The Marine Gate
The Marine Gate was the front door of the city through which all outside visitors first passed, having disembarked in the Commercial Harbour. It breaks the faceless curtain of the harbour walls: its massive volumes—no less impressive than those of the d’Amboise Gate—are here taller and more eloquent of importance than practical for defence. There is a double door-frame in marble inside, with two guard rooms on either side in the pas sage. Above the gate are the eroded statues of the Virgin Mary (Protectress of the City), St John (Protector of the Knights’ Order) and (?) St Peter, whose presence here may refer to the fact that it was receipts from Rome in the Jubi lee Year announced by Sixtus IV for 1477 that funded the construction of the gate’s two towers, erected by Grand Master Pierre d’Aubusson in the following year.
The Marine Gate leads immediately into the liveliest area of the town. One block directly ahead of the gate (west, up Aeolou Street) is an area of open excavation where the foundations of the eastern wall of the Byzantine fortifications of the city can be seen below the ruins of a Turkish hamam. The hamam was part of the complex of the 19th century Shadirvan Mosque (10m to south on Aristomenous Street), whose bold octagonal form and imposing height dominate the surrounding skyline. The main street however leads directly to the left into Ippokratous Square, the heart of the Greek commercial area of the Old Town. The arcaded fronts of the shops which border the square were created in an overall redesigning of the space by the Italian architect Florestano di Fausto in 1929/30; shortly after that date, the fountain in ‘Italianate Mediaeval’ style was added.
Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.