n7d 7757small 627 Discovering the Marasia District in Rhodes
Discovering the Marasia District in Rhodes
June 9, 2024
Lindos Rhodes 2 The Secrets of Zefiros Beach in Rhodes Town
The Secrets of Zefiros Beach in Rhodes Town
June 9, 2024
n7d 7757small 627 Discovering the Marasia District in Rhodes
Discovering the Marasia District in Rhodes
June 9, 2024
Lindos Rhodes 2 The Secrets of Zefiros Beach in Rhodes Town
The Secrets of Zefiros Beach in Rhodes Town
June 9, 2024


Located on the northern tip of the historic island of Rhodes, Mandraki Marasia District stands as a testament to a bygone era. Its serene waters were once the witness to mighty maritime encounters, and its stony shores still echo with the grandeur of Rhodian nobility.

A Glance at Mandraki District Legacy

Mandraki district, with its expansive beauty, is not just a bay but a historical, cultural, and architectural gem with roots tracing back to ancient times. A must-visit for passionate travelers, history buffs, and anyone intrigued by the past, discover why Mandraki deserves a place on your cultural itinerary.

The Mythical Birthplace of Colossus

In the annals of ancient wonders, the Colossus of Rhodes holds a special place, not just for its towering presence but also for the lore surrounding its origin.

Positioned at the entrance of Mandraki Harbour, this colossal statue is believed to have been a symbol of unity and freedom, erected to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the invading forces of Demetrius in 305 B.C.

Though no physical evidence of the Colossus remains today, historians and archaeologists speculate that its base once graced the harbour, serving as a beacon to the ancient world.

This magnificent statue, purported to be the work of the sculptor Chares of Lindos, stood approximately 33 meters high, akin to the modern Statue of Liberty from base to torch.

Its existence was tragically cut short by an earthquake in 226 B.C., yet the Colossus of Rhodes continues to beguile the world, embodying the grandeur and ingenuity of ancient Greek civilisation.

The Cathedral of the Annunciation in Rhodes (Evangelismos)
The Cathedral of the Annunciation in Rhodes (Evangelismos)

Protecting the Grand Masters’ Fleet

In the intriguing narrative of Mandraki district, a chapter of paramount importance is dedicated to its role in safeguarding the Grand Masters’ Fleet.

During the era when the Knights of Saint John held dominion over Rhodes, from 1309 to 1522, Mandraki district was more than just a naval base; it was a formidable fortress protecting the heart of the Knights’ maritime prowess.

Ingenious engineering and strategic design transformed the harbour into a sanctuary where the fleet could dock safely, shielded from the tempestuous whims of nature and the looming threats of adversaries.

Renowned for their architectural acumen, the Knights implemented a series of defensive structures around the harbour, including massive chains across its entrance to prevent unauthorized access.

These chains, which could be lowered or raised as needed, served as a physical barrier, deterring enemy ships from breaching the harbour’s sanctity.

This defensive mechanism underscores the Knights’ dedication to the preservation of their naval assets and exemplifies the strategic importance of Mandraki district in the broader tapestry of medieval military history.

Gothic Beauty and the Windmills

Untitled design 2024 02 20T105409.758 The Mandraki District in Rhodes

A distinctive silhouette against the Rhodes skyline, the Goths, a people famed for their artistry in the realm of architecture, inspiring awe and wonder across generations. Amongst their enduring legacies, the windmills of the harbour of Mandraki district stand as a testament to the ingenuity and aesthetic sensibility of medieval times.

Once pivotal in grinding grain to sustain the Knights and the local populace, these windmills today serve as enchanting relics of the past, drawing visitors from around the globe.

Skillfully constructed to harness the power of the wind, their design is not only functional but also a representation of Gothic architectural elegance seamlessly integrated into the coastal landscape.

These windmills, set against the backdrop of azure seas, evoke a sense of timelessness and connectivity to the historical narrative of Rhodes.

An Architectural Chronicle

At the intersection of ancient and modern, the walls of the harbour tell a layered tale of architectural prowess and adaptation. Throughout the centuries, different civilizations have left their marks, turning the harbour into an open-air museum of maritime architecture.

The Italian Influence

The architectural evolution of Mandraki Harbour district underwent a remarkable transformation during the Italian occupation of Rhodes from 1912 to 1943.

This period is marked by the introduction of Art Deco and Rationalist architectural styles, reflecting the ethos of Italian governance and aesthetic sensibilities of the era.

Italian architects, inspired by a vision of grandeur and modernity, embarked on an ambitious urban planning project that significantly altered the landscape of the harbour and the surrounding city.

Emblematic of this influence are the buildings lining the harbour’s edge, which exhibit a distinct blend of local tradition and Italian architectural innovation.

The New Market (Nea Agora), with its imposing facade and intricate motifs, stands as a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail characterising this period.

Moreover, the renovation of the Palace of the Grand Master by the Italians infused the medieval castle with a blend of Gothic and Renaissance elements, creating a unique historical narrative that spans centuries.

The Ottoman Influence

Beyond the dominant influences of Gothic architecture and Italian aesthetics, Mandraki Harbour’s architectural narrative encompasses a broader tapestry of styles, reflecting the diverse epochs and rulers who have left their mark on this historic site.

The Byzantine era, prevalent before the Knights’ reign, contributed modest yet significant architectural elements, particularly in the form of religious edifices and fortifications, which embedded a layer of spiritual and defensive significance to the harbour’s landscape.

Similarly, the Ottoman occupation introduced Islamic architectural motifs, especially in public buildings and baths, infusing a blend of Eastern characteristics that complemented the existing medieval and Renaissance features.

This melange of styles has created a unique architectural harmony, embodying the multicultural heritage of Rhodes.

Mandraki District & Mandraki Harbour Today

In the contemporary era, Mandraki Harbour stands as a vibrant testament to its rich historical tapestry, blending its illustrious past with modern-day advancements.

Today, the harbour serves not only as a marina for yachts and pleasure boats but also as a point of convergence where history, culture, and leisure intertwine.

Visitors and locals alike are drawn to its bustling waterfront, which hosts a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants, offering a taste of Greek hospitality against the backdrop of architectural marvels from bygone eras.

The preservation efforts in Mandraki Harbour have been paramount, ensuring that its historical integrity remains intact while accommodating the necessities of modern infrastructure.

Educational tours and informational plaques strategically placed around the harbour provide insights into its history, allowing tourists to immerse themselves in a bygone era as they tread its docks.

The Tale of Three Rhodian Windmills

The three windmills facing the harbor serve as a stoic reminder of both Rhodes’ agrarian past and maritime power. These Rhodian landmarks have transformed from purveyors of sustenance to symbols of resilience and timelessness.

The Era of Flour and Grain

On the east mole of Mandraki district in Rhodes, the three most renowned windmills stand, embodying centuries of history beside the formidable St. Nicolas Fortress.

These structures, alongside recent archaeological findings of five additional mills’ foundations on the rocks, offer profound insights into the economic and architectural evolution of Rhodes Town.

Historical records, including early maps and a 1486 woodcut, detail some 18 stone tower mills encircling the harbour—primarily used for grinding corn for export—though most have since succumbed to time.

Characterised by a single pair of overdriven millstones and a cylindrical stone tower with a distinctive rotating timber cap, these mills were initially constructed by Genoese prisoners, possibly even before Diedoné de Gozon, the Grand Master, fortified the port in the 14th century.

The first documentary mention of these windmills traces back to observations by a traveller from Frankfurt between 1350-1370. Continuing until 1519, several European explorers noted their presence, describing the mills as resembling fortified towers with six sails.

Following the port’s fortification under Grand Master Diedoné de Gozo in the 14th century and later by Grand Master Jean de Lastic (1437-1454), the mills were ingeniously integrated into the city’s defensive walls, serving dual functions as windmills and fortification towers.

Their round-the-clock operation underscores the vital role they played within the economy and productive framework of Rhodes.


Mandraki Harbour in Rhodes is a captivating blend of Gothic, Italian, and Ottoman influences, embodying centuries of history. This living museum showcases the island’s cultural richness, urging visitors to appreciate its beauty and historical significance.