A legend by itself, the Old City of Rhodes is the best preserved, inhabited medieval city of Europe and a Cultural Heritage Monument of UNESCO.The The order of St John of Jerusalem occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1523 and set about transforming the city into a stronghold.It subsequently came under Turkish and Italian rule.
With the palace of the Grand Masters, the Great Hospital and the Street of the Knights, the Upper Town is one of the most beautiful urban ensembles of the Gothic period.
In the Lower Town, Gothic architecture coexists with mosques, public baths and other buildings dating from the Ottoman period.Especially in ecclessiastical architecture two tensions appear.
The first one concerns the Roman Catholic churches where the Knights were prior to theirarrival in Rhodes.That style evolved in Rhodes.
It lent and borrowed many elements from the local architecture and the byzantine tradition.It adjusted to the local Materials and the Rhodian limestone, which was greatly exploited, creating unique artifacts.
The regenerative art of the West made a huge impact on the local archicture and art in General on the island.
The second ecclesiastical architectural tension conserns the Greek Orthodox churches that follow the byzantine tradition.
Only after the Knights departure from the island, the orthodox churches imitate the gothic style with crossed arches.
The ruins of Saint John’s of the Knights Catholic church, The Holy Apostles and Old Mess complex (Imaret), Suleiman’s Mosque, Mehmet Aga Mosque and Synagogue Shalom are some of the most popular sightseeings of the Old City.