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In a peaceful setting 4km to the southwest of Laerma is the oldest monastic foundation on the island, and still one of the most active today: the monastery of the Archangel Michael ‘Tharrinos’, or ‘Moni Tharri’ (67km). (Open continuously until sunset.) The foundation may go back as far as the 9th century; the main catholicon building is of the early 12th century; and there are -wall-paintings in several layers, dating principally from the 13th, 15th and 17th centuries—all of considerable quality. The monastery was rescued from decline in 1990 by the efforts of a new abbot from Patmos, and the stable monastic com munity of mostly (young) Greek and Serbian monks now numbers over twenty. The church is cruciform with two short arms and a long nave, surmounted by an arcaded cupola-drum. The west door is curiously off-centre, perhaps because of the position of the threshold in a pre-existing structure (whose foundations can be seen to the north side of the church). Many periods of painting are represented in the impressive interior: the austere figures of the Church Fathers in the lowest area in the apse are probably contemporary with the construction of the church (12th century); those in the dome, drum, vault and sanctuary walls—the (damaged) Pantocrator, the Virgin, St John the Baptist, Angels and Prophets—are slightly later work of the early 13th century. It should be recalled that a later layer of 17th century paintings which originally covered these was removed and is now displayed inside the church of St Mary of the Castle, in Rhodes (see pp. 83–84). An inscription in the prothesis niche to the left side of the sanctuary, dates the paintings of the upper cylinder of the apse to 1506. In the arms of the church the Archangels (south), SS Demetrius and George (north) and the scenes of the Annunciation (with donor) and Dormition (north) are also of the 16th century. The -Scenes of the Life of Christ along the vault of the nave, although the latest—early 18th century— are in many ways the most remarkable: the style of the artist is quite individual and would seem to show his training as a manuscript illuminator. Line-drawing prevails over model ling in all the scenes, and details of costume or background are delicately described as if with a fine-pen. The effect is most unusual; the compositions—Christ and the Woman of Samaria, The Angel at the Empty Sepulchre, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee—are beautifully balanced and executed by an artist of considerable talent. The finely carved wooden icon ostasis is also work of the early 18th century. Sixteen kilometres of winding, wooded track leads down from Moni Tharri to the east coast via the monastery’s dependent foundations—the contemporaneous Aghios Giorgios Inkou, and the 19th century convent of the Panaghia Ypsenis.
Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.
By air: With a total of 6–7 daily flights from Athens to Rhodes operated by both Olympic Air and Aegean Airways, Rhodes is easily accessible at all times of year. Its airport is also the hub for local flights within the area to Kastellorizo, Karpathos and Kasos (almost daily), and to Kos, Leros and Astypalaia (three times weekly). There are also daily connections direct to Thessaloniki and to Heraklion (Crete). The airport is 15km southwest of the centre of Rhodes town (€15 by taxi).
By boat: The port of Rhodes is also the principal hub for the Dodecanese Islands, with daily connections to all the principal islands, though the frequency of connections to the lesser islands varies considerably according to season (see entries for individual islands). There are year-round, direct connections by car-ferry to Piraeus (c. 16 hours) every day; and connections to eastern Crete twice weekly. In the holiday season, there are also daily connections (by private carriers) to Marmaris in Turkey. Since the port is large and has several harbours, it is important to ascertain from which part of it a ferry will leave.
The neighbouring island of Chalki is served twice weekly from Rhodes town, but there is a daily service from Kameiros Skala (2 hours). The GNTO office in the New Town (corner of Makariou and Papagou Streets, T. 22410 44335) provides helpful sheets with weekly boat departures, museum opening times, a price-list for taxis and schedules of bus times and fares for the whole island. Its web-site is: www.ando.gr/eot
Rhodes Travel Guide
Rhodes offers some of the best and most varied eating possibilities in the Aegean— although in the city itself, the visitor will need to explore outside the Old Town to sample the best Greek food. Within the walls of the Old Town, unimaginative and often overpriced tourist-fare prevails; we would suggest only: the -Marco Polo (see lodging, above); Dinoris Restaurant (upper medium price) in a tiny alley across from the entrance to the Archaeological Museum— an elegant and traditional taverna of long standing, one of the few in the Old Town regularly frequented by locals; Photis Restaurant (expensive; open all year) in Menekléous Street—also an elegant and well-established fish restaurant, where the undoubted high quality and presentation of its dishes compensates for the hauteur of the reception and service. At lunchtime, -Indigo (medium price), inside the Nea Agorá market building (at no.105/6) beside Mandraki harbour, offers delicious, finely prepared dishes from the cuisine of Greek Asia Minor. Further afield (but without question worth the short taxi-ride) in Zephyros, southeast of the city centre, is the -Paragadi fish restaurant (medium expensive; corner of Klaude Pepper & Australias Streets: reservation recommended, T. 22410 37775) with an exceptional quality of service and of seafood and fish dishes, prepared in the best and simplest manner. This is one of the best fish restaurants in the Dodecanese. Nearby, open all year, and usually packed with locals, is To Steki tou Cheila (inexpensive) at the southern end of Kodringtonou St., on the corner of Hadjiangelou and Dendrinou Sts: the symiakó (tiny shrimps) and the wine are both fresh and delicious.
Around the island: Mavrikos in Lindos (expensive; reservations, T. 22440 31232) is a fine and justly famous restaurant with pleasing setting, serving many homemade products. The excellent and panoramic -To Limeri tou Listí ("The robber"s den") in Prophilía (T. 22440 61578) in the central south of the island, certainly merits the long journey and represents one of the best places to eat on the island: it has imaginatively and care fully prepared traditional dishes of the highest standard, e.g. a light and unforgettable imam bayaldı. Nearby, Petrino in the picturesque plateia of Váti, is a good country taverna with fresh and unaffected cuisine.
Rhodes Travel Guide
Cecil Torr, Rhodes in Ancient Times and Rhodes in Modern Times (first published by CUP in 1885, both now re-issued by Archaeopress ‘3rd guides’, Oxford); Lawrence Durrell, Reflections on a Marine Venus (Faber & Faber, London, 1953); H.J.A Sire, The Knights of Malta (Yale, London & New Haven, 1994); Vassilis Colonas, Italian Architecture in the Dodecanese Islands, 1912–1943 (Olkos Press, Athens, 2002); Elias Kollias, The Mediaeval City of Rhodes etc.,(Ministry of Culture, Athens, 1998).
Rhodes Travel Guide
Rhodes Travel Guide
851 00-09 Rhodes : area 1,401sq. km; perimeter 220km; resident population 115,334; max. altitude 1,216m. Port Authority: 22410 22220, 28888, 28666. Travel and information: www.travel-Rhodes .com
Rhodes Travel Guide