The long reach of the Knights

The Knights of Malta certainly got around in their day. Only last month I was in Vienna and the hotel  I stayed in had a massive Maltese cross on the gates. Turns out it was the home of the Knights back in the fifteenth century. Around the corner on the main shopping street is the Maltese church. No great surprise really, considering the boys lived close by.

But while wandering the grounds of the National Stud last week, I spotted the Black Abbey and its accompanying tourist information board. Was I surprised to read that in the twelfth century, Tully was the Irish headquarters of the Knights of Malta. Who’d have thought it?

A little websurfing revealed that Ireland and Malta have a shared culture. Although 2514.88 km apart (distance between the two capitals)  evidence suggests that that ideas were exchanged between them. Similarities in artistic design, the megalithic buildings and a fascination for alignments to specific solar seasonal events hint at this communication. The world is indeed a small place.