Mandraki—the more northerly of the city’s two natural harbours—was the Military Port of the Ancient city, and later the principal ship-building yard of the Mediaeval city. The long mole, crowned with three ruined 17th cen tury windmills which forms its eastern side is the result of a continuous enlargement of the original 4th century bc harbour walls along the same line. At its tip, the strategically important Fortress of St Nicholas (currently closed to visits) was built in the mid 1460s. It constituted the only forward bastion of the city’s defences to the north and was vital for the protection of the two harbours. It proved its worth by effectively repulsing two successive Turkish onslaughts during the siege of 1480, and was re fortified and enlarged afterwards against the next Turk ish attack. The crenellated circular tower in the centre together with the lower, south-facing, additional stirrup tower constitute the 15th century core, while the elliptical enceinte of walls around, with pronounced batter on the harbour side, were added as part of the early 16th century re-fortification. The whole structure was then repaired and modified in Ottoman times.
To its west, the entrance to the harbour is marked by two columns supporting bronze statues of a stag and a doe, symbols of the City of Rhodes . It is here that folk tradition holds that the Colossus of Rhodes once stood, although it appears more likely that it was the largest of a group of smaller statues erected either in the southwest corner of the harbour, where the New Agora now stands, or else slightly further to the southwest, on the natural rise now occupied by the Palace of the Grand Masters.
Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.