The Knights of Rhodes. 1309 AD - 1522 AD

The Order of St John is a Roman Catholic religious and military order established in Rome, Italy. The Order grew from the Knights Hospitaller, an organization founded in Jerusalem in 1050 and related to an Amalfitan hospital to supply take care of poor and sick pilgrims to the Holy Land. After the capture of Jerusalem in 1099 during the 1st Crusade, it became a Catholic military order under its own charter from the Pope. Following the loss of Christian held territories of the Holy Land to Muslims, the Order worked from Rhodes (1309 -1522), over which they were sovereign, and later from Malta (1530-1798).

The years when Rhodes was occupied by the Order of the Knights of St. John could be considered as one of the Rhodes’ most flourishing periods. The Knights stayed at Rhodes for 213 whole years, since 1309 till 1522 when the last Grand Master was forced to hand over the town to the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. They left imposing evidence of their time on Rhodes and gave it particular color which the town still retains in its impregnable walls, its gates, the churches and the hospitals, the inns and the majestic palaces.

The Knights of St John Today

The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta (Official Name)

The Order of Malta is one of the few Orders created in the Middle Ages and still active today. It is also the only one that is at the same time religious and sovereign. After the loss of Malta the Order settled definitively in Rome in 1834 where it owns, with extraterritoriality status, the Magistral Palace in Via Condotti 68 and the Magistral Villa on the Aventine Hill.

The Flags and Emblems of the Order

The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law, with its own constitution, passports, stamps, and public institutions. The Order has diplomatic relations with 104 countries - many of which non-Catholic - and missions to major European countries, as well as to European and international organizations. The original Hospitaller mission became once again the main activity of the Order, growing ever stronger during the last century. On 2 May 2018,  Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre has been elected the 80th Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta.

For more information please visit the official website of the Order at:

Τhe Medieval Rose Festival

Τhe Medieval Rose Festival is held every year on Rhodes since 2006, organized by the “Medieval Rose” association and is a unique of its kind event in Greece.. It is a cultural event inspired of the medieval history of the island and re-enacts the every day life as well as legendary events of the time.

Agenda also includes artistic events, seminars, bazaars, workshops, exhibitions and conventions related to the era. All participants should be dressed in a medieval manner and all settings and equipment used made of appropriate to the epoch materials.  Hosting venue is the Moat and Gate d’ Amboise, while various happenings take place around the Medieval town. Main aim is to maintain the cultural heritage of Rhodes island and highlight the value of the extant byzantine and medieval architectural treasures.

For more information please visit:

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