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.
The Dorians implemented a plan, and the famous architect Hippodamus from Miletus led the planning at that time.
This development became a milestone on the island.
The City received the name Rhodes, and it stood in the same location where you find the New Rhodes Town/City today.
I have also mentioned this in brief on the Prehistory section.
The Layout Of The Ancient Rhodes
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, branching off at right angles, you find West 29th Street, followed by East 29th Street, then West 28th Street, East 28th Street, and so on.
Although it might sound complicated, navigating New York was surprisingly easy during my visit, making it one of the simplest places I’ve ever explored.
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.
As more modern developments and changes have occurred over the years, you’ll also notice that, in some areas, the environment has turned quite chaotic!
But that is another story 🙂
Video With Local Dimitri Showing You His Home Town. See Amazing Structures New & Old!
The Most Exquisite City
Over the years, research has been conducted extensively on 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!
Many describe Rhodes as ‘the daughter of the sun’ and a place incomparable to any other.
Structures Of The Ancient Rhodes
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, Rhodes has lost much of its former glory. The city has endured immense suffering from wars, natural disasters like earthquakes, and the most relentless 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 bears the name of Admiral William Sidney Smith, 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 retreated, deserting his army in Egypt and fleeing 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!
This part of the island vividly displays the past, and I make the most of it, since a huge earthquake in 227 BC destroyed much of The Ancient Rhodes.
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.
The Ancient Rhodes Today
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!
Just Leave Your Comments Below.