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

Klio Ish (9 months ago)
A very informative visit. It is interesting to walk around the old chambers. And there is enough info you can read about this place and it's history.
Beatriz Piacesi (9 months ago)
The palace is marvelous! It's a place full of history and it's perfect to learn more medieval history and how people lived on castles. The sunset there is gorgeous! Totally worth visiting!
Babis Samios (10 months ago)
A unique experience to live. Do not hesitate to pay the 10€ fees to enter. There is a ticket for 8€ but not including everything. Well deserved spent money and time. Must do.
Max Van Kekeren (10 months ago)
The location on Google Maps is wrong and doesn't lead to the entrance. ( It took us 45+ minutes to figure that out) so that's annoying. The palace itself is beautiful and interesting. It's 70% mosaic, it's beautiful but a lot of the same. For 8 euro's it's fine to walk through and learn some history and make pictures but it's not very special.
Boris Tomic (11 months ago)
Many rooms with old furniture and decor. Moat rooms have preserved mosaic floors. They do not allow coming too close to windows. Very big marble and nice stairs on entrance. Theybonly allow walking in certain order so if you visit bottom floor first you will need to walk around to enter the main entrance again.
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