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St Johns Gate
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St Johns Gate

The geographical position of Rhodes gave the island a strategically strong position within the trade routes of the East and West. As a result, by the end of the 4th century BC Rhodes was already enclosed in a defensive wall. Both town and fortifications were severely damaged by an earthquake in 226 BC.
The Knights of Saint John carried out major enhancements on the fortifications, during their occupation of the town. Bringing with them new military defensive techniques, the Knights of Saint John based their design on the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople, increasing the wall thickness to over 40 feet and digging a deep dry moat around the external walls.
The city was further stengthened by the building of small arches across the streets between buildings and the fortifications. Eleven gates were built to access the city, each one defended by by the different kingdoms of the Knights, St Johns gate and the defensive wall to it's left (facing the gate from the outside) was defended by the English.
St John's gate was the site of one of the longest and bloodiest sieges of Ottoman attack of 1522 earning the name 'The Red Gate' allegedly due to the amount of blood spilt during the attack.

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