TheÂ biggest medievalÂ city in Europe, the picturesque old town of Rhodes is an unexpected delight. A rabbit’s warren of narrow streetsÂ and buildings of traditional architecture, much of the town as it appears today was built by the Knights of St. John at the end of the Byzantine era. Following the conquest of the Holy Land by Islamic forces, the crusading Knights retreated to Rhodes, over which they claimed sovereignty, fortifying the northern tip of the island with theÂ castle, towers, bridges, and gates that still stand. The Knights would later move again, weathering a name change and establishing a more famous state on the island of Malta. What they left behind saw an invasion of the Turks, who builtÂ mosques, public baths and mansions for the new patrons,Â followed by Italian colonizers after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and British bombs during World War II. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988, it’s a minor miracle so much of the town’s architecture has managed to survive 700 years of relentless give and take. For that, the flaneur in me wasÂ quiteÂ grateful this afternoon.