Colossal Rhodes. 9/29/21

Today we visit the island of Rhodes. Like many of the Greek islands it has a complex history of early civilizations and conquerors. Rhodes is uniquely situated to control trade between Turkey and the western Mediterranean. So taking the profit motive along with Christian/Muslim intolerance and throw in the Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492 and you have a dynamic and sometimes tragic set of historical events.

The city of Rhodes is on the very tip of the island and is the capital and most populous city on the island.
Looking up a street in the medieval section of Rhodes
Looking out to the harbor through the old city gate

As we walk through the old city we see festive and memorial squares, a bombed out cathedral, and the juxtaposition of the very old and more modern buildings.

An Allied error in a bombing site blew up this cathedral near the end of WWII
A fountain in a square memorializing the Jews of Rhodes. The Jewish community was founded in Rhodes after they were kicked out of Spain in 1492. In 1944 there were about 2500 Jewish inhabitants in Rhodes who were rounded up by the Nazis and transported to Auschwitz. 147 survived.
Colorful balconies overlooking a square
The watchtowers of the medieval walls rise above the shops and restaurants in the old city

The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem defended Rhodes in the siege of 1522 by the Ottomans. They were betrayed by one of their own and defeated.  Most of their buildings have been repurposed.

Hospital of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem
Long street where the eight groups of Knights had their “Inns”
We are having a tour of the Grand Master’s Palace which was rebuilt in 1930s by the Italians
Another view of the courtyard
Mary outside of palace

The tour of the palace began with a trek up a steep staircase with no railings. It was pretty difficult for me and for many of our tour group. In the upper chambers there were mosaic floors which were taken from the island of Kos and cemented into the floor of this building.

Mosaic floor
Medusa mosaic
Sea nymph riding a hippocampus (sea horse)

Now we walk into the area which housed the Muslim population and their mosque.

The mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent with minaret
Since Muslim women could not be seen by any men except their husbands, these boxed in balconies were built so they could have a little fresh air without being seen

Our tour is over and we are being released to go out on our own!! The first thing that John wants to do is get a beer and do some people watching. We settle into a table at Stergios  Corner and each have a local beer called Zythos Vap. We are hot and tired from our excursion and this is the perfect solution.

John with his Zythos Vap
I am not a big beer drinker but this was icy cold and wet, and tasted refreshing and good. (It was too heavy for me to lift with one hand!)
John in front of Stergios Corner

We take our time strolling through the old city and back to the harbor.

Double city walls leave enough space for motorcycle parking
The ship is parked within walking distance of the town walls

Before dinner we head up to the Explorer Lounge for our Negroni Sbagliatos. Tonight they ask if we want our unusual usual.  Allen, the guitarist, pats John on the shoulder. I guess we are becoming known amongst the people who hang out at the bar.

Negroni Sbagliatos and peanut mix

We have dinner at Manfredi’s tonight. We both have calamari fritti and then I have spaghetti vongole which is good but has too many extraneous ingredients and John has eggplant parmesan.

Spaghetti vongole
Eggplant parmesan

One thought on “Colossal Rhodes. 9/29/21”

  1. Rhodes is beautiful and looks so interesting! And how lovely that you were able to go off on your own for a bit! Turning into an excellent trip!!

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