of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. This huge statue of Helios, the sun god Titan of Greek mythology was erected in celebration of Rhodes' glorious victory over Antigonus I Monopthalmus, after the unsuccessful attempt to seize Rhodes in 305 BC. Between 292 and 280 BC the massive structure was erected, and was at the time one of the tallest constructions in the world. The site on which it stood in the old town of Rhodes is a World Heritage site and attracts a great deal of interest from visitors to the island.

Rhodes old town wall

The city of Rhodes can be divided into two halves: the ancient Rhodes, or Old Town, and the modern Rhodes, or New Town. The Old Town of Rhodes, still enclosed by an ancient wall, comprises a neighbourhood of 6,000 residents. Medieval buildings, mosques, ancient fountains, Byzantine and Gothic churches, quaint shops and eating establishments can be found scattered throughout ancient Rhodes.

The New Rhodes, contrary to its name, is not entirely modern. Modern Rhodes is home to the Mandraki harbour, which can be distinguished by its three windmills. At the end of the pier in the harbour stands the Tower of Saint Nicholas. Built in the 15th century, the tower is believed to have been of key importance to the defence of the city during several sieges. Two deer stand at the entrance to the harbour and symbolise the deer brought to the city by the Italians in ancient times. The descendants of the deer can be seen at Rodini Park, located in the south of Rhodes. The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knight of Rhodes is amongst the most impressive sights in ancient Rhodes. Reconstructed in 1940 by the Italians, the palace presents an imposing entrance and structurally-sound towers and battlements. The palace's interiors are as equally impressive as its exterior.

Rhodes Harbour

Rhodes Archaeological Museum is also situated in the Old Town and operates a walking tour of Rhodes city walls, beginning at the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knight of Rhodes. The walk offers tourists views of the town that are not otherwise accessible and is a great way in which to acquire a sense of the size of Rhodes and the variety of its architecture. Among the most impressive buildings in modern Rhodes are the City Hall and the National Theatre. Located in this part of Rhodes is the Aquarium of Rhodes, a research centre, museum and aquarium, all under one roof.

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