Chora And Bourgo – Rhodes Old Town

Our Lady Of Chora - Chora And Bourgo

You will remember that I touched briefly on Chora And Bourgo on The Medieval City In Rhodes page, and here I would like to go a little deeper into what it is all about.

The Medieval Town was actually constructed into two different sections. The Northern Section – also called the Collachium, and the Southern Section which is referred to as “Chora”. In the days of The Knights Of Saint John, they called this southern section “Bourgo”

The Collachium was (and still is) predominant for The Palace Of The Grand Masters and the churches of the Knights order. The Chora section was used to home the Greek people and any other people from various nations who worked and resided in the Medieval Town.

The famous Socrates Street separates the two sections as it runs right through the middle of the city. Just off this street you will find Lachitos Street, which was the only place communication was permitted between the two sections in the olden days.

The Suleiman Mosque

One of the most important and famous locations within the Chora Section is the

The Suleiman Mosque - Chora And Bourgo

The Suleiman Mosque Courtesy Of Bgag (Wikimedia Commons)

Suleiman Mosque. It was constructed in 1522 to celebrate the victory of the Ottoman Empire over The Knights Of Saint John. Also, called Suleiman The Magnificent; he was the 10th appointed Sultan of the Turkish Rule (The Ottoman Empire) from 1520 until he died in 1566.

The Mosque Of Suleiman is located at the top of Socrates Street and it went under renovation work in 1808. You can identify this structure because of the huge pink colored dome roof.

A lot of the churches that were in place during the reign of the Knights were transformed into Mosques, and others were built by the Ottoman Empire from the beginning. A lot of these structures have since been demolished though, after the Italian Forces made lots of changes and renovations during their campaign here.

Also in the same area as the Mosque, you will find the Muslim Library and the Turkish Baths.

Ippokratous Square

If you leave the Suleiman Mosque and head down the hill on Socrates Street you will find yourself in Ippokratous Square. Along the way you will find all the street is packed with people and places to buy food and souvenirs.

As you enter the square you will see the Ippokratous Fountain which is of Turkish design standing in the middle of the square. It has running water and it is quite a hot spot for people to stop, take photographs and have a snack from one of the nearby vendors.

As you look around you will see some huge stone steps where people sit and pass the time. I am sure not many of them know that this place was of high importance during the days of the Knights.

Ippokratous Fountain - Chora And Bourgo

Ippokratous Fountain – During A Quiet Winter Moment

These steps are part of a structure called ‘Castellania’ and it was constructed in 1597. The lower floor was a place where local vendors did their trade, and the upper floor was utilized as a courtroom. I am sure a lot of heated debates were carried out here 🙂

Marine Gate

Just around the corner from this you will see the huge Marine Gate. This is one of the eleven gates into the Medieval City and probably the most famous simply due to its size and beauty.

It was a stronghold of the city in years past too. As it was (and still is) located close to the waterfront, it was seen as impossible by opposing forces to set up a good attack from there. As history has it, at one point the water came right up to the gate!

The huge round towers of The Marine Gate make it very noticeable and again, it is a very popular area with tourism as you can capture some amazing photographs here.

The Jewish Quarter

If you head along Aristotelous Street it will take you away from Ippokratous Square

The Jewish Quarter Fountain - Chora And Bourgo

The Jewish Quarter Fountain

in the direction of the Jewish Quarter.

Here in the square of The Jewish Martyrs you will see another amazing fountain. On the fountain you will see three seahorses standing proud on the top, and the outside is decorated with tiles also displaying the seahorses and other sea creatures such as the octopus.

All around you will see outlets selling souvenirs and food, and these shops are occupying some of the old structures of the Old Town.

Here you will also find The Palace Of The Admirals. This is a structure from the 15th century, and was also home to the Archbishop Of Rhodes before the Ottoman Empire took control in 1522.

Our Lady Of Chora

As you progress further, heading away from the Jewish Martyr Square and working your way around the east edge of the Old City, you will see the amazing ruins of Our Lady Of Chora. This is an old Catholic Church and was the biggest in all of Rhodes in its time (constructed in the early 15th century). The construction of the church is on both sides of the street.

I went there only a few days ago to take some photographs. One of them is the information board you will find at the location. I have also put it below. Click on them to enlarge the images!

Conclusion

I just want to reiterate here, that the Old Medieval Town Of Rhodes is a huge place, and for me to sit here and write about every aspect of it would take me a lifetime.

I hope here though, that I have offered you a taste of the Southern Section of the city, but of course if there is something you would like to know, just ask me 🙂

Leave me a comment below and I will get right back to you.

I would also love to hear from anyone out there that has been to this beautiful setting. I am sure some of you would not mind sharing your experience.

Thanks so much once again for reading, and I really look forward to hearing from all of you soon.

Chris

Learn More About The Medieval City In Rhodes. Click From Below To Continue.

Chris Towers
Hi there, I am Chris and I live on The Island Of Rhodes In Greece. I am more than happy to assist you in anyway possible if you are looking for information or help on this amazing Greek Island.

Feel free to leave me a message if you have any questions or need advice!

Hey, maybe you have visited this beautiful place yourself and you have something you want to share?

I look forward to hearing from all of you.

26 comments on “Chora And Bourgo – Rhodes Old Town

  1. I am a seasoned traveller and Europe is my favourite continent. I come alive wanting to try and experience everything, not as a tourist but do everything off the beaten track.

    You describe Rhodes with passion and I am not surprised that you ended up moving here.

    Rhodes sounds like an idyllic place to move. It has everything from food, to culture and lifestyle. I think you made the right choice and wish you every success.

    Rhodes is next on my travel agenda

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hi Richard and thanks for your comment 🙂

      I think a lot of people when they travel stick pretty much in the normal areas where people tend to go. I.e the hot spots.

      While they are all very nice, there is so much that lies on each side that often gets missed. Off the beaten track like you mention.

      It is interesting, that one person contacted me today asking for information on guided tours within The Medieval Town, so someone can escort them around and tell him what is what. Again I think this is nice but it can never compare to getting a nice information guide and working your way around alone, in your own time.

      This way you will see lots more, and some stuff that often gets passed by.

      There is lots to see and do here Richard, and if you get some solid travel plans just let me know, and I will be happy to help you out wherever I can 🙂

      Thanks

      Chris

    • I love the article you posted on Rhodes, it is part of my bucket list and area filled with beauty. I hope I can travel there soon and see the sites in person.

      • Hey Cathy, thank you for getting in touch!

        I am happy you found the information here interesting and you liked it. I know a lot of people have Rhodes (and Greece as a whole) on their bucket list.

        It is an amazing place and you should come and see it with your own eyes for sure 🙂

        We are all here waiting for you 🙂

        Thanks for reading!

        Chris

  2. Hey! You just hit the “Jackpot”..I am from Rodos 😉 I have a yachting company in Mandraki Harbor providing daily cruises around the island, to Kalithea and Anthony Quinn bay from May to October.

    I am Greek – Canadian. If you will visit the island this summer just come at the old harbor (Mandraki) at the red ferry boat “Faliraki Rodos” Or come at Kolympia port at Magellanos Gullet, and ask for Alex Venieris.

    I am very happy you have created a site about Rhodes Island, and honestly you’ve done a great job on it.

    If you like contact me and I will be happy to provide you unique photos about Rhodes, and more fresh ones will come this summer, and why not share them with you so you can use them on your beautiful site.

    Hope to see you in Rhodes this summer Chris!

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hello Alex and thanks so much for contacting me.

      I know the Mandraki area quite well as I have one friend who does the diving tuition there with Water Hoppers. So you are not far away for sure.

      Also thanks for putting your services on here. I am sure a lot of people visiting the island would love to take some cruises around.

      In all honesty Alex, I actually live on the island, down between Ialysos and Kremasti. I have been here 10 years now. Although we have never crossed paths in that time, now i know you are there, the next time I am around the city area ill look you up 🙂

      Thanks again Alex, it is a pleasure to meet you

      Chris

  3. Just wanted to say that this is another historically rich article that is very well written. I would definitely love to buy some local snacks, and sit down at the Ippokratous Square, while enjoying the scenery.

    I would also love to visit all the mosques built by the Ottoman empire. I’m sure the Mosque Of Suleiman isn’t the only popular one? Anyway, are these mosques and churches still being used? Or are they just merely historical sites?

    Awesome article!

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hi there Farhan, great to hear from you again!

      There is nothing better than sitting in Ippokratous Square, with a nice cold beer and simply watching the world pass you by while the sun shines bright. It is the best feeling 🙂 So when you get there, let me know and I will come and join you 🙂

      There are many areas to see when it comes to the mosques yes, and if you go from Ippokratous Square and head up Socrates Street, you will see the Old Mosque and the Library there. There are many to see, and in due course they will all be discussed on this site 🙂

      As for looking around, a lot of them are open to the public on certain days and this changes from time to time. The Suleiman Mosque is not home to a museum that can also be visited.

      Hope this helps you out 🙂

      Thanks

      Chris

  4. Hi, I really love the ancient towns you described in your website, its incredible how long the materials last in places that old.

    Its almost as if humans had help of giants or aliens when there was no machinery to carry those types of structures.

    I wish you the best with your success, take care!

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey Abraham and thanks for your point of view.

      I will agree with you here. When you look back and consider that centuries ago there was nowhere near the technology we have today, so just how did they build these structures to stand the test of time?

      Not only that, they built them with a lot more beauty and character than some of the more modern structures we can witness now!

      Bring back the old days in my opinion, what do you think? 🙂

      Thanks Abraham!

      Chris

  5. I have been meaning to go to Rhodes for some time and I am planning a trip soon. 

    I didn’t know that they had a mosque there, I presumed it would only be churches. The mosque is similar to the blue mosque in Turkey. Also, I didn’t know Rhodes had so much to offer. 

    I might have to plan for a couple of extra days, how long do you think you need to see it all?

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hello there and thank you so much for passing by and leaving your thoughts.

      The island of Rhodes was actually occupied by the Turkish, so there has been a lot of history left behind. The Suleiman Mosque still stand proud within the Medieval City and is definitely worth seeing.

      I see you compare it to the Blue Mosque which is located in Turkey (Istanbul to be exact) if you are referring to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque? Although, I think if you compare both after seeing them with your own eyes, there is not much of a comparison 🙂

      There is a tremendous amount of areas to see and things to do in Rhodes. More than most people realize actually. To see everything, and be content that you have seen it well and not had to rush things, I would say a 2 week stay here would be sufficient.

      The thing is, not matter how many times you visit, you always see something new and/or something you missed the first time around. For this reason, people come back time after time as they feel they have not seen everything sufficiently. For starters though, I would say 2 weeks is enough 🙂

      Thanks for your question, and if you need more, I am here!

      Chris

  6. Aliana Medina

    The Chora and Bourgo area in Rhodes Old Town sounds very interesting.

    The place seems to have a lot of culture. If it wasn’t for this article I would have never heard of this place. I would love to draw the scenery and take photographs. 

    Now when I travel to Greece I know to go there! 

    Thank you for the help on finding a great travel destination.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hello there Aliana, it is really nice to meet you.

      The Chora section of The Medieval City is extremely beautiful. The thing is, nowadays you can walk different areas and not realize whether you are in the north or in the south. A lot of people that visit are not even aware that it was designed into two sections. I thought it was important to highlight this!

      It is indeed very beautiful. A lot of people have the same idea as you too. They walk around with their cameras and also make paintings of the area. I myself have purchased such paintings and drawings from some of the outlets within The Medieval City. They are well worth having and make the perfect souvenir.

      Happy to have enlightened you to this area Aliana. I hope you manage a visit to Greece and to Rhodes soon 🙂

      Thanks

      Chris

  7. Hi Chris,

    I’ve traveled to a few spots in Europe and lived in a couple, but I never made it as far as Greece. Greece is still on my bucket list. 

    I used to love wandering parts of old towns on the weekends, shopping at markets, stopping at cafes for coffee or wine and settling down with a good book while a jazz band played in the distance. Wow, those were the best times.

    A few questions for you…What is the accommodation like in Rhodes Old Town? Are there a lot of choices for places to stay? Where is the nearest airport and most importantly, what time of year do you recommend that people visit?

    Thanks.

    Alyssa

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey There Alyssa, thanks for getting in touch and for your questions.

      The be honest, the area of Chora in The Old Town Of Rhodes has the atmosphere you describe.

      There are lots of coffee shops where you can go and sit outside and watch the world go by. There are also many quaint restaurants and bars where you can sit and drink a wine or an Ouzo and soak up the nice atmosphere. A lot of the places have some nice live music too and you can also enjoy some Greek dancing. It is amazing.

      Inside the Old Medieval City there are come hotels where you can stay. What I love about them, is they are not 5 star huge complexes. They are old, well presented and really great for a quiet getaway. Personally I love the old dwellings in the Old City. 

      A hotel called The Cava D’oro really is a beautiful little place and you are made more than welcome when you go there. A very friendly place. There are many places to be honest, and probably too many to name them all here, but trust me, I will be dedicating a huge section of this website to the hotels on the island. It is coming soon 🙂

      Where ever you stay in The Old City though, you will not be disappointed.

      As for the time of year to come to Rhodes, it all depends on your personal preference. Some people like it hit, where others not so much. Other like to see the sites, others prefer to relax – again it is up to you.

      I have a section on this site dedicated to The Climate Of Rhodes. Check it out, and it will offer you more information on this. There are also a lot of comments and questions that people have asked which are similar to yours. I think you will find all you need there, and from this you can decide when is the best time of year to visit the island 🙂

      Thanks Alyssa, and of course if you need something more, you know where I am!

      Chris

  8. You know I’ve never been to Greece but certainly would like to add it to my travel plan. Your description of The Island of the Rhodes & everything it has to offer sounds very interesting.

    The Chora & Bourgo area in Rhodes Old Town looks interesting with the way this Medieval Town was constructed from the northern & southern sections. Knowing what’s within each section really helps for us tourists. 

    All of these locations: The Suleiman Mosque, Ippokratous Square, Marine Gate, the Jewish Quarter, & Our Lady Of Chora look quite interesting & I look forward to checking them out during my travels.

    Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to learn about the special places Rhodes has to offer.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hello Daniel, thanks so much for taking the time to read through my information here.

      A lot of people actually visit the Medieval City without understanding or realizing the history behind it. This is easy to do don’t get me wrong. When you walk inside it really is an amazing place and you immediately go back in time. It is easy to get lost with your imagination.

      I wanted to highlight here the North and the South sections, as it is easy nowadays to talk around and not see that there are two sections. It looks like one huge city, and it is.

      All the of the places that I have mentioned here such as Ippokratous Square (and fountain), the Marine Gate and The Suleiman Mosque hold a great deal of importance here. Sometimes it is easy to sit and appreciate them and take the photos and walk away without knowing why or how they came to be.

      I hope the information here and throughout this website offers a little more insight to people before they come here, and indeed for people that have been here and want to know more 🙂

      Thanks for getting in touch Daniel, nice to hear from you.

      Chris

  9. Hi Chris

    You are really lucky to live in such a beautiful and full of history place! You say you just went there a few days ago and I’m like “wow”, that place really exists, it’s here on Earth and some people can see it any time they want! 

    For now, I just can hope to visit it one day and to walk on the Socrates and Aristotelous Streets. Does Plato have a street too? 🙂

    Thank you for letting us experience a little bit of this wonderful place, it was a pleasure reading your article!

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hello there Ioana, I hope you are fine.

      Thanks for your interest too. Indeed the place really does exist. At the time of replying to you know, I was there again this morning :).

      There is no reason why you cannot visit. Millions of people pass through every year to get a taste of what Rhodes has to offer, so why not be one of them 🙂

      In answer to your question, there is a street within the Medieval City called “Platonos”. The Greek official word for Plato is Platon, so we can assume this street is related to this. On saying that I do not have any official ruling on this – so do not quote me. I will look into that more though, its a great question.

      Let’s hope you get here soon Ioana, the ancient streets are waiting for you 🙂

      Thanks

      Chris

  10. Matt's Mom

    I LOVE the map on the right hand side of the post. That is a great addition! I don’t remember seeing it before. I visit your site a LOT and just dream of when I am able to visit Rhodes! 

    Chora And Bourgo looks absolutely beautiful. Although I am a beach bum at heart, I also love visiting places with history and beautiful architecture. Rhodes and these two areas of The Old Town seem to have it all. 

    If I want to visit Old Medieval Town Of Rhodes, and maybe touch on a couple of other places, how long do I need to plan for so that I am not rushing from place to place?

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey there Leahrae, really great to have you back. I know you pass by a lot here, and I am most grateful for it.

      As for the map of Rhodes, this is a new addition that I thought would benefit many of the people that want to have a good look around. It makes it easier to navigate the island and ensures you do not miss any of the important stuff as you tour around. I am having positive feedback from it so for anyway, so this is good 🙂

      I also love the beaches, and you are in luck here. Just outside the walls of the Old City, especially around the Marine Gate, there is a nice beach just near the ferry port. You can swim and relax there with a beautiful view of the gigantic and beautiful cruise ships. Well worth a view.

      There is a lot to see when it comes to the Chora/Bourgo areas of the Old Town in Rhodes. I would say, to have a good look and appreciate it, you could spend 3 days for sure. Each time you go inside, you will see something new that you walked past the first time.

      There are of course the areas of importance inside such as The Grand Masters Palace, The Archaeological Museum and the main Socrates Street. Its endless really.

      You will get here Leahrae, and I am waiting for you. I would love you to see it all with your own eyes.

      Really great to hear from you again 🙂

      Thanks, and see you soon!

      Chris

  11. I’ve been to some Greek Islands but not to Rhodes and after reading your article I will most certainly make a point of visiting this beautiful island. 

    The old town looks incredible. I have a blog that promotes a Location Independent Lifestyle. Would you recommend Rhodes as a good location to live for a few months? Can you get good internet there? 

    Well written and informative. Thanks again.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hi Celeste and thanks so much for your interest in my work here.

      The Medieval City (The Old Town) is an extraordinary place and one that everyone should see during their lifetime. It breaths history and is an amazing experience to see it with your own eyes.

      Naturally, the island is full when it comes to tourism during the summer season, but there are a lot of people that do live here. Some permanently, others on a temporary basis. Many people come also to work here for the summer months and take their own accommodation. There are a lot of options 🙂

      As for the internet, there is a very good service here. You will also find wifi access in most places.

      Hope this helps you Celeste 🙂

      Chris

  12. I have always wanted to go to Greece and plan to within the next five years. Your website is so informative and makes me wish I could reduce my five year plan to next year instead! 

    Now I know that I can use your website to help me plan my trip to Rhodes. It’s incredible that you live there! 

    I would obviously want to see as much as I can when I get there, in your opinion, would two weeks be a good duration for the trip? 

    I wish I would be able to stay longer.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey JJ, great to hear from you and thanks for your question.

      I think if you managed a visit for a 2 week period, you would see a quite a lot yes. 

      Some people do come only for a week, but in my opinion it is not long enough if you want to soak up some history and culture, and have time to relax too.

      2 weeks will see you in a good position to travel around and see most of the places of interest. If you can manage longer, then all the better.

      5 years is a long time to wait too, try and make it sooner 🙂

      If you ever need anything before arranging a visit just let me know. I will be happy to help you.

      Thanks JJ

      Chris

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