The Knights of Saint John
The first recorded master of the Order is known only by the name of Gerard. He ran a pilgrim's hospice in Jerusalem at the time of the first Crusade in 1099. In 1113, Gerard and his hospital received papal recognition as a religious order. Gradually, the order assumed military responsibilities to defend pilgrims and to protect Christian land from the Muslims. The Order of the Hospital, likethe Order of the Temple, played an important role in fighting the crusades. But the Hospitallers continued to provide medical services and hospitality for travelers.
The Christian kingdoms in the Latin East ended with the fall of Acre in 1291. The Knights of the Hospital first fled to Cyprus, but they conquered the island of Rhodes in 1310. In Rhodes the Knights ruled their own kingdom and defended western Europe against the expanding Ottoman Empire. At this time the Order organized itself into the seven tongues (or langues): Provence, Auvergne, France, Spain, Italy, England, and Germany. Later the Spanish tongue was divided in two (Aragon and Castile-León) creating eight tongues in all. In 1480, the Knights successfully defended the city of Rhodes against a Turkish assault, but the Turks returned and captured the island in 1522. The Knights withdrew from Rhodes looking for a new home base. To prevent the further spread of the Ottoman Empire, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V gave the island of Malta to the Knights.
The Knights left Rhodes in 1522, the island of Malta became Christian Europe's next line of defense against the Ottoman Turks. The Siege of Malta in 1565 began in May with the arrival of 40,000 Ottoman Turks led by Dragut, the Governor of Tripoli. Although heavily undermanned, Grand Master Jean la Valette successfully defended Malta from the Turks until early September. The critical and decisive moment of the siege came on September 7, 1565. On that day, 8,000 additional troops led by Garcia de Toledo landed in Mellieha Bay. The arrival of these reinforcements forced the Turks to end the siege the following day
- Historical Travel
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, however, it did not bestride the harbour entrance as is commonly pictured. It's 20 tons of bronze would have sunk immediately into the sea bed. The statue of Rhodes' protector, sun-god, Helios, 32 metres (105 ft.) high, probably stood near the Palace of the Grand Masters, site of an ancient sanctuary.
Sculptor Charles of Lindos took 12 years to cast the Colossus. Extracting bronze from battle machines and tools left after Demetrius's abortive siege, he finished the work around 290BC. He commited suicide after discovering a mistake in his calculations. An assistant tried to correct it but to no avail. During an earthquake around 225BC, the Colossus cracked at the knees and crashed to the ground.
The Delphic oracle warned Rhodians not to restore the statue, and the crumpled bronze lay where it had fallen for nearly 900 years. Arab pirates shipped it to the Lebanon, selling it as scrap to Jewish merchants, who needed 90 Camels to carry it away.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Seeing many shops that sell umbrellas (only) can be very surprising, especially on the island at the border between Mediterranean and Aegean sea. Story says, that if you buy an umbrella on Rhodes, you'll come there again. Yup, stupid. Nonetheless, I bought one.
A few Greek word always come in handy ...
Good morning/Good day=Kaliméra; Good evening/Good night=Kalispéra, Kaliníca; Goodbay=Yá sas; Please=Parakaló; Excuse me=Me sinchórite or Signómi; Thank you=Efcharistó
The white trees
The fact that the trunks of the trees are often painted white (limewash) in Rhodes and Greece is primarily to fight the ants and other insects. And besides that it looks nice, too!
The village fest was a...
The village fest was a memorable experience to an 11 year old. I remember so well dancing with this great personality.
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