The Knightly Order of St John of Jerusalem occupied the city from 1309 to 1523 and set about transforming the city into a stronghold. It was subsequently under Turkish and Italian rule. Its Upper Town is one of the most beautiful urban ensembles of the Gothic period, with its Palace of the Grand Masters, the Great Hospital and the Street of the Knights. In the Lower Town the Gothic architecture co-exists with mosques, public baths and other buildings built during the Ottoman period.
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