Sunday, 24 April 2011

Medieval Town Of Rhodes

Upon the prolapsus of Jerusalem Kingdom in 1291, the Knights requested an asylum to the Cyprus Kingdom when Acre was in conquest of Muslim forces. Guillaume de Villaret, the Knights Hospitallers’ Grand Master, released an order to obtain a provisional domain in Rhodes. The Grand Master was substituted by Foulques de Villaret after Guillaume death in 1305. Foulques proceeded the order to occupy Rhodes and in 1309 Rhodes was defeated by the Knights which were later called “The Knights of Rhodes”. The initial occupancy of these Knights is then stated as the beginning of the medieval period in the town of Rhodes or called the Middle Ages period. The Knights of Rhodes reconstructed the town into European medieval landmarks. They established castles, monuments, and strong walls throughout the town which are still seen nowadays. The Rhodes suffered two attacks from the Egypt Sultan (1444) and Mehmed II (1480), but the Knights of Rhodes finally surrendered after they were defeated by Suleiman the Great’s army in 1522. The survival of the Knights retreated to Sicily and later shifted their base to Malta. Rhodes was then under the occupancy of the Turkish Empire for almost 4 centuries.

The constructions built during the Knights of Rhodes’ occupancy are stretched from the Medieval Town’s entrance walls, which is later called the Old Town. The European medieval architecture is strongly visible on the buildings, fountains, mosques, churches, even castles of the Knights of Rhodes, and the Grand Master’s Palace are restored and conserved until now. The building where the Knight of Saint John inhabited centuries ago still firmly stands is now called Saint John’s Church. The Auvergne’s Inn subsequently functioned as the Great Hospital was established circa 1440 to 1489, and nowadays this building is operated as a museum of archeological. After the occupancy of Suleiman that brought in Islamic influence, the Turkish Empire converted most of those buildings into Islamic places of worship in 1523, such as Suleiman’s Mosque, Djami of Demirli, Djami of Abdul Djelil, Djami of Peial ed Din, Mestchiti of Kavakli, and Mestchiti of Dolapli. More constructions were executed during their occupancy include the Archbishop's Palace, the Court of Commerce, the Hospice of Saint Catherine, and many more. As well as the restoration of Byzantine fortifications and the insertion of military posts by adding armaments weapons into the 12m thick and 4m high walls. The landmark in this Medieval Town of Rhodes delivers the exceptional and enchanting view, dense with its historical values.

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