As we start our journey again – I am tagging on discreetly with the tour group – we arrive at Argyrokastro Square or the Square of the Hebrew Martyrs which is easier to pronounce!
As I stand in the medieval square with flowers climbing up the buildings and water flowing from the well in the centre, I feel like any minute The Knights of St John will come trundling around the corner. The Square by itself, isn’t much, but with a little imagination, it can become a new world.
Construction of it was begun in 1440 and brought to completion in the time of the Grand Master d’Aubusson.
There are also lots and lots of little shops. A lot of gold displays – a lot of touristy trash – lots of clothing and t-shirts – I continue with the group – keeping my distance of course.
One of the most famous areas inside the Medieval City is the Street of the Knights leading up to the Palace of the Grand Master.
Lined with ‘inns’ built for the Knights crusading with The Order, there were originally seven different nationalities, unfortunately there remains only four inns – those of France, Italy, Provence and Spain.
Each of the hostels is adorned with a crest representing their nation. In order to protect the city, the seven tongues each were responsible for guarding a specific area of the wall, which they did successfully for more than 200 years.
Walking along this street, I think back to the armour-clad knights walking right where I am. Some of the old “inns” may be open as today they serve as art studios to government offices.
These are the crests on the Inn of France.
The Inn of France is the largest and most beautiful of all the hostels because the French Knights were dominant. The Inn was almost destroyed in the siege of 1480 and was restored around 1492. Below are more photos of the Inn – and of course the typical gargoyle.
The story goes that the Grand Master killed a crocodile that had escaped from a ship (probably from Egypt) and said croc then went around and terrified the inhabitants – the animal now adorns the edges of the roof.
The Madonna and Babe stands outside the Chapel of the Holy Trinity, a small Gothic building from 14-15 century.
Next is the Inn of Provence – and some more crests –
The Inn is on the right side of the street as I go up the hill.
On the other side of the street is the Inn of Spain – they are connected by an arch bridge. Of course there are other Inns but they are down side streets that I may be able to investigate later..
I have reached the top of the street and standing in front of the Palace of the Grand Master – what a sight this is.
Let’s start a new page for this part of our journey – this will take us right through to dinner tonight!