A Grand Master in Rhodes
Trip Start Jul 24, 2010
17Trip End Aug 10, 2010
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At around 12:30PM we began a long day of walking around Rhodes. Rhodes is the largest Dodecanese island and about ten miles from Turkey. The island is most famous for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the 7 Anceitn Wonders of the World. Minoans occupied Rhodes in 1600 BC. They were invaded by Mycenaen Greeks in 1500 BC. The Dorians came in 800 BC and built 3 important cities. Phoenicians later occupied the island, followed by the Persian Empire which was then overthrown by Athens in 478 BC. In 357 BC it was conquered by King Mausolus of Caria, then by the Persians, again, in 340 BC, and then to Alexander the Great in 332 BC. Following the death of Alexander, Rhodes became part of Ptolemic rule of Egypt. In 395 AD, Rhodes was part of the Byzantine Empire until it was conquered by Muslim forces in 672. In 1309 the island was occupied by the Knights Hospitaller and Rhodes transformed into a medieval town. The Palace of the Grand Master was built during that time.
On our walk our first stop was at the Old Harbor. This is where some believe the Colossus of Rhodes once stood.
The Colossus of Rhodes was built by the Greeks from 292-280 BC. The statue was an offering to the sun god Helios. The statue stood over 110 feet tall. Most pictures show the statue straddling the harbor, but it is more likely that it stood next to the harbor instead. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 226BC.
We then continued to walk along the water until we reached the Old City, still surrounded by medieval walls. We walked along the Street of Knights and explored the Palace of the Grand Master, a UNESCO world heritage site. The palace was built byhe Knights Hospitaller. They occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1522.
After a plethora of walking we sat at an outdoor patio restaurant and enjoyed our first Greek meal. Naturally we went all out with calimari, octopus, mussels and beer served in 1.5 Liter glasses.
We then spent endless hours walking the streets and exploring too many stores to count. We shopped, drank, shopped, dran, etc, etc.