the departure of the Knights of Rodos
(later Knights of Malta), it was annexed to the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish
occupation of Rhodes
was the darkest period in its history, as indeed it was for the whole of Greece.
The island was under the control of a Kapudan Pasha (a full Admiral), while
the city itself was capital of the Vilayet (Province) of the Aegean and was
the seat of the General Administrator.
In the early 20th century it was occupied by the Italian army, and only at
the end of the Second World War, together with the other isles of the Dodecanese,
eventually became a part of the Greek Republic. With its history, rich with
multi-ethnic influences, this island has always been a welcoming port where
you can find very easily the traces of its origin.
In its long existence (more than 2.400 years of documented history), the
island of Rhodes
has always been the central point in the major events concerning mankind.
Born independent, it managed to keep as such for centuries, only surrendering
to Alexander the Great's dream and later to the expansion
of the Roman Empire.
When the capital city of the Empire was shifted from Rome to Constantinople,
passed under the hegemony of Byzantium.
Later occupied by the Arabs, the Venetians and the Franks, under the rule
of the Knights of St. John (the Hospitallers), it acquired again its former
importance as a sea and trade power.
The period during which the Knights ruled in Rhodes
was the most brilliant in their history.
After entrenching themselves in Rodos,
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.