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Rhodes Dodecanese Guide Page 5

Street of the Knights

the defensive fortifications of the knights in 1461Street of the Knights (Odos Ippoton) is east from the Platia Kleovoulou in front of the Palace. Before they were ousted by the Ottoman Turks, the Knights of St. John stayed in inns lining this boulevard which were designated according the the ethnic and linguistic origins of the Knights, each with the coat of arms of the Grand Master who was in charge at the time that they were built.

The Inn of France (1509) has crocodile gargoyles and escutcheons adorning it. The French Knights predominated among the nationalities represented. Next to the inn is a townhouse that belonged to Villier de l'Isle Adam.

Close by are also the Inn of Spain, the Inn of Provence, the Inn of Italy, and, beyond two squares, the restored Inn of England, which was first abandoned in 1534 when the Pope excommunicated Henry VIII. It was struck by an earthquake in 1851, rebuilt by the British, bombed and rebuilt again in 1947.

The old inn buildings are for the most part now occupied by government offices and cultural institutions, but the Inn of Auvergne, built in the 15th century, houses a cultural center. It is located past the arch, in the Plateia Argyrokastro, and is one of the most beautiful of the inns, with a fountain from a Byzantine baptismal font. Near it is the first hospital on Rhodes, whicfh later became the Palace of the Armeria, built by Grand Master Roger de Pins.

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