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Fortifications of Rhodes

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  • James Mathews
    Senator Cassius: In response to your questions, I have been devoting a little time to studying a book by the name of: The Fortress of Rhodes, 1309 to 1522,
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 12, 2012
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      Senator Cassius:

      In response to your questions, I have been devoting a little time to studying a book by the name of:

      "The Fortress of Rhodes, 1309 to 1522," Konstantin Nossov, Brian Delf (Illust.), Osprey Series, Fortress 96, Oxford, UK, 2010;

      I have ben concentrating on three of the forts that were / are a part of the fortifications for the city of Rhodes (Page 37, Plate "F").  These three are:

      -- 1. Fort Saint Nicholas;
      -- 2. Nailliac Tower;
      -- 3. Tower of the Windmills (also known as the Tower of France or the Tower of the Angel).

      I have finished drawing / tracing numbers 2. and 3. and am now working on No. 1.  These three structures were the towers and forts that protected the entrance to the harbours of the city of Rhodes in the early sixteenth century.  However, on the whole the defences of this sector are typical of the mid-fifteenth century.  While this is a little late for our period of study, I am very interested in the fortress as a whole.  

      The massive chain that was thrown across the mouth of the harbour was secured between the Tower of the Windmills and the Naillac Tower.  The eastern mole where the Tower of the Windmills was set, was so-called because under the Hospitallers, the mole had some fifteen mills along the mole.  The tower was constructed in the period 1440 -- 1454.  Under the Turks these windmills were reduced to only three such  structures.  The Tower of the Windmills was built  by the GrandMaster d'Aubusson who had the coat of arms of France placed on the tower.   

      The Naillac Tower was built between 1396 and 1421 by the GrandMaster Philibert de Naillac before the development of cannons on the mole East of the Gate of Saint Paul, that closes the commercial harbour.  It had a square shape like many other medieval towers and was 46m (145 ft.) high.  It was the terminal of the wall belt facing the harbour and was used as a watch tower.  It was severely damaged during the earthquakes of the nineteenth century and was demolished by the Ottoman administration.

      The Tower and Fort of St. Nicholas guarded the military harbor and was built between 1464 and 1467 by the GrandMaster Zacosta at the end of the natural mole.  After the siege of Rhodes in 1480, the GrandMaster d'Aubusson added a bastion around the tower transforming it into a guard fortress on the sea.  

      Besides the fortifications erected in Rhodes by the Order of St. John, the city has preserved some remains of the Byzantine defences, which were utilized by the Hospitallers as an inner wall separating the knight's residences from the rest of the city populated by Greeks.  The first Byzantine wall was built as early as the seventh century; the second one rose parallel to the first and was 10-12m further South in the late eleventh or early twelfth century.  The walls survive in places in a section extending about 500 m from the Guardia Tower, later turned into the Clock Tower, on the West wall built by the Hospitallers along the harbour.  The wall runs roughly along the Theofiliskou and Agisandrou streets.  Its eight surviving towers are in various stages of preservation.  The easternmost tower was repaired at the time of Heredia (1376 -- 1396) which is witnessed by his coat of arms on the tower.  The knights turned the inside of the tower into a church.  In 1475 the Hospitallers dug out a deep and wide ditch in front of the Byzantine wall and built outworks in front of the gates and some of the towers. 

      My thanks for your very kind comments; in regard to the drawing-tracings of the forts / towers, I cannot sell them because they are published in this book.  However, if you want a copy of them, just let me know and I will send you a copy of the drawing by snail=mail.  Make sure I have your postal address.

      References:


      Respectfully Submitted;

      Marcus Audens      


    • James Mathews
      Greetings All; Yesterday Evening I finally finished the drawing of the second major individual fortification within the Rhodes City forts. For those who may
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 17, 2012
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        Greetings All;

        Yesterday Evening I finally finished the drawing of the second major individual fortification within the Rhodes City forts.  For those who may have an interest, the drawing uploaded was "The Tower of the Windmills."  The first drawing in my blog which I had named the Windmill Tower, is actually the Naillac Tower.  These two towers stand opposite each other across the mouth of the Harbour of Rhodes.  When they were constructed, a heavy chain thrown across the harbour had one end fastened to the Naillac Tower and the other end was made fast to the Tower of the Windmills.  

        Each of these towers were constructed at the extreme ends of two moles.  The Tower of the Windmills was built at the end of a long mole which extended 300 meters to the North of the city.  The Naillac Tower was built under the guidance of Grand Master de Naillac (1396 - 1421).  The Tower of the Windmills was built by the Grand Master Jean d Lastic in (1441 - 1442).  The tower was destroyed in the major earthquake which shook the island in 1863.   The Tower of Windmills was also seriously damaged during the siege of 1480, and was restored by Grand Master d' Aubusson who also fortified the tower and turned it into a fort, since it was apparent that the Turks would return and not give up their attempts to take the fortifications.  

        I am currently working on the third individual tower which is the St. Nicholas tower / fort.

        Reference:

        Konstantin Nossov, Brian Delf (Illustrator), " The Fortress of Rhodes 1309-1522," Fortress 96, Osprey Pub., Oxford, U. K., 2010.

        Respectfully Submitted;

        Marcus Audens

             

      • James Mathews
        Greetings All; The Byzantium Blog identity is: http://ByzantiumNovumMilitarium.blogspot.com Respectfully; Marcus Audens
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 17, 2012
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          Greetings All;

          The Byzantium Blog identity is:


          Respectfully;

          Marcus Audens

          On Jul 17, 2012, at 10:19 PM, James Mathews wrote:

          Greetings All;


          Yesterday Evening I finally finished the drawing of the second major individual fortification within the Rhodes City forts.  For those who may have an interest, the drawing uploaded was "The Tower of the Windmills."  The first drawing in my blog which I had named the Windmill Tower, is actually the Naillac Tower.  These two towers stand opposite each other across the mouth of the Harbour of Rhodes.  When they were constructed, a heavy chain thrown across the harbour had one end fastened to the Naillac Tower and the other end was made fast to the Tower of the Windmills.  

          Each of these towers were constructed at the extreme ends of two moles.  The Tower of the Windmills was built at the end of a long mole which extended 300 meters to the North of the city.  The Naillac Tower was built under the guidance of Grand Master de Naillac (1396 - 1421).  The Tower of the Windmills was built by the Grand Master Jean d Lastic in (1441 - 1442).  The tower was destroyed in the major earthquake which shook the island in 1863.   The Tower of Windmills was also seriously damaged during the siege of 1480, and was restored by Grand Master d' Aubusson who also fortified the tower and turned it into a fort, since it was apparent that the Turks would return and not give up their attempts to take the fortifications.  

          I am currently working on the third individual tower which is the St. Nicholas tower / fort.

          Reference:

          Konstantin Nossov, Brian Delf (Illustrator), " The Fortress of Rhodes 1309-1522," Fortress 96, Osprey Pub., Oxford, U. K., 2010.

          Respectfully Submitted;

          Marcus Audens

               



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