Tuesday, February 26, 2013

St. Panteleimon Church, Rhodes

The Church of St. Panteleimon is located in the eastern part of the old town of Rhodes, near the city walls. It was built in order to commemorate the victory of the Christian defenders of Rhodes against the Ottoman besiegers. The siege began on the 23rd of May, 1840, and it ended two months later with huge losses by the Ottomans, on July 27th, the day that the Orthodox Church celebrates St. Panteleimon. 

After the invasion of Rhodes by the Ottomans, the church was abandoned, due to the fact that all the Christians were forces to live outside the city walls. According to Albert Gabriel, who visited Rhodes in 1923, the church was used as a residence by a family of Jews. Under the Italian rule it was used as a prison and under the English administration it was used as a police station. Finally the church was given to the Orthodox Church, after the incorporation of the Dodecanese. It was consecrated on Palm Sunday, April 25th  1948, by Bishop Timothy of Rhodes. A beautiful feature of this small church is the fact that it depicts, all around its walls, the life and the martyrdom of Saint Panteleimon, giving this a detailed biography of this famous Christian Saints. 

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