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The Catholic Churches of Rhodes, Dodecanese: The long occupation of Rhodes by the Venetians and the Italians, from the Middle Ages till 1948, has left its strong mark on the culture of the island. This is depicted in the architecture as well as the many Catholic churches in Rhodes island. Very few of them work today. Hereby we present you the most important Catholic churches in Rhodes.
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The church of Our Lady of Victory, known as Santa Maria is the most famous Catholic Church on the island. Originally the church was destroyed during the Grand Siege in 1522. The church distinguished for its gothic architecture and it was rebuilt in 1742, while it became the official Catholic Church of Rhodes. The building complex includes the Monastery of Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land, the pastors of the island and the monastery guesthouse that has been the scope of historical studies and researches. During the 1960s, the church underwent many renovations and reconstruction works. Today, the church is centrally located in the New Town of Rhodes, near the Casino.
The Church of Agios Frangiskos (Saint Francis of Assisi) is the official Latin Church of Rhodes. It is situated next to the Orthodox church of Saint Athanasios. Its construction began in 1936 and it was completed in 1939. It is dedicated to Agios Frankiskos, a man who fought in many wars and lived a high- spirited life in great poverty. A vision that he saw during a serious illness led him to dedicate his life to charities. He is known as the patron saint of animals.
The church was designed by the Italian architect Stefano Pellini and has very nice acoustics. It has a unique architecture with white marble. The walls of the chorus depict the three most significant events from the life of Saint Francis. A local craftsman created an iron statue of Saint Francis, at the right side of the church where it standstill today. The statue is surrounded by blackberry bushes, palm trees, and animals. The church celebrates on October 4th.
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The Chapel of the Holy Cross is located at the entrance of the Catholic Cemetery of Rhodes in Faliraki and it is used mostly for funerals. It is a white church with yellow trimmings built around the 13th century. In its present form, the bell tower is attached to the church building which has a typical cross-vaulted roof. Rooms are available for guests who wish to stay overnight.
The Chapel of Saint Anne is a small church located at the beach resort of Trianda, next to a monastery surrounded by a beautiful garden. Henri Masse donated the chapel to the Catholic Church dedicated to the memory of his sister Adelaida. Among the locals, it is known as the church of Santa Anna. Its beachfront location inspires peace and harmony. The church does not work today.
The Chapel of the Sacred Heart is situated in downtown Rhodes, near a busy area, and behind a school. The church is housed in a very old building painted with pale yellow. At the front entrance of the church, there is an old bell.
The Church of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary is located at the old port of Kos. This church was constructed in the 1920s, during the Italian occupation of the island. Originally, this church was Catholic and served the Italian Catholic community until 1948. Later, it was turned into a Greek Orthodox Church and, in fact, it was declared as the Cathedral of Rhodes. Along with the necessary decorative reformations needed to turn a Catholic church into an Orthodox, interesting frescoes were also painted in the interior by the renowned Greek painter, Fotis Kontoglou.
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