Rhodes, Greece Cruise Port

MSC Lirica in Rhodes, Greece – there are some ruins and a seawalk right at the port

Rhodes was once home to one of the wonders of the ancient world – the colossus of Rhodes, a giant statue which stood at the harbor. This replica of the ancient Greek sun god Helios was built by Charles of Lindos to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over an unsuccessful siege by Cypress in 305 BC. Construction took 12 years, starting in 292 BC and completing in 280 BC. The statue was stood about as high as New York’s Statue of Liberty, the tallest statue of the era.

ruins of the 14th century Church of the Virgin of the Burgh inside the walled city

Some of the iron and bronze used in its construction came from weapons left behind by the army from Cypress. The statue only stood for 54 years before falling in an earthquake in 226 BC. The earthquake also did significant damage to the city and to buildings at the harbor. The colossus lay on the ground for over 800 years, and even broken was so impressive for its time that people still came from far away to see it. In 653 AD Rhodes was captured by Arabs who melted the fallen statue down and sold the metal.

Palace of the Knights of the Grand Masters

Rhodes lies just 12 miles off the coast of Turkey and is one of the Greek Isles. Rhodes is the name of the main town as well as of the island.

church in the walled city

The city has ancient, medieval, and modern sections with the walled old town its main attraction. It is Europe’s largest inhabited medieval city and contains the palace of the Grand Masters, built in the 14th century by the Knights of St John, also called the Knights Hospitaller. Knights Hospitaller were initially associated with a hospital and cared for sick and poor people. The castle is a tourist attraction now, with a small fee to go inside.

door in old town Rhodes

Over time they became more militant, participating in the crusades and defending the holy land as well as providing escort for pilgrimages to it. Later they were called the Knights of Rhodes and defended against a succession of enemies including Barbary pirates, Egypt, and the Ottoman Empire.

another fancy doorway in old town Rhodes

In 1522 they lost a 6-month siege to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificant of the Ottoman Empire who sent 100,000 men against the island’s 7000 knights.

cat and kittens

Old Town Rhodes could rival Old San Juan, Puerto Rico in the number of stray cats. There are cats everywhere. Locals feed them, and there is a spay/neuter program in place in an attempt to control the population, but we saw kittens in several places around town so they haven’t spayed them all.

there’s a few dogs in Rhodes

A few cats wear collars, those belonging to locals, but most are strays. The majority of them were in better condition than a scrawny dog that wandered by, and it had a collar on. We also saw some stray dogs, who generally looked better than the one with the collar. Way more cats than dogs though.

another one of the many cats we saw in Rhodes

MSC Lirica docked on a pier with a view of ruins running down that pier right next to the ship. You don’t get far – as in just outside the port gates – before running into people offering taxi tours, though their prices were on the high side. Just a bit beyond the port behind the first small building there’s a stop for the hop on hop off bus, with tickets available there.

one of the gates into the walled city

Walk a very short distance beyond that and you come to the first gate into the walled city.

shops in the walled city

The walled city is full of little shops and restaurants, streets made of rocks or stone, people trying to entice you into their store or cafe, old buildings and of course the castle and lots of cats.

open square in old-town Rhodes

There are some open squares within the walled city, but they were not always there. The buildings that once stood in those places were demolished by bombs during World War II.

seawalk outside the old town city walls by the port in Rhodes

The walkway along the seawall runs alongside the city walls on the other side of the street and there are other entrances into the old city further down. The seawall is a nice walk and if you go far enough you come to a more modern town where there are things to do like semi-sub rides. This is a port where there are things to see right off the ship and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to find things to do.

ruins by the ship in Rhodes

Copyright My Cruise Stories 2020

About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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2 Responses to Rhodes, Greece Cruise Port

  1. I was working on a ship in the Med and I really had no idea what to expect in Rhodes on the first visit, and it ended up being one of my favorites. So much cool history and a unique old town area compared to other Greek ports. Thanks for sharing!

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