Tracing medieval footsteps down the the ‘Odos Ippoton’ on our way to dinner, it was easy to imagine whispers in the dark. The swishing of silk trains, the clang of armour, the neighing of horses, the clink of sword and spear.
Less eerie in the glare of daylight, but just as atmospheric, the ‘Road of the Knights‘ is a 200 meter remnant of the original cobbled road that once stretched from Rhodes harbour to the acropolis.
Lined on either side by the Inns of the Tongues (subgroupings by nationality), from the Grand Masters Palace to the Knights hospital, this is considered one of the best preserved medieval streets in Europe. Built between the 13th and 15th centuries, the inns are mainly identifiable by the coats of arms inscribed on stone above their portals, many of which have been carted off to museums in Istanbul and elsewhere.
Founded in the 11th century by Gerard Thom also known as “Blessed Thom” to provide care to sick and injured pilgrims to the holy lands, the Knights Hospitallers of St. John evolved into a religious and military order that was evicted from the very land they were meant to defend after the Islamic invasion.
The Knights (not to be confused with the Knights Templar) retreated to Rhodes in 1309 (captured in turn from the Genoese) and their heroic defense of this last bastion of Christianity in the increasingly Islamic region is the stuff of legends. After the final siege* led by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1522, the Knights were forced to surrender and were offered safe passage to western Europe along with the surviving christian residents.
They drifted around Europe for a while before settling in Malta and came to be known as the Knights of Malta. The French invasion of Malta dispersed them yet again until the early 19th century, when rechristened as the Sovereign Military Order Of Malta, they set up base in Rome and dedicated themselves to humanitarian causes, that continues to this date, with associations in over 120 countries. The English tongue evolved into the St John Ambulance Brigade in 1887.
- The human cost of the siege – 2000 (out of a population of 7000) Christians and 50000 Ottomans!.
76 thoughts on “The Road Of The Knights”
That is a very well preserved building.
The palace was heavily restored by the Italians in the early 19th century Debra, although they adhered to the original style and discarded all the Ottoman additions.
A grand road to the Knights, fascinating history, and beautiful photos! Thank you, Madhu!
No thank YOU Amy 🙂
Incredible history Madhu, you are so good at this!
A few photos and a bit of history…I don’t need to do much Gilly 🙂
After reading this post my mind was transported to Coventry in England where I could feel the medieval atmosphere when I walked through the ancient roads. By the way, the fact that Sovereign Military Order of Malta is a nation to some extent is really interesting.
The legends and stories help assimilate the feel of a place. Thanks Bama
Memorable days in Rhodes … Nice shots. Take a look at my previous post on Rhodes and Crusader castles http://wp.me/pDYuL-1ri
Thanks Kalpana! Your photos are gorgeous, especially the night shots! Thanks for leading me to your lovely blog 🙂
Thank you … Glad you like my posts. I stayed nearly 2 weeks on the island which gave me some time to explore. I came three times and was enjoyable the place is indeed submerged with history A fascinating island …. As you are a globetrotter like me I will follow your blog for more exciting posts … have a nice day 🙂
What beautiful pictures! I just love your blog- can’t wait for more!
Thank you, that is a sweet thing to say 🙂 I appreciate your visit and comment.
Beautiful pictures and a fascinating history lesson shared in a style that is fabulous, as always ;o)
Thank you Sahbina 🙂 I always worry that I am including too much history.
Fascinating post, Madhu, and a wonderful entry to the challenge.
Thank you Robin 🙂
Thanks for transporting us back in time. Enjoyed the experience.
BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!
Glad you did! Thank you Francine.
Thank you Shalvika 🙂
Thanks for visiting my sight so I could find you. I’m so glad I did because your pictures are amazing and you tell a wonderful story. You grabbed me into your story so well that I felt I had been transformed into the 13th century. Great work.
Thank you Pat 🙂 Appreciate your stopping by to comment.
Liked the Caption…… Nice clicks Madhu akka… 🙂
I learn so much fascinating history from your posts, Madhu. The Grand Master’s Place is such awesome building. I love those turrets on top of the pillars. I belonged to the St John’s Ambulance Brigade when I was a teenager in England, but never knew how it was founded.
Thank you AD. I always struggle with how much history to include. Left to me i will write a thesis 🙂
Great photos and very interesting post.
I love the history; I love your photos; I love your prose! I think I am living vicariously through you Madhu. Thanks!
Oh, you are too kind 🙂 Than YOU for reading L&T!
Your posts are always so informative and accompanied by great images. Your first paragraph transported me into your story.
Thanks Susan 🙂 Shall catch up with your blog soon, am kind of overwhelmed after my week off!
I hate you, Madhu! You traveled so much, I envy you. 😀 love the first lines as well. Exactly what I try to convey in my head whenever I tour historical places, to imagine and feel like how it was then.
You will get to all these places eventually Rommel. Stop envying and start charting a plan 🙂
Great photos, great post, interesting history! Well done! 🙂
Thank you so much TRS!
Interesting post and as always some great shots…. 😉
Thanks Ledrake, always a pleasure to see you here 🙂
Wow! What a story behind that…sad that he was evicted despite being a caregiver! Europe is just so beautiful, even labyrinthine streets can appear beautiful.
They (not he) prayed to the wrong God 🙂 I agree, the pleasure of getting lost in beautiful European streets is something else.
Beautiful post Madhu , I love it Thanks for sharing my friend 🙂
Your challenge was inspiring Jake and your animations of course! Not sure if i can participate this week though! Way too much catching up to do 😉
It`s okey my friend Take your time 🙂
Impressive structures and photos.
Thanks Judy. And apologies for not dropping by your blog for so long. Shall try and catch up soon 🙂
This post is great, of course! I worried last week. Hope everything went okay. I had no idea if you were in the north. I am not getting you in reader or email. Am going to unfollow and then follow again to see if you show up. 🙂
Oh thank you George, I am touched!
The unfollow/follow should sort out the email notifications.
What a breathtaking place, Madhu! I would love to walk those streets.
And I, some of those in your neighbourhood! Thanks Kate. Have been missing your posts. shall be over when I find some time to read at leisure.
What a fascinating history! And an amazing trip! I’ve missed checking in on your blog somehow. Glad to get back to it. Always such amazing pictures and interesting history!
Thanks Arnel. Look forward to catching up with you when things ease up a bit 🙂
Hope everyone and everything is O.K. with you!
Fascinating and excellent entry for Roads, Madhu. I have read several books about the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitallers of St. John and the Crusades – this post provides a rich background to all that.
Glad you enjoyed this Lynne! thank you so much.
Clever interpretation, Madhu. I really enjoyed Rhodes but our son was tiny at the time so we didn’t have much chance to focus on the history.
Thanks Jo! It is always harder when traveling with children.
The images are stunning, Madhu. And I especially LOVE your opening lines here! 🙂
Thank you Riba! Means a lot coming from you 🙂
Fascinating! Exquisite photos.
Thank you Maggie! And pleased to meet you 🙂
Awesome post with lovely photos. I felt like walking with You when admiring You photos.
Oh, that is generous of you Sartenada! Thanks for coming along 🙂
In tomorrow’s post I will nominate you for the Inspiring Blog Award. Congratulations.
Oh, thank you Sally! I am honoured and touched.
Fascinating! You are quite talented at providing historical tours and photos tours. Thank you.
Thank you Fergie! And if you are wondering why the overwhelming gratitude, I am playing belated catch up with my old posts 🙂
Beautiful and Awesome
Thanks again DJ 🙂
Quite engaging and great photos too. 😉
Thank you Eliz 🙂
This was really interesting, Madhu. I always learn something new when you post, and the photos are great.
Appreciate your kind words Naomi, thank you so much 🙂
Like stepping back in time 🙂
Such an exciting post. I am a fan of knights and anything medieval. I’ve been wathing the series Merlin lately and it’s really cool. Thanks.Beautiful post. Have a great weekend my friend.
This writing and photos are quite convincing 🙂 It seems like a worthwile destination 🙂