Top historic sites in Rhodes

Archaeological Museum of Rhodes

The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is housed in the monumental edifice that was the hospital of the Knights of Saint John. Construction of it was begun in 1440 and brought to completion in the time of the Grand Master d"Aubusson (1476-1503). The Museum contains various collections of archaeological artifacts from various parts of Rhodes and the neighbouring islands, including the Statue of the Crouching Aphrodite ( ...
Founded: 1914 | Location: Rhodes, Greece

Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes

The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, also known as the Kastello, is one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in Greece. The site was previously a citadel of the Knights Hospitaller that functioned as a palace, headquarters, and fortress. According to recent study, in the exact spot in which the palace exists today, there was the foundations of the ancient temple of the Sun-god Helios and probabl ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Rhodes, Greece

Acropolis of Lindos

Above the modern town of rises the acropolis of Lindos, a natural citadel which was fortified successively by the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Knights of St John and the Ottomans. This is the most impressive archaeological site on the island of Rhodes, where the dramatic natural landscape is enhanced by the picturesque quality of the more modern town. Lindos was founded by the Dorians led by the king Tlepolem ...
Founded: 10th century BCE | Location: Lindos, Greece

Medieval City of Rhodes

From 1309 to 1523 Rhodes, the largest island of the Dodecanese, was occupied by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem who had lost their last stronghold in Palestine, in Acre, in 1291. They transformed the island capital into a fortified city able to withstand sieges as terrible as those led by the Sultan of Egypt in 1444 and Mehmet II in 1480. Rhodes finally fell in 1522 after a six-month siege carried out by Suleyman I ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Rhodes, Greece

Camirus

The ancient city of Camirus was built on three levels. At the top of the hill was the acropolis, with the temple complex of Athena Kameiras and the stoa. A covered reservoir having a capacity of 600 cubic meters of water (enough for up to 400 families) was constructed about the sixth century BC. Later, the stoa was built over the reservoir. The stoa consisted of two rows of Doric columns with rooms for shops or lodgings i ...
Founded: 6th century BCE | Location: Kameiros, Greece

Acropolis of Rhodes

The Acropolis of Rhodes dates from the Classical Greek period (5th–3rd century BC) and is located approximately 3 kilometers from the centre of the city of Rhodes. The partially reconstructed part of the site consists of the Temple of Apollo (also, as alternatives Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus) below which is a stadium and a small theatre.  In 408 BC, towards the end of the Peloponnesian War, three of the is ...
Founded: 408 BCE | Location: Rhodes, Greece

Ialysos

The ancient city of Ialyssos extended around the hill of Filerimos, which was the ancient acropolis where there are remains of buildings from the Archaic, Byzantine and Knights" periods. The temple of Athena Polias, which dates to the 3rd-2nd centuries BCE, was built over the site of an earlier Classical temple, to judge from from the evidence of a 5th century BC floor and terra-cotta antefixes found there. The depos ...
Founded: 3rd century BCE | Location: Ialysos, Greece

Monolithos Castle

Outside the Monolithos village is the medieval castle, built on top of a 100m rock. It was built in 1480 by the Knights of Saint John to protect the island from attacks. In fact, this castle was never conquered. The Castle of Monolithos is widely ruined today but it offers great views of the sea and the two islets opposite to it. Inside the castle, there is a small working chapel dedicated to Agios Panteleimon (Saint Pant ...
Founded: 1480 | Location: Monolithos, Greece

City Walls of Rhodes

The fortifications of the town of Rhodes are shaped like a defensive crescent around the medieval town and consist mostly in a modern fortification composed of a huge wall made of an embankment encased in stone, equipped with scarp, bastions, moat, counterscarp and glacis. The portion of fortifications facing the harbour is instead composed of a crenellated wall. On the moles towers and defensive forts are fou ...
Founded: 1309 | Location: Rhodes, Greece

Feraklos Castle

Feraklos Castle is a ruined medieval fortress, located on an 85 m-high hill overlooking the village of Charaki. It was originally built in the Byzantine era and captured by the Knights Hospitaller on 20 September 1306, being their first possession on the island that would become their base. By 1408 it was in ruins, and was repaired under the Grand Masters Giovanni Battista Orsini (1467–76) and Pierre d"Aubusson (14 ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Charaki, Greece

Asklipio Castle

The castle of Asklipio (Asklepieion) was built in 1479 by Grand Master D'Aubusson at the site of an ancient lighthouse. In the Byzantine period, during the time of the Knights, the castle also offered the inhabitants of the surrounding villages protection against enemy attacks. It had rectangular bulwarks and two massive towers. Its only gate leads to the south-east corner tower. Two construction stages can be disting ...
Founded: 1479 | Location: Asklipio, Greece

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.