Day 2,094 of Traveling the World | Island of Rhodes, Greece | October 25, 2023

Do you remember the Colossus of Rhodes? No? You‘re not that old? Well, this was its home in ancient times. We visited the fabulous local – are you ready for a mouthful? – Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, and it is said to be built on the site where the Colossus once stood. Rhodes was warm and welcoming, and within a few minutes from the port, we found the beautiful Old Town, a path of shops and restaurants that ran for about half a mile, right to the Mosque of Suleiman. We encountered squares, fountains, lots of people, sun, friendliness, and loads of invitations to eat and drink (“I have reserved this front table just for you!”). It was all very charming.

Greece has had economic problems for many years, sometimes causing the more northern EU countries to complain that they were unfairly supporting Greece and the other EU members. Rhodes specifically had many fires over the summer which forced many tourists to flee. We have spent a little under two weeks in Greece recently and things have looked very lively and busy everywhere. Greece has been doing much better economically during the past few years and is expected to set an all-time record for tourism in 2023. We are glad to see it. Greece is a very pleasant place to visit and has a lot to offer visitors.

We arrived at the Palace after 30-40 minutes, and found it delightful. We had read its history, and lots of the structure was destroyed in an explosion and altered as various empires took over. What exists now had been restored in the 20th century, although not quite to the delight of historians. Nonetheless, it is what it is, and we saw many grand rooms with old mosaic floors and filled with…church choir stalls. Different rooms had stalls of different designs, and we suppose they were bought to simply fill the large spaces.

You will wonder what the last photo is all about out. We were sitting at the end of a long portico in the Palace’s courtyard, and next to us was a partial relief of a nude man from the neck down – likely a god – with a figure on either side of him. An Australian woman, full of life, came upon it with a group and exclaimed, “Oh, they saved the BEST for last!!” Everyone laughed, including us, and her group began to rib her, encouraging her to do something. “Do it! Do it!” – they chanted. So she did! See the last photo! Very fun group and woman!

A glimpse of the Aegean from the Panayia Gate in the Old City.
This is the Church of the Virgin Mary of the Burgh, built in 1300 AD and, sadly, bombed in WWII. Even the ruins are beautiful, though.
It is interesting that in these ancient ruins, someone has set up living quarters! Do you see the windows in the ruins? Lights were on!
A pretty restaurant square with a huge tree providing shade.
Bougainvillea was growing wild everywhere here.
The main shopping street through the Old City. There was lots of jewelry, handbags, and clothing on sale.
This is a lovely restaurant called Socrates’ Garden.
As you approach the end of the retail stores, the Mosque of Suleiman appears. But you can see the mosque’s minaret from the ship!
The Hippocrates Square Fountain, topped with an all-seeing owl.
The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, also known as the Kastello.
The Palace Courtyard, with statues of Roman emperors. Up close, we noticed that few were complete – lots of missing feet, hands, and noses.
The beautiful vaulted staircase leading to the upper rooms.
Looking down the staircase is a different pretty view.
A small vaulted chapel. Such gorgeous architecture.
Ancient statue of a knight, missing lots of stone details.
This room had two sets of arches with columns. All the floors were mosaic, mostly from the 2nd-4th centuries.
A statue of Hercules, tied to other figures with a snake.
A calm area of the Palace, with angels guarding the doorway.
A beautiful floor mosaic featuring the winged Victory in the center, with the goddess Athena to the right and Poseidon to the left.The mosaic dates to the late 200s AD.
This mosaic of Medusa is a little more recent than the one above, by 50-70 years, but as you can see, is a bit more degraded.
Loving the swoopy-doopy dips, turns, and ornamentation of this light fixture.
This street adjacent to the Palace seems to be a part of it, as the style is similar to that of the Palace.
Great gargoyles in the form of fabulous creatures – a crocodile, and possibly a dragon or two.
This room in the Palace speaks to quiet, calm, and contemplation.
This courtyard, formerly the French consulate, has the same feeling of peace as the former photo.
Wanting to eat that ice cream!
She did it! She did it!

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