Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes

Rhodes, Greece

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 probably that was the spot where Colossus of Rhodes stood in the Antiquity. The palace was originally built in the late 7th century as a Byzantine citadel. After the Knights Hospitaller occupied Rhodes and some other Greek islands (such as Kalymnos and Kastellorizo) in 1309, they converted the fortress into their administrative centre and the palace of their Grand Master. In the first quarter of the 14th century, they repaired the palace and made a number of major modifications. The palace was damaged in the earthquake of 1481, and it was repaired soon afterwards.

After the 1522 capture of the island by the Ottoman Empire, the palace was used as a command centre and fortress.

During the Italian rule of Rhodes, the Italian architect Vittorio Mesturino restored the damaged parts of the palace between 1937 and 1940. It became a holiday residence for the King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III, and later for Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, whose name can still be seen on a large plaque near the entrance.

On 10 February 1947, the Treaty of Peace with Italy, one of the Paris Peace Treaties, determined that the recently established Italian Republic would transfer the Dodecanese Islands to Greece. In 1948, Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese were transferred as previously agreed. The palace was then converted to a museum, and is today visited by the millions of tourists that visit Rhodes.



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Platanakia 22, Rhodes, Greece
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Founded: 14th century
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Greece


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

S H (54 days ago)
Definitely grand and beautiful inside. There was no line and easy to get in. Rooms were exquisitely decorated for their time of Era. After the tour, we a walk down the cobble street that led to a square with local vendor souvenir shops and restaurants. A must visit in Rhodes, Greece!
Haynes Cheung (7 months ago)
I’m not sure what is not to like about the palace which the combined ticket only costs €10 and you can visit the archaeological museum & other attractions with the same ticket… Lots of mosaics exhibited in the palace and lots of rooms, hallways.. I found it very enjoyable to walk around, although there’s not much texts about the history itself, only about the mosaics. Definitely worth a visit just to have a stroll. It’s a nice palace building on its own.
Tomasz Zygadlo (8 months ago)
The spirit of the Middle Ages fills every nook and cranny of this palace. A beautiful and magical place. I love visiting such monuments. I am charmed! I recommend it with all my heart! ???
Lukáš Čerešňa (9 months ago)
This knight's castle is a must-see. The castle is very well preserved and has a breathtaking atmosphere. There are many expositions and photos from archaeological works. The tour is well signposted. If you plan a tour on the weekend, I recommend buying tickets in advance. The courtyard offers a number of photogenic places. Along the way from the castle down towards the Gate of Liberty is an amazing street called Street of the Knights of Rhodes. I recommend you to visit this castle.
Nick Kiessig (10 months ago)
The views from outside were more enjoyable than the actual experience. I enjoyed the plaques that explained more about the history. If you're a historian and enjoy these type of things, it may be worth paying the 8 euros to enter. I'm a seasoned traveler and would have preferred to spend those 8 euros on something else. The outside of this place is definitely the highlight (and free). If you are on a budget, you can definitely skip this exhibit. If you've got the time to kill and don't know what else to do, this is a decent option. They have bathrooms at the entrance which were decently maintained
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