September 23 - 29, 2018: Issue 377
By George Repin
Rhodes is the largest of the approximately 200 islands known as the Dodecanese in the south-eastern Aegean Sea, lying in the sea lane between East and West. Fossilised sea shells found on the slopes of its mountains confirm that Rhodes and other nearby islands (such as Symi, Tilos and Chalki) were brought up from the seabed by earthquakes.
Although 270 nautical miles from Piraeus the port of Athens, Rhodes and surrounding islands are part of Greece.
To those familiar with the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World the Colossus of Rhodes will be remembered as the massive bronze statue said to have stood astride the entrance to the harbour of Rhodes (although evidence as to its actual position is scanty). The sculptor Chares of Lindos after twelve years work completed it in 292 BCE. However it stood only until 266 BCE when, during a severe earthquake, it cracked at the knees and fell. It was left lying in a heap for centuries until it was sold to a Jewish merchant, and is said to have required 900 camels to transport it.
With an average annual 300 days of sunshine and mild climate Rhodes is a popular tourist destination welcoming over a million and a quarter visitors each year, to enjoy its natural beauty and immerse themselves in the legacy and history that a succession of occupiers have left.
Tourist vessels from Piraeus entering the ancient harbour of Rhodes, Mandraki, after passing the Ayios Nikolaos Fortress (St. Nicholas Fortress), are met by statues of a stag and a doe on columns – one on each side of the channel. Three medieval windmills on the long breakwater on the east of the harbour ground the wheat arriving on merchant vessels.
Northern Rhodes showing the Mandraki Harbour, the Commercial Harbour and the Ancient Town. Baedeker’s “Greek Islands”.
The Deer on the eastern side of the entrance to the Mandraki Harbour.
The Stag on the western side of the entrance to the Mandraki Harbour.
St. Nicholas Fortress on the eastern side of the entrance to the Mandraki Harbout.
The three windmills on the breakwater of the Mandraki Harbour.
The Ancient Town, which in 1988 was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites, provides an unique picture of a medieval town, with an imposing series of buildings erected by the Knights of St John, together with mosques and other Turkish buildings built later, giving it a distinctive character.
It is surrounded by a 4 Km long circuit of walls with towers, bastions and a moat. These ramparts were partially erected on the foundations of earlier Byzantine enclosures, and were constantly maintained and remodelled between the 14th and 16th Centuries embodying modifications as the techniques of war changed. An impressive feature is the Marine Gate on the north-east side by the Commercial Harbour, giving access to the town from the Mandraki Harbour, with a beautiful relief sculpture of the Virgin. A walk on the walls is rewarded with excellent views including a good overview of the Grand Master’s Palace.
Twin towers of the Marine Gate entrance to the medieval town.
Walking on the ramparts around the medieval town.
A view from the ramparts.
The moat – now dry.
Towers of the Palace of the Grand Masters seen from the ramparts.
Towers of the Palace of the Grand Masters.
The time when Rhodes was occupied by the Order of the Knights of St. John – the 213 years between 1309 and 1522 – is considered its most flourishing period. The Knights left imposing evidence of their time on the island and gave it its particular colour which the Ancient Town retains, in its impregnable walls, its gates, the churches and the hospitals, the inns and the majestic palaces.
The accompanying photographs attempt to convey what Rhodes offers a visitor.
Remnant of a church.
Courtyard of the Palace of the Grand Masters (“The Castello”).
A mosaic in the Castello.
The Knights’ Street which still preserves the aspect of a 15th-16th c. street.
Argyrokastro Squuare with a small fountain constructed from fragments of an Early Christian baptismal font.
Main courtyard of the Archaeological Museum (formerly the Hospital of the Knights).
Head of Helion – in the museum.
The Aphrodite of Rhodes – in the museum.
Patients’ ward in the Knights’ Hospital’.
The Square of the Jewish Martyrs commemorating the Jews deported from Rhodes during World War II- fountain with three bronze sea-horses.
Hippocrates Square dominated by the twin towers of the Marine Gate – a popular meeting place.
(Photographs by George Repin in 2001 and 2006)
Previous Reflections by George Repin
The Nineteen Thirties Remembering Rowe Street The Sydney Push Saturday Night at the Movies Shooting Through Like A Bondi Tram A Stop On The Road To Canberra City Department Stores - Gone and Mostly Forgotten An Australian Icon - thanks to Billy Hughes Crossing The Pacific in the 1930s Hill End The Paragon at Katoomba Seafood In Sydney How Far From Sydney? Cockatoo Island Over The Years The Seagull at the Melbourne Festival in 1991 Busby's Bore The Trocadero In Sydney Cahill's restaurants Medical Pioneers in Australian Wine Making Pedal Power and the Royal Flying Doctor Service Pambula and the Charles Darwin Connection Gloucester and the Barrington Tops A Millenium Apart Have You Stopped to Look? Gulgong Il Porcellino Olympia Durham Hall Sargent's Tea Rooms Pie Shops and Street Photographers The Ballet Russes and Their Friends in Australia Hotels at Bondi Alma Ata Conference - 1978 Keukenhof - 1954 The Lands Department Building and Yellowblock Sandstone The Goroka Show - 1958 A Gem On The Quay Staffa The Matson Line and Keepsake Menus Kokeshi Dolls The Coal Mine At Balmain The Hyde Park Barracks The Changing Faces Of Sydney From Pounds and Pence to Dollars and Cents Nell Tritton and Alexander Kerensky Making A Difference In Ethiopia William Balmain J C Bendrodt and Princes Restaurant Azzalin Orlando Romano and Romano's Restaurant Waldheim Alcohol in Restaurants Before 1955 King Island Kelp The Mercury Theatre Around Angkor - 1963 Angkor Wat 1963 Costumes From the Ballets Russe Clifton at Kirribilli Chairman Mao's Personal Physician The Toby Tavern The MoKa at Kings Cross The Oceaographic Museum in Monaco The Island of Elba Russian Fairy Tale Plates Meteora Souda Bay War Cemetery Barrow, Alaska Cloisonné Tripitaka Koreana Minshuku The Third Man Photographs and Memories Not A Chagall! Did You Listen? Did You Ask? Napier (Ahuriri, Maori) New Zealand Borobudur Ggantija Temples Plumes and Pearlshells Murano University of Padua Ancient Puebloe Peoples - The Anasazi Pula The Gondolas of Venice Cinque Terre Visiting the Iban David The Living Desert Bryce Canyon National Park Aphrodisias The Divine Comedy Caodaism Sapa and local Hill People A Few Children Cappadocia Symi Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre Aboriginal Rock Art on Bigge Island ANZAC Cove (Ari Burnu) 25 April, 1997 Hotere Garden Oputae Children of the Trobriand Islands Page Park Market - Rabaul Rabual Kotor, Montenegro Galleries of Photographs I Lascaux Galleries of Photographs II The Cathedral of St. James – Šibenik, Croatia Ivan Meštrović - Sculptor Delphi Gallery of Photographs III The Handicrafts of Chiang Mai Raft Point San Simeon - "Hearst Castle" Floriade - The Netherlands - 1982 Russian New Year Mycenae "Flightseeing" Out Of Anchorage Alaska The White Pass and Yukon Route Totem Poles Tivkin Cemetery Krka National Park - Croatia Tavistock Square and the BMA Orthodox Easter Wieliczka Salt Mine A Walk on Santorini Indonesian Snapshots Ephesus - The Library of Celsus Ephesus - Some Places Of Interest Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Valley United Nations Headquarters 1958 A Miscellany of Flower Images Gardens Bath St. David's In Wales Zion National Park Nicholas Himona - Artist Kraków Lilianfels Collonges-La-Rouge Gingerbread Houses Cape Sounion Delos Wroclaw Colonial Williamsburg Gruyères Strasbourg Coventry Cathedral The Roman Theatre at Aspendos Turkish Carpets The Duomo of Orvieto Rovinj The City Walls of Dubrovnik Monaco - Snapshots Bonifacio, Corsica Autumn in New England USA The Great Ocean Road Pompeii Didyma Lawrence Hargrave 1850-1915 The Corinth Canal Malta Snapshots of Amsterdam Café Central - Vienna The Forbidden City - Beijing, China A Ride on the Jungfrau Railway - 1954 Snapshots in the Highlands of Scotland 1954 Must See Sights in Paris - 1954 Corfu Reflections On the Nineteen Thirties The Gold Souk in Dubai Stromboli Ha Long Bay - Vietnam Lake Argyle The Bungle Bungle Range Langgi Inlet, W.A. White Cliffs, NSW - 1990 Sturt National Park - May, 1990 A Few Statues and Water Spouts The Dodecanese Archipelago
Copyright George Repin 2018. All Rights Reserved.