Allegory is set on the western edge of the walled city of Rhodes, close to the Gate of Saint Athanasios, one of the eight ancient gates of the Old Town. Through the same arch Ottoman emperor Suleiman the Magnificent is believed to have ridden on New Year’s Day 1523, his invading army having breached the Knights’ defensive line – the final victory in a brutal six-month siege.

So ended the Knights’ 216-year control of the citadel and the island, and so began nearly four centuries of Ottoman rule. In the shadows of this ancient portal, under its limestone eaves, treading cobblestones felt underfoot for more than half a millennium, history here is tactile.

All the Old Town’s most precious historical sites are within a fifteen-minute walk of Allegory, including the Palace of the Grand Master, the Street of the Knights, and the Hospital of the Knights  of St John (now the Archaeologial Museum of Rhodes).With the Old Town’s pebbled alleyways closed to cars, a gentle stroll to marvel at the nearby historical treasures, or savour some of Rhodes’ best restaurants, is always a highlight of any stay at Allegory.

 

“The ancient legends of men 
tell how, when the immortals divided the lands, Rhodes had not yet shone in the sea’s water,
 but the island was hidden in the salt depths.

Helios was gone, and none showed forth his lot.
They left him with no guerdon of land,
that blameless god.
He spoke, and Zeus would cast again, but Helios would not
suffer it, for he said
under the gray sea he had spied, as a growth from the floor,
a land to foster multitudes, kindly to sheep.

Straightway he bade Lachesis of the golden veil
lift up her hands, nor deny
the gods’ great oath
but assent with the son of Kronos, bending her head; the
island rising thereafter
into the bright air should be his.
..”

Greek poet Pindar, c522 – c443 BC