Medieval Rose Festival in Rhodes

May 27, 2016 — May 29, 2016 • Category: Events

The Medieval Rose, founded in 2005, is a non-governmental and non-profit institution whose aim is to support and promote the medieval history and legacy of Rhodes and more specifically the Medieval Rose Festival. The first festival was realized in 2007 and since then, the local contributors and sponsors have managed to make its realization possible on an annual basis. The goal of the Festival is to provide a connection with the roots and revive the memories of the medieval cultural ancestry of the island and address an open call for participation to the inhabitants of the island but also to artists from Greece and abroad. The most amazing thing about the Festival is that its creative team comprises almost exclusively of volunteers whose sole aim is to promote the history of the island and provide a unique experience to the participants.
The Festival is taking place from the 27th to the 29th of May this year and as always it includes a series of interesting events. Its structure comprises of workshops on medieval crafting, re-enactments of medieval battles or swordfights and other educational and/or artistic events and parallel exhibitions whose aim is to promote and revive the rich Medieval and Byzantine history of the island. Through the various activities, which are suitable for both children and adults as well as for english-speaking people, visitors can become part of the long Medieval tradition and get to know more about the medieval art and customs. Sometimes, connections with other Medieval European Festivals are available as part of the programme.
During the Festival, you can enjoy activities such as wandering around the medieval streets of Rhodes or take part in the chase of the Dragon which is shaped according to a hearsay tradition. Players are divided in teams and then they have to solve riddles and prove their bravery in order to win. The winning player is receiving the Cape and the awarding ceremony is marking the opening of the Festival.
It is no wonder why the island of Rhodes boasts such a rich Medieval History since its long tradition starts with the pre-hellenic tribes of the Telchines and later those of the Mycenaeans and the Achaeans. Due to its strategic position, Rhodes has been a very turbulent spot throughout its history. In 1309, Rhodes falls under the possession of the multi-national Order of the Knights of St John who were forced to leave the Holy Lands by the Muslims. It was then that the city started to be forcefully fortified and gain power as a political and naval center. In 1522, Rhodes becomes a province of the Ottoman Empire after having already faced a first Turkish siege in 1480. During the next centuries to come, Rhodes follows the history of Greece, remaining in a state of darkness and economic degradation. However, all these centuries of interaction with foreign cultures and empires have left a rich cultural legacy to the island, which is meant to be celebrated and revived through the Festival.
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