EASTERN SECTOR: east of Pythagora Street
The Gate of St John or ‘Koskinou Gate’
At the Gate of St John, also called the ‘Koskinou Gate’ (and sometimes locally, Kokkino (‘Red’) Gate), a high bridge leads across to the outer entrance, surmounted by the arms of the Order and of Grand Master Pierre d’Aubusson in an ornately carved cornice and steeply pointed pediment which forms a continuation of the string-course of the walls themselves. To either side diagonal lines in the masonry show where the tower was heightened and consolidated before 1522, and several blocked circular ports (originally cannon emplacements) can be seen in the parapet to the eastern side. The top of the parapet slopes markedly outward to deflect enemy missiles. The outer gate leads into an independent bastion, whose crescent plan completely shields the square Tower of St John at its centre. This is reached across a sec ond, exposed bridge (now stone, but originally a wooden draw-bridge) leading to a second gate, with the chapel of St John the Baptist to the left. Above and to the left of the final gate ahead, and partially hidden by the low wall on the left (west) side, is a grey marble plaque inscribed in both Italian and Greek recording that in August 1457 this part of the walls was raised and re-built by one Manoulis Kountis, who describes himself as ‘master-builder of all the new walls of Rhodes ’. Turning back after passing under this inner gate into the city, you see the wooden beam into which the doors were fixed, still bearing the Islamic date 1202 (1787) of its restoration. The gate leads into a crowded area of popular houses and workshops: immediately to the left is an undecorated sarcophagus, still with its lid, formerly used as a water fountain. Opposite are the steps which are the usual exit for the walking-tour of the walls. The left-turn ahead leads into Pythagora Street and the Central area of the Old Town: this itinerary turns east here, i.e to the right.
Kos Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.
Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.