This year is the 500th anniversary of the surrender of Rhodes to Ottoman sultan Suleiman I and the departure of the Knights Hospitaller, who were obliged to abandon the Dodecanese which they had held as a sovereign state for 216 years. They were accompanied by a substantial portion of the urban inhabitants, about three thousand people, many of whom eventually settled with them on Malta. The Greek community in Malta continued to exist until the 18th century.[...]
To mark this anniversary, the Ephorate of Antiquities of the Dodecanese presents to the public for the first time the Knights of Rhodes as an Order and as individuals. The commemorative historical exhibition ΜΝΗ/ΕΜΟΣ/SΥΝΟΝ, Knights of Rhodes 1309-1522 up close and personal, is held in the first floor of the Auberge of the Langue of Spain on the Street of the Knights; its design is partly intended to enable the running of heritage classes. It is laid out in two parts: in the great hall are presented the organization and function of the Order as a state in the period of Rhodes; the two smaller rooms are dedicated to the life of the Knights themselves from the moment they joined the Order until their death.
This Exhibit reveals the substance behind the romance of the Knights of Rhodes (1309-1522). It tells the visitor who they were, why they came to Rhodes, what they were up to here and elsewhere, and why. It endeavours to bring them closer to us across the gap of five hundred years in various ways, including visual cues they themselves would have recognized.
We will not see many artifacts behind glass, but you’ll find much colour, atmosphere and information. From the iron-swallowing orstrich which doesn’t yet bury its head in the sand ‒that is a later invention‒ to the sober witness of dressed and carved stone, this is a trip into a past seen in both its official and personal aspects, and in two different ways deliberately set side-by-side: the clarity of up-to-date scholarship displayed on the wall panels against lively short stories from the adventures of particular Knights mounted on low scaffolding.
The great hall of the Auberge accomodates the public face of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, contrasting theory and practice; two smaller rooms are dedicated to the personal life of the Knights Hospitaller.
This Exhibition tells the visitor who the Knights of Rhodes were, why they came to Rhodes, what they were up to here and elsewhere, and why.