OLD TOWN CASTLE
Medieval city of Rhodes island is an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble illustrating the significant period of history in which a military hospital order founded during the Crusades survived in the eastern Mediterranean area in a context characterized by an obsessive fear of siege. The fortifications of Rhodes, a ‘Frankish’ town long considered to be impregnable, exerted an influence throughout the eastern Mediterranean basin at the end of the Middle Ages.
With its Frankish and Ottoman buildings the medieval city of Rhodes is an important ensemble of traditional human settlement, characterized by successive and complex phenomena of acculturation. Contact with the traditions of the Dodecanese changed the forms of Gothic architecture, and building after 1523 combined vernacular forms resulting from the meeting of two worlds with decorative elements of Ottoman origin. All the built-up elements dating before 1912 have become vulnerable because of the evolution in living conditions and they must be protected as much as the great religious, civil and military monuments, the churches, monasteries, mosques, baths, palaces, forts, gates and ramparts.