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Rhodes Castle

Blue Gap

Rhodes Town

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    The castle of the Knights of St John in Rhodes town is one of the finest examples of Crusader military architecture in the world. The castle is really impressive and has been maintained in excellent condition. No wonder it has been proclaimed a World Heritage Site.
    If you walk towards the small harbour and then turn right and right again you'll feel instantly transported to Medieval times surrounded by massive walls and towers. Visit the Palace of the Knights and walk along the cobbled streets and narrow alleys where a bazaar type market offers traditional crafts and other souvenirs.

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The Knights of Rhodes.

    The Order of the Knights of St. John was founded as a charitable brotherhood in Jerusalem. After 1099, when the Crusaders took Jerusalem, the Order gained in strength and became more of a military organization under the control and authority of the church. When Jerusalem fell to Saladin, in 1187, the Knights moved to Acre, in northern Palestine, and eventually to Cyprus, where King Henry II ceded them Limassol. They stayed only 18 years in Cyprus before moving on to Rhodes.

    The period during which the Knights ruled in Rhodes was the most brilliant in their history. After entrenching themselves in Rhodes, the Knights extended their power over the neighboring islands and, for a considerable time, over Smyrna. The Knights left imposing evidence of their presence in Rhodes, and gave to the island the particular character it retains to this day, with its impregnable walls, gates, churches, hospitals, Inns and palaces. Their stay in Rhodes lasted 213 years, until 1522, when, after strong resistance, the island was surrendered to the Turks.