We are taking a time machine back 500 years to visit one of the most impressive medieval fortified towns, surrounded and protected by its original stone wall.
These massive stone walls are part of the medieval fortification of the old town on the island of Rhodes, in Greece. The walls were constructed in the 14th and 15th centuries by the Knights of St. John who were crusaders defending themselves from attack by the Muslims of Turkey.
You get a good idea of the extent of these old fortified walls through the Google Earth view. These huge walls go all the way around the old town, four kilometers in length.
In the program, we’ll be showing you seven of the fortified gateways into the old city, which controlled access and kept the invaders out. It’s like the entire old town became one big castle protected by these immense stone walls.
In many places there are multiple parallel walls and moats that were protecting the old city from bombardment by gigantic stone cannonballs, many of which are still in place in this well-preserved historic site.
There you see one of the moats that there are several parallel moats in this old fortified city.
They weren’t flooded with water. But they were just as effective. They were dry moats surrounded by towering massive thick walls.
There are also a lot of old stone walls inside the city that were used for the houses, some of which date back 500 and 800 years, and are still in use today.
By the way, if you like cats, stick around for the end of the movie, we have a little cat special at the tail end.
The old town has dozens of little lanes with cobblestone paving that are ideal for walking, lined with old buildings in various states of repair, and many of the lanes are so narrow they’re primarily for pedestrians and motor scooters, the main way that locals get around.
Café culture is very popular for the Greeks in a tradition that can be shared by visitors as well. There are so many outdoor restaurants and sidewalk cafés, you’ll have lots of opportunities to enjoy some excellent Greek food and drinks.
In the distance, the twin fortified towers are part of the medieval wall. This Marine Gate was the main entrance to the city from the harbor.
Rhodes is one of the largest of the Greek islands. It’s in the Dodecanese group in the Agean Sea, just 15 miles from Turkey.
You can fly here, but many visitors arrive by ship either on a cruise with a one-day stop or perhaps by ferryboat.
If you are arriving by ship, be sure to get out on the deck so that you can view the beautiful scenes of the arrival in the port of Rhodes, with the old walls and the fortified palace up on the hill.
You’ll get a nice view of these giant old stone walls even before you get off the ship.
Normally a Greek cruise spends one full day in Rhodes, which gives you a great opportunity to really see the town, and the first thing you will come upon is the wall.
Entering through St. Catherine’s gate, which is a very simple structure compared to the other gates that we are about to see.
Along the way will show you a few scenes of this pleasant neighborhood and the local lifestyle, but member our main focus here is going to be looking at the old fortified walls.