Knights Hospitaller  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Knights Hospitaller (also known as the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, Order of St. John, Knights of Malta, and Chevaliers of Malta; French: Ordre des Hospitaliers, Maltese: Ordni ta’ San Ġwann) is a Christian organization that began as an Amalfitan hospital founded in Jerusalem in approximately 1080 to provide care for poor, sick or injured pilgrims to the Holy Land. After the Western Christian conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade, it became a religious/military order under its own charter, and was charged with the care and defence of the Holy Land. Following the conquest of the Holy Land by Islamic forces, the Order operated from Rhodes, over which it was sovereign, and later from Malta where it administered a vassal state under the Spanish viceroy of Sicily.




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