Welcome back to the Rhodes City section of this website, and today I want to tell you a little on The Ancient Rhodes City (or Town if you prefer to call it that).
Rhodes City has been in existence for around 2500 years. Originally developed in 408 BC, this came about from the three biggest towns joining together at that time. They are namely Kamiros, Ialysos and Lindos.
It was a plan put in place by the Dorians and at that time a famous architect by the name of Hippodamus from Miletus was behind the planning.
This development became a milestone on the island. The City was named Rhodes, and it was located in the same place you know the New Rhodes Town/City to stand today.
I have also mentioned this in brief on the Prehistory section.
The structure of The Ancient City was quite a similar one (although on a much smaller scale) that you would find in New York today (USA).
If you look at this in more depth, you will notice that there the layout is almost on a grid system. From the East side heading West you have 5th Avenue, 6th Avenue, 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue all running parallel to each other. Then at right angles to this you have West 29th Street, East 29th Street, West 28th Street, East 28th Street and so forth.
It sounds complicated for sure, but actually when I was in New York, it was one of the easiest places I have ever had to navigate around.
Look at the example below to see what I mean!
Now, this is an example of what I am talking about. It is not so important for you to analyze, but you can see that New York is set up on a grid like system, and this is a similar system that was used to develop The Ancient Rhodes. On the street map of Rhodes above you can clearly see this system in use.
If you look around Rhodes City as it is today, you will still see a lot of streets that are using this system. With more modern developments and changes that have taken place over the years though, you will also notice in some areas it has become quite chaotic! But that is another story 🙂
The Most Exquisite City
Over the years there has been a lot of research done when it comes to Rhodes. Archaeologists have dug deep in the past (and still do) and it has been discovered that Rhodes was one of the most exquisite and charming ancient cities of the archaic world.
When it comes to the ancient sites here, such as the ancient temples and other areas of interest, Rhodes has been offered very kind words from important ancient writers such as Lucian of Samosata and Philosopher and Historian Strabo!
They have described Rhodes as ‘the daughter of the sun’ and as a place that could never be compared to another.
One of the most notable features of Ancient Rhodes were the structures.
Some buildings were all the same (or very similar) and it has been said that when
looking onto the streets, it was like all the building were as one.
Almost as if it was one huge house that scaled the entire length of the street. A long way from the more modern detached properties you find today don’t you think?
Unfortunately over time, a lot of what once was has been lost. Rhodes has suffered immensely in years past with war, natural disasters such as earthquakes and the worst enemy of all – Time!
The Remaining Temple and Stadium
Just south of the main city of Rhodes you will encounter an area called Monte Smith. This area is named after Admiral William Sidney Smith who was an officer in the British Navy during the French Revolution. At the end of the 1700s Rhodes played a role in the battle, and reinforcements were sent from the island with the Turkish.
After a long battle, Napoleon was forced to retreat and he deserted his Army in Egypt and fled back to France.
On Monte Smith you will find The Ancient Temple Of Apollo which dates back as far as the 5th Century BC. At the bottom of this you will see the Ancient Stadium and Theater.
This area was hit heavily during World War 2 and suffered a lot of damage. Restoration work was carried out by the Italians in the middle of the 1940s and as of today the area is protected from any new structures being built.
This area of Monte Smith really takes you back in time, and the views from the top of the hill are simply breath taking. There is more information on The Hill of Monte Smith here!
It is one part of the island that really shows you the past, and I make the most of it, as a lot of The Ancient Rhodes was destroyed in the huge earthquake that took place in 227 BC. This is the same earthquake the brought down The Rhodes Colossus.
The city was rebuilt, but good luck was not on the table, and in AD 515 another massive earthquake completely destroyed Rhodes. The only thing left standing was the Medieval City.
Over the last centuries the New Town sits proudly where The Ancient City once stood.
For me it is a tragedy that a large percentage of the history was lost, but I am also very happy to see the Rhodes of today!
It still presents a lot of history and culture and there is something to learn on every corner. Although the New Town now stands proud, the Ancient City will never be forgotten!
Do you have something to share on this? Or do you have an opinion? Maybe you have visited Rhodes and have an experience you would like to share?
No matter the reason, I would love to hear from you all!
Thanks once again for visiting, and as always, there is more to come!
As someone who grew up in grid-like cities, I love this layout. It’s so much easier to navigate, in my mind – but that could just be my conditioning.
As always, I love your articles about Rhodes – and it keeps it near the top of my travel destinations list, where it’s been since I started reading your blog.
I love the combination of old and new, with the new city being built over ancient ruins and structures – as much as it truly is a tragedy for all the history that was destroyed by war.
It does show that people can prevail and rebuild after devastating circumstances.
I must admit Jaime I think the grid layout system is so much easier when it comes to navigating your way around.
I lived many years in London, and this is a fine example of how getting around can be very confusing. It is a maze of streets and alleyways, and to be honest, if it was not for the Underground Transport, I think I would have been finished!
I also love the fact that the New Town has been redeveloped in place of The Ancient Town. It does show that people can move on and come back better after tragedy strikes. You are indeed right on this point.
I really hope you can manage a visit here soon Jaime.
Nice to hear from you again!
I really like all of the history you have brought out in your article.
It’s amazing to see how the streets were laid out and how similar it is to the concept you would find in New York (although on a smaller scale).
It’s sad to see what wars, earthquakes and development has done to ancient cities over the years. It’s great to learn about these different places around the world.
Hello Rick and thanks once again for your visit. Nice to see you!
Although Rhodes now stands proud and strong, it has had its fair share of problems in years gone by.
Earthquakes and war have indeed left their mark on the island, but I guess that is what makes it what it is today!
When you visit the island today though, you are still given the chance to see a lot of history which is really educational. When it comes to Rhodes City, you can still bear witness to what the Ancient Rhodes had to offer.
If you like learning about it, then you will love seeing it for yourself.
Thank you for your informative article. it is very nice and I have enjoyed reading. I really like the pictures too.
I am very sad about the damage that happened to the structures which took place during World War 2, it is very sad indeed.
However, I am thinking to visit it in the near future, is there any advise or feedback about this you can offer me?
Hello there Haitham and thanks for reading.
When you look at some of these ancient structures, it is extremely sad to see some of them being left without care.
To be honest, a lot of work does go into keeping the structures in as best condition as possible, but due to time, weather and of course past conflicts, they have slowly diminished in their beauty. I suppose it is wrong for me to say they have had lack of care. It just sometimes appears that not enough effort was made to keep them in better condition. It is only my opinion though.
As for you arranging a visit here, i think you would really enjoy it.
I can see you have taken an interest in the structures and ancient sites here, and believe me, there are plenty of them to enjoy. The Acropolis in Lindos is amazing and I am happy to say it has been preserved really well.
Also you would find The Ancient City Of Kameiros quite a pleasant visit too.
There is plenty to see Haitham, but if you are really interested in getting out and seeing what is on offer, try to avoid visiting in August. It can be excessively hot at this time and it can make seeing the sites a little uncomfortable.
Hope this helps you my friend, but I am here if you need something more 🙂
Loved this article on Rhodes. I feel inspired!
I really don’t know much about the Greek islands but I have an ambition to sail around them one day. I live in Australia and it is a retirement goal to spend 3 months a year sailing in different parts of the globe.
The grid system and generally the planning and organization of cities I find fascinating. I understand what you mean when you referred to New York as I have been to that city. Sydney, Australia’s CBD area I think works off a similar grid style system but perhaps not exactly like New York and Rhodes.
I am bookmarking this page and putting Rhodes on the list of cities to visit and explore when I venture to the Greek islands.
Hello there Fleur, it is really great to meet you… A big hello to you all the way over there in Australia 🙂
The Greek Islands really are wonderful places to visit. So much culture, history, sunshine etc. What more could you want 🙂 I have had many friends take boat trips around the different islands, and some of the photographs they return with are simply breathtaking. Postcard material you know? 🙂
I was not aware that Sydney also operated with a grid like system when it comes to the layout of the roads. I have learned something today. When you say it is not exactly like New York and Rhodes, what are the differences do you think?
I have visited Sydney before, but it was over 20 years ago and I do not remember much. If you could shed some light on that for me I would be grateful!
It is great that you have bookmarked my website too. Thank so much. It is a good thing, as there is a lot more to come.
Hope to see you here again soon Fleur.
I have always been fascinated by ancient history. The stories hidden in the stones, the rocks scattered about, the weathered steps with rich history behind them.
The Ancient Rhodes as seen in these photos is a beauty to behold. I was wondering, have there been any archaeological findings of great value and history?
Vacation stop – GREECE!
Hello John and thanks very much for getting in touch.
It is great to see you have Greece on your vacation stop list. Make sure you get to Rhodes – you will LOVE it 🙂
As for your interest in the old archaeological sites and findings, you will be happy to learn that there is The Archaeological Museum here which is inside the Medieval City.
It is full of ancient artifacts and findings. Make sure you check it out on the link.
Hope this helps you out John.
I enjoyed reading your article; it was very entertaining. Not only was it entertaining, but it was informative, because I have not traveled out of the USA much, and it is good to get a glimpse of another part of the world.
I live in New York, so I found the comparison of the grid systems interesting and easy to understand.
Hello there Judy, greetings to you there in New York 🙂
I just wanted to thank you for leaving your thoughts here. I have a lot of friends who have been to New York, and actually my step father was from New York too, White Plains to be exact. Do you know it?
I often spoke to them about the layout of your city and I would love to travel there too. They told me about this grid system and how the streets were set out. I think it is so much easier.
When i looked into the history of Rhodes here in Greece, I made a lot of research into the development of the town, and I could see this grid system being shown and mentioned. I thought it was fascinating to see this from centuries ago, yet the same strategy has been used to build the more modern city layouts of today.
It is nice to hear from you and mention that it all makes sense. I am sure you know what you are talking about 🙂
Thanks Judy, and I hope also to visit your city someday too.
I found your article on “The Ancient Rhodes” fascinating. I’ve never been there but certainly would be a place I would like to visit.
Seeing the layout makes it easier especially when compared to New York City.
The amount of history is quite amazing & interesting.
Thank you for sharing this great article on “The Ancient Rhodes.”
Hey there Daniel and thanks so much for getting in touch.
Yes, the layout (although obviously smaller than New York) proves that this system was in use way before our time. It is simple but effective, and I can see why this strategy was used in bigger cities as they were developed.
There is a lot of history here, and it is important when people visit to see it. Sometimes things can be easy to miss and it is a massive shame to have to leave again without witnessing some of the amazing sites here.
Rhodes Town is one of these locations. A modern Town (City) within a setting of real ancient history. Not to be missed 🙂
Thanks for your interest Daniel, nice to see you here.
It always intrigues me when i see remains of an ancient civilization.
The structures they created, the engineering they might have used without the help of electricity and technology, it is just fascinating.
The city of Rhodes looks like a fusion of the ancient and modern and really provides it a unique architecture, and i am sure the sea is just like the cherry on the top of a cake.
There are similar ancient civilizations that have been found in India and they are fascinating aswell.
Hello there Sanket, and thank you for your interest in The Ancient Rhodes.
I can see old civilizations are of interest to you, and I can feel your positive attitude towards the subject when reading your comment.
You are right too, the new town of Rhodes sits on the grounds of the ancient Rhodes. To me it is an amazing place. You can look around and see ancient structures and walls while being in the setting of a more modern city. It is quite fascinating.
I have heard of this archaeological site that you mention here. Mohendro-daro actually sits in the Sindh Province (Pakistan) if I am not mistaken? I am not an expert in this area to be honest, but would welcome more information if you have it.
I absolutely love the grid system. It’s a system I am very familiar with and have grown up with it, I don’t understand why many find it so confusing. I was not aware that Rhodes followed this same system until I read your informative post.
Like yourself and others I agonize over the lost history due to natural disasters and wars. However, the history of rebuilding after such occurrences is equally fascinating.
Hello Kendra, thanks for getting in touch.
Although the grid like road structure here is very basic and nothing compared to some of the bigger modern cities in the world, it does display that this method was around a long time before modern technology and inventions.
I too find it very easy to navigate around. Originally I am from England and the roads there (in my opinion) do not seem to follow any structure of this kind. It seems to have developed naturally and without a real plan. I guess this can make a place more interesting, but not the easiest when it comes to finding your way around.
I guess that is why the GPS system were invented eh? 🙂
To see some of the structures of old standing in ruin is heartbreaking for me yes. I do not like to see things like this fall away into memory. Such a lot of history has taken place and lives have been lost constructing these places. Sometimes they can really be taken for granted.
The Temple of Apollo standing on Monte Smith is protected by scaffolding at the moment. Yes, it is an eyesore for a visitor, but is shows that structures such as these are very delicate and need the up most care. It is very sad.
I wonder if the generation of today will be leaving such amazing places and artifacts behind for people to see in generations to come? Maybe not!
Thanks Kendra, I really appreciate your thoughts 🙂
First of all, I would like to thank you for this huge site full of information about The Island of Rhodes.
Please know that I have benefited from this experience and I really enjoyed the writing and pictures.
Travelling and discovering different cultures is one of my hobbies. I am living in Italy, so I will plan to go to Rhodes as soon as possible and see everything that you have described here for myself.
I had a look around, and it is only 2 or so hours to fly there from my country.
Rhodes looks like a great place and I will keep in contact with you and your site.
Hello Mustafa and thank you so much for your kind words.
Reading between the lines and looking at your name, am I right in guessing you are from Turkey? If so, your homeland has a lot of history here on the island and there are some structures still in place built by the Tuikish during their occupation here.
I see you are living in Italy at the moment, and of course the Italians have left their mark here too (in a big way) 🙂
If you are keen on travelling and checking out new cultures and appreciating different places, you will love Rhodes. It is about a 2 hour flight yes (obviously depending where in Italy you are). I remember flying from Milan back to Rhodes a couple of years ago and it was about 2 and a half hours. Not so bad 🙂
There is always new information coming to the site here too Mustafa, so please stay in contact. If you need something more just let me know 🙂
The ancient city of Rhodes is just gorgeous. I love the look and feel of your article. The pictures tell a great story and your keen sense of detail is stunning.
I would not know a thing about Rhodes if it wasn’t for your articles about this wonderful place. I fully plan to visit when funds allow and look forward to all of the great antiquity that will be found on the island. It is fascinating to learn that the city of Rhodes today stands where the ancient Rhodes was all them centuries ago.
You are doing excellent work in promoting this incredible place and I hope you continue putting out such informative articles.
I love your work and can’t wait to plan my trip to Rhodes.
Hello there Johnny, and Shalom 🙂
Of course with you saying this I am assuming you are in Israel or a neighboring area?
A lot of people visit the island of Rhodes from Israel. In fact, millions 🙂 Every year the flights here are full from places such as Tel Aviv and the Israel people seem to love it here. So if you are also there, feel free to visit when you can, you are not so far away. I think it is around a 1 hour flight only 🙂
The City of Rhodes really is a fabulous place yes. So much history standing there and now set in more modern surrounding. It is obvious why people flood here from all over the world to see it. In the distance you can see the area been overlooked by The Grand Masters Palace too. There are no words to describe the beauty here.
I am happy you find the information here interesting and thank you for your kind words. Of course I will keep it coming. There is lots more on the way – work in progress 🙂
Thanks again Johnny, and hope to see you here soon.
Hi Chris, nice article! I would like to visit Rhodes right now and get some relaxing time 🙂
Your post is very informative and well illustrated. The setting of this beautiful town is fascinating and you are so lucky to live here. I suppose Rhodes is your favorite place?.
I had a good look around your site and read some of the history on The Medieval City and The Knights Of Saint John. It really took me on a journey!
Thanks for sharing your experience of living in such a lovely place
Have a great day.
Hello Mia and thanks for having a good look around. It is really appreciated 🙂
Indeed the history here is fascinating. To be honest, the island is full of history and wherever you turn you cannot help but notice it.
The Rhodes Town as it is today is full of history and you can see the ancient architecture as you walk around. A wonderful place to be 🙂
You are absolutely right too. It is my favorite place! I really love it here.
I like being able to walk around and see something new or something I overlooked on a previous visit. I never get tired of looking around.
I hope you get here soon Mia and see it for yourself. Just make sure you find that time to relax too. It can be easy to get involved with looking around and before you know it, you are exhausted 🙂
This is a very informative and interesting article on The City Of Rhodes.
I’ve never been there, but I would like to some day, so much history behind that place.
It’s really amazing how the grid system of the streets of the ancient city and the one of the streets at NYC look alike. I’ve never have thought that.
Thanks for sharing this piece of history!
Hey there, thanks for your interest and for reading.
When you think that the original city was built centuries ago, it proved to be a popular technique when it came to developing the layout of the streets. New York and other cities seem to have followed in suit.
I am originally from the UK and to be honest I never noticed if the streets were set up in this way, this is something I am going to look into. I do not think so though, as I always remember the roads in the UK as quite natural and they just happened the way they happened.
Thanks for passing by, and for your comment too 🙂
Hello, this was all very interesting to read and I really like that you cover it in full detail.
I have never been to Rhodes before but would like to visit in the very near future. When would you say is the best time of the year to visit?
Is the weather pretty lovely all year round?
Greece is one location that is on the top of my list and when I read blogs like yours it makes me all the more excited to go!
Hello there Manika and thanks for your questions.
When it comes to the weather I have put some information on The Climate Of Rhodes section here. I hope this helps you out.
When it comes to deciding the best time to visit, of course the weather plays a part in it. If you like sightseeing and visiting places of interest then I would recommend May and June, and also September and October.
The summer tourist season is very active then and it is not too hot for when you are looking around.
Of course if you like to come for the sun and the sea, then July and August is the better option as the temperatures can go in excess of 40 degrees Celsius.
Let’s hope you manage a visit soon, and feel free to contact me if you need more information in the future 🙂
Wow, I loved this article on The Ancient Rhodes.
I also love the history of this amazing country. I have always wanted to travel to Greece and your site just reinforces that desire.
If I do get there one day there is certainly a lot of useful information on here to assist me while planning a trip.
Thanks Mark I am happy you found the information here interesting and useful!
Greece certainly is an amazing country and there is no end to the history here. If you a lover of history, then Rhodes and Greece as a whole will certainly be a great visit for you 🙂
If you do ever get some plans in place to visit be sure to let me know. I will help you out with any information you need 🙂
Wow Chris, This is really very informative.
A very nice read and I like the pictures. It is sad about all the damage to the structures, especially damage that was made during the World War 2 period, but I guess in retrospect, today it adds to the character of the island. Thanks for sharing.
I love it.
Hey there, I am happy you found the information here informative and interesting 🙂
Yeah I guess you make a point here too, I suppose whatever the past is, the history is shaped accordingly. It is a shame a lot of these structures have been destroyed either by an act or war, or from natural disasters.
But this is how the island has come to the shape it is today. A lot has been taken away, but it is not forgotten, and that is what makes history sometimes too. Not only the existing buildings that remain!
Thanks very much for reading 🙂
Hey Chris, nice article on The Ancient Rhodes.
I always like to travel and learn more about culture and the history behind places.
Nice images by the way and I really like the view from there. I am from Singapore where I find we don’t have much history and culture in a place such as this.
The only thing I feel disappointed with is the amount of damage due to natural disasters and world war 2.
Now while reading this I was so excited to travel there and this is definitely shortlisted for my next destination.
Hi Maxx and thanks so much for your visit to my site all the way from Singapore 🙂 It is great to hear from you.
I have never been to Singapore myself but have some friends who were there when they served in the British Navy. They always tell me what an amazing place it is. Sounds like one place I must also get to see some day 🙂
Unfortunately here in Rhodes, there is a lot of history lost. It is a shame as if some of the old ancient Rhodes was still standing, I am sure a lot could be learned from it. But hey, I guess this is the way of the world.
if you ever get to make it here all the way from your country, feel free to let me know 🙂
Thanks for reading Maxx!