The beautiful town of Rhodes (New Town), the capital town of the island and of the Dodecanese Prefecture, is situated at the northern end of the island.
It is not only the wonderful monuments, the nice beaches and the excellent buildings that attract the visitor, everything here is very well organized, ready to make the life of all visitors, no matter their age or tastes, easier and more comfortable.
With the medieval town in front of you, you will have the feeling that you live a medieval legend and you stay in a living museum. But, you will have good time also in the modern town with the recent monuments, the atmosphere of a past that is respected and has become part of the present, and with the lively everyday life. The town of Rhodes counts some 55.000 permanent residents and is the economic, administrative, tourist and communication center of the whole island.
The town has all the amenities and services of a modern town. Several health services (doctors, pharmacies) and a hospital are available in case of emergency. It has a very good market, where you will find any kind of goods and stores with nice souvenirs which will remind you the «most beautiful town in the world», as it is advertised by its fans.
The northern part of the town, triangular in shape, is surrounded by the sea at the West, North and East, while at the South it borders the medieval town and the hill of Monte Smith (or Aghios Stefanos). This part is known as «the historic center» of the town and here you will find the quarter of Niohori and Mandraki, along with all the administrative and recreation buildings constructed by the Italians when they dominated the island.
The small port of Mandraki used to be the naval port of the ancient town of Rhodes. According to the ancient sources, it is here that stood the huge statue of the Colossus of Rhodes, whose foothold used to be at the same place where today the visitor sees the pair of the cute deers, the symbol of the island. Another characteristic feature of the place are three medieval towers which today house the Hydrographic Service of the Greek Army, a Museum and a tourist agency. Other remains of the period of the Knights are the lighthouse and the fortress of Aghios Nicolaos at the right part of Mandraki.
There are also constructions made during the period of the Ottoman domination, as the mosque with a nice minaret, situated northern to the building of the Prefecture, as well as the Muslim cemetery of Mourat Reys, where there have been buried several important Ottomans.
The majority of the buildings and monuments at this part of the town are dated either to the period of the Italian domination (1912-1943), or they are more recent (after 1948).
The most important among them are the Aquarium, situated at the most northern edge of the island, the New Market, the buildings of the National Bank of Greece, of the Court House, of the Port’s Authority, of the Post Office, the Town Hall, the Prefecture and the Hotel of the Roses (today the Casino). Most of them are nice samples of the fascist architecture with several features of eclectic style and details recalling all the cultures that have been developed on the island.
The modern town of Rhodes has been expanded at the West and North of the medieval one at an extent of several square kilometers. It faces either coasts, the eastern and the western one.
The roads leading to the airport and to the tourist resorts and villages of the island are found at this part of the town.
The modern town has also several things worth seeing, apart from the so-called «historic center» at the North. The most interesting area is the hill of Monte Smith, where it is situated the acropolis of the ancient city of Rhodes, the temple of Apollo, the ancient theater (an Odeon of the Hellenistic period) and the ancient stadium. In fact what you will see at this site is the remains of the city of the Hellenistic period. The hill owes its name to the British nobleman Sir Sydney Smith, who in 1802 used to stay there in order to watch the movements of the French navy.
You may come here by public bus, but also on foot, if you feel like walking around. You will enjoy the wonderful view of the opposite coasts and below your feet you will see the line of the small houses of the Cretan Muslims who left their island and came to settle at Rhodes. The quarter is called the «Kritika» (the Cretan quartier).
Once in the area of the modern time you may also visit the Venetokleion high school, the mosque Ali Himli, the Orphan Asylum, the Holy Monastery of Aghia Irini (St. Irene), the International Writers’ and Transtlators’ Center of Rhodes. There are also several interesting churches, as the small church of Aghia Irini (St. Irene) and the Chapel of Aghia Irini close to the University, the church of Aghioi Anargyroi, close to the Venetokleion high school and the church of Aghios Ioannis Prodromos (St. John the Baptist), within the homonymous park.
Within the modern town there is also the campus of the University of the Aegean. Southern to the town it is found Rodini, the famous park of the town of Rhodes.