The Byzantine period [330 – 1453] during the Crusade Wars

Founder of Constantinople in 330, Emperor Constantine laid the foundations of the great Byzantine Empire. For some eleven centuries of existence, will have to face many enemies: the Persians, the Arabs, the Turks, the Huns, the Slavs…

The spearhead of this empire, the Byzantine Church – its break with Rome dates back to 1054 – is very powerful and its monasteries surprisingly prosperous. Over the centuries, Byzantine legislators have taken certain measures favourable to women: they guarantee them the enjoyment of their property, prohibit repudiation, and grant the mother the same rights as the father over the children.

Social works are also encouraged with the creation of hospitals, hospices and orphanages. In the life of the century, Justinian and his wife Theodora contributed to the development of the Arts and Letters (the construction of the magnificent St. Sophia Church in Constantinople was due to Justinian). A second golden age opened for Byzantine with the Macedonian dynasty (867-1056). Trade, crafts, science and the arts thrive, and the court’s pomp, despite its intrigues, makes Europeans dream, while the permanent danger of the Bulgarian invasions makes the society of Constantinople thrilling and creative.

In 972, Princess Theophano, sister of “destroying the cohesion of Byzantine civilization and creating circumstances conducive to its decadence. In 1306, the Knights of the Order of Saint John moved to RODOS and took up positions in the islands of DODEKANISOS to fight Ottoman attacks. But the weakening of the Byzantine Empire was soon seen by the Ottomans, and in 1453 Constantinople fell into the hands of the Turks, an event still tragically felt by many Greeks.

It is mainly characterized by orthodox religious works and buildings (churches, monasteries, basilicas, frescoes, icons…). The Byzantine churches always respond to the same architectural forms: a Greek cross plane with a central dome.

They represent the universe, itself a divine creation. These microcosms are adorned with frescoes, mosaics and icons. You can visit Byzantine churches all over the Dodekanisos.