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Guided visit of the Sacred Places of 3 Monotheistic Religions – 1001 Actions for Dialogue

Within the concept of 2008 being declared as European year of Intercultural Dialogue the House of Europe in Rhodes in collaboration with the Αnna Lindh Foundation, of which it is a member, participates in its Program titled «1001 Actions for Dialogue» and to fulfill this aim it has organized a: “Guiding in the Sacred Places of the tree Monotheistic Religions”.

More than 120 friends and members of the House of Europe have participated. They all met at 10.30 p.m. in the Medieval City. This historic walk lasted 4,5 hours.

  • The Secretary of the “House” Mrs. Marilena Sokianou, Licensed Official Guide and graduate of International Relations, has guided the numerous group.She started with a historical introduction during which she has gracefully described the situation in Rhodes during the Byzantine period, its occupation by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem and the two sieges of the Ottomans against Rhodes. She has explained the development of the fortifications in Rhodes in order to face the Ottoman danger and finally how Rhodes has been conquered in 1522 by the numerous Turkish army and fleet guided by Souleiman the Magnificant, the “Great Turk”.
  • First stop of the party was the Ottoman Library where Mr. Saadi Nassouhoglou, a Rhodian businessman and writer of two books on Rhodes has taken over the guiding. He spoke about its foundation and the 2.200 valuable books, historical, Islamic, prayer books, Korans, Scientific books and a large number of manuscripts.
  • Then the party visited the Mosque of Souleiman (Souleimaniye) where he spoke not only about the history of the mosque which has recently been restored by the Greek Archaeological Society and gave information on the Islamic worshipping and praying ritual.
  • Then the group was directed towards two Byzantine Churches of big archaeological and historical value, the church of Aghia Triada and the church of St. Catherine (Ilk Mihrab) where the guiding was performed by Mrs. M. Sokianou.
  • After that came the visit of the Hebrew Synagogue where Mrs. Carmen Cohen, Director of the Israelite Community of Rhodes, has narrated the course of the Hebrews, their installation in Rhodes and their tragic end in 1943. She has explained the internal decorations of this very important Synagogue which was built in 1570 and adorns the Old City of Rhodes.
  • Last stop was the visit of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assisi where the Reverent John Lucas, General Episcope and Mrs. Angela Philippou guided the party and gave a lot of information on the ritual, the decoration of the church and the recently restored musical organ of which the party enjoyed the melodic sound and playing of Father John Lucas.