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The Catholic churches in Rhodes Greece are a very important part of the country's history. Unlike other countries in Europe, Catholics have been living on the island for centuries and it is still a heavily Catholic area today. There are many churches to visit in Rhodes, but these four stand out as especially worth visiting:
1) Church of Saint Francis of Assisi
This church was built by Franciscan friars who came from Italy. It is said that this church has never been damaged by an earthquake since it was built, which is quite unusual for such old buildings. It is located next to the Old Town and boasts a very interesting mix of architecture.
The church is built in a Gothic style, but it also has Baroque and Renaissance elements. It was originally decorated with frescos on every wall inside the building, which were blown away by an earthquake in 1667. However, you can still see parts of paintings if you look carefully at certain walls. The most interesting section to view is above the high altar, where you can see a painting by Michael Damaskinos. The church was renovated in 1927 and is still open to visitors today.
2) Church of Our Lady of Victory
This church was built in the 16th century, and it is located about a quarter mile from the Old Town. It has a very interesting architecture style because half of it looks like a Renaissance building while the other section has rounded arches that make it look almost Byzantine. The decorations inside are rich with many different types of marble, but unfortunately, some of the mosaics have been removed. It is still open to visitors, though it's usually not as crowded as some other churches on the island.
The church was originally built by people who wanted to thank Mary for helping them win a battle against Ottoman Turks in 1522. They decided that they would build her a beautiful home and she would be the patron saint of their city.
3) Chapel of St. Anne
It is a modest chapel dedicated to Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary, with an attached structure and garden. The complex and yard are in Iallyssos-Ixia, 6 kilometers from Rhodes. The small chapel was erected in memory of Adelaide Mass, Enrico Ducci's beloved wife, who gave so much of her money to the Catholic church on Rhodes.
The priest was responsible for the refurbishing of St. Anne's church, which had been sitting largely untouched for years. The adjacent structure, which has been recently restored, is dedicated to Saint Philomena, a young Greek martyr who was buried in Rome.
4) Chapel of the Holy Cross
The Holy Cross Chapel is located at the main entrance of the Catholic Cemetery.
In 1925, the Catholic cemetery was established. The Cemetery is on the road to Kalithea and was created by Florestano di Fausto, who also played a significant part in designing several buildings on Rhodes during the Italian period. The three necropolis areas planned for the city's Muslim, Catholic, and Jewish cemeteries were located on the town side, in the middle, and on the far side. A large area adjacent to the Catholic cemetery was created for Orthodox tombs. The Catholic cemetery is accessible through two arches on each side of the funerary chapel, which is known as the Chapel of the Holy Cross.
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