Roman rule deprives the island of Rhodes of its privileges, but cannot diminish its strategic significance in the Aegean. Thus the island continues to prosper during the Early Christian era as shown by many important edifices, both religious and secular. In the fourteenth century the Knights of the Order of St. John conquer Rhodes. They built palaces, city-walls and churches and decorate them with impressive wall-paintings and the life of the island totally changes, by adopting many Western elements.In 1522 however, Rhodes falls to the Ottomans after a series of fierce battles. From then on the island fell into obscurity from where, for purely reasons of prestige , fascist Italy, which occupied Rhodes in 1912, tried to elevate it. In 1947, heavily oppressed, the Rhodians waited for their liberation and the union of their island with Greece. Since then the island of Rhodes has become an international centre for tourism .