The ancient island city of Rhodes is one of the Dodeconese island group, which are amongst the 3000 odd islands that surround Greece. These islands extend over the coast of western Turkey surrounded by the Aegean and the Mediterranean sea. It is closer to Turkey, which can be seen easily across the sea, than to mainland Greece.
They have been autonomous part of the Greek Empire and reached their pomp as island states during the Byzantine era.
Christianity made its advent in Greece through these islands first and they were invaded by various forces like the Ottoman Turks, the Italians over their period of existence. During the 14th Century, the crusaders arrived. These were the Knights of St John of Jerusalem who eventually became rulers of most of the Dodecanse. They built huge walls and fortifications which still exist in Rhodes.
The old town of Rhodes is a medieval citadel surrounded by moats and 2.5 miles of walls. There are eleven gates in this walled city which is a World Heritage Site. Inside the walls is a labyrinth of cobbled streets and squares in the midst of a jumble of Byzantine, Turkish and Latin architecture. Shown above is the Marina Gate, one of the most popular gates which opens out onto the Mandraki harbour.—