03. Early Europe & Colonial Americas, Art & Humanities, Europe, Greece

UNESCO: Medieval City of Rhodes

UNESCO: Medieval City of Rhodes

Since I cannot travel right now (hello coronavirus pandemic!) I figured I can use my unplanned home time to travel back into my memories and catch up on long neglected blog posts. 🙂

If you don’t know that I am obsessed with UNESCO World Heritage Sites click on my list HERE of all the sites I have visited so far to get the low down. Basically I plan all my trips around seeing these sits and pieces from my college art history textbooks. I visited the island of Rhodes (of the famed colossus) while chaperoning a spring break trip last year to Greece & the Aegean. It was actually (unexpectedly) my favorite part of the trip! Probably because we had a good amount of unscheduled “free time” that allowed me to wander around the incredibly gorgeous city, sit at a cafe tucked away by an abandoned mosque, and journal.

Here’s why the medieval city of Rhodes is considered worthy enough to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site:

From 1309 to 1523 Rhodes was occupied by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem who had lost their last stronghold in Palestine in 1291 as part of their many adventures in the Crusades. They transformed the island into a fortress-city that long withheld sieges from various Muslim conquerors but Rhodes finally fell in 1522 after a six-month siege carried out by Suleyman II. It was then incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. The city itself is a mix of pre-Order of St John Byzantine churches, palaces of the Order of Knights in an unique urban-Byzantine-Gothic style, and then, later, Ottoman public baths and mosques. During the 20th century, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the island was under Italian rule then contested between Turkey and Greece. Rhodes is now part of the country of Greece.


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