Unfolding the history about the Mosques and Synagogues in Rhodes…

The Rhodes Jewish Synagogue

Located in the Medieval Old Town, a short walk from the harbor.

The Synagogue is over 400 years old, interesting architecturally as well as fanatical. The Museum offers an excellent story of the Jewish community of Rhodes, well conserved and still has the air of antiquity.

The Jewish quarter extends into the eastern part of the city, dedicated to the memory of the Jews who lived here for more than a thousand years.  Passing the ruins of the gothic church of St Marie de la Victoire one reaches the Evreon Martirion (Square of the Jewish Martyrs) with a monument in the centre of the square in memory of the deportation of the Jews to the Nazi concentration camps in 1944.

 

 

The only synagogue to have survived is the restored Kahal Kadosh Shalom, which houses a small museum dedicated to the history of the Jews of Rhodes.  The descendants of the people who lived there support the museum with beautiful costumes, religious artifacts and photos, the museum tells the story of the Sephardic Jewish community in Greece.  

A visit not be missed, an experience to hear about the history through the eyes of the Jewish community who  do their best to keep their Synagogue open to the visitors and the opportunity to get  familiar with the history of a once-vivid community and its tragic ending in 1944.

You do not have to be Jewish to be moved by their story, or to visit the oldest Jewish synagogue the only one remaining in Rhodes

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The Turkish - Murat Reis Mosque in  Rhodes Town

The Murat Reis Mosque with its ornate minaret lies near to the Prefectural Building in Rhodes, one of the oldest mosques on the island, built less than a year after the Ottoman conquest in 1523.   Constructed on the site of the St. Antonios church next to the cemetery of the Knights.

The facade of the mosque has been renovated, but it retains its ambiance and is a fascinating place to visit. Further renovations are needed in order to protect this historically important site for future generations to enjoy.

The mosque is named after Murat Reis, who is buried in the cemetery within the grounds. One of the Ottoman Empire’s most successful naval commanders, he was also considered by many to be one of the most important Barbary corsairs.

 

 

For centuries sailors visited his tomb at the mosque seeking good luck at sea. He was later in life relieved of his post by the Ottoman Sultan for what was considered to be his sarcastic poetry. 

In the square around the mosque the ruins of the ancient walls have been found together with inscribed stone balls marked with their weight. They weight 2 to 261 kilos approximately. From the type of letters the balls have been dated to the famed siege by Dimitris Poliorcetes.

The Turkish Cemetery is located right next door to the Murat Reis Mosque.

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