TEMPLE OF THE ANNUNCIATION – HOLY METROPOLIS OF RHODES
On the west side of the port in Madraki, there is the former cathedral of Saint John (Chiesa di San Giovanni), and the current Orthodox church of Annunciation. It was built in 1924-1925, during the Italian Occupation, in emulation of the temple of Saint John the Baptist, which was across the Palace of the Grand Master in the Medieval City, and was destroyed by explosion of gunpowder in its basements, in 1856. It is a three-aisled wooden-roofed Gothic basilica, in which elements of the Byzantine and the Gothic style are harmoniously integrated with the features of the style created in Syria, under the rule of the Francs. In the courtyard on the east of the temple, in 1931 a baptistery was built by Italian architect Rodolfo Petracco, and a bell tower was built by Florestano di Fausto. The fountain at the entrance of the temple is a copy of the medieval fountain Fontana Grande (1279) in the city of Viterbo in Italy.
The temple remains externally unchanged, while its interior was adjusted, in order to respond to the needs of the Orthodox worship to which it was delivered in 1947. It was created from 1951 until 1961 by the Byzantine icon painter Fotis Kontoglou and his assistants Ioannis Terzis and Pantelis Odampasis.
Architect Florestano di Fausto, along with the assignment of the construction of the church of Saint John (Annunciation) also took over the construction of a building for the needs of the church on its southern side, between the church and the Government House. The building was constructed during 1924-1925, with an addition by engineer Rodolfo Petracco in 1933.
The face of the building towards Evdomis Martiou Avenue bears elements of Gothic architecture, with bivalve and trivalve windows on the first floor, while on the eastern face the building bears large consecutive openings with arches, in direct morphological relation with the relevant faces of the building of the Region of the South Aegean. The building is roofed with four-pitched roofs, in an effort of morphologically unifying the complex with the adjacent church.
The building is now the seat of the Holy Metropolis of Rhodes.
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