The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Rhodes
Open all year, daily 08:00-20:00 in summer, Tuesday to Sunday 08:00-15:00 in winter.
Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The amazing Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, also known as the Kastello (castello, “castle”), is a medieval castle in the
city of Rhodes, on the island of Rhodes, in Dodecanese, Greece. This citadel was the palace, headquarters, and fortress of the Knights Hospitaller or Hospitallers; the Knights of the Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem. It is a fine example of Gothic architecture.
The palace was originally built in the late 7th century as a Byzantine citadel. Studies say that it was built on the foundations of the ancient temple of the Sun-god “Helios” and probably on the same spot where the famous Colossus of Rhodes stood in the Antiquity.
In 1309 AD, the Hospitallers occupied Rhodes and some other islands, such as Kalymnos and Kastellorizo. They converted the existing fortress into their administrative centre and the palace of their Grand Master. Some years later, they repaired it and made a number of major modifications. They repaired it again after the earthquake of 1481, during which the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes was seriously damaged.
The Ottomans captured the island in 1522, and used the palace as a fortress and command centre. An ammunition explosion in 1856 damaged the lower part of the palace, and destroyed many rooms in the first floor.
The Italian architect Vittorio Mesturino restored the damaged parts between 1937 and 1940, during the Italian rule of the Dodecanese. The palace became a holiday residence for the King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III, and later for the Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini; his name can still be seen on a plaque near the entrance.
The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes was converted to a museum in 1948, following the integration of Rhodes to Greece.
The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For more information please visit the
Minirty of Culture page.
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