Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, Rhodes

Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, Rhodes (must see)

The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is also known as the castle. According to archeologists, the palace sits on the site of an ancient temple dedicated to the Sun-god Helios.

This impressive medieval Gothic palace was originally built in the seventh century. Over its history, it has served as a Byzantine citadel, a palace, a fortress, and as headquarters. It sits on the highest point in Rhodes.

During the 14th century, the Knights Hospitaller used the palace as an administrative center and the Grand Master's palace. The Ottoman Empire captured the island in 1522, and the palace became a command center and fortress. In the early 20th century, Italian King Victor Emmanuel III and Benito Mussolini used the palace as a holiday home.

In 1948, Rhodes was transferred to Greek rule, and the palace was turned into a museum.

Two large towers flank the main entrance. The palace is arranged around a central courtyard. Hellenistic and Roman period statues line the courtyard.

Visitors are welcome to tour the palace rooms. Upon entering the palace itself, a massive stone stairway comes into view. To the right, a room with alabaster windows emits a warm and ethereal glow, showcasing the exquisite swirls of the alabaster sheets.

Ascending the staircase feels like stepping into a children's fairytale. The sparse, monk-like ambiance of the staircase contrasts sharply with the opulent interiors that await. The palace comprises more than 150 rooms, with only a select few accessible to the public.

These open rooms house intricately carved seats, mosaics, ancient wall hangings, faded hand-woven textiles from the medieval period, and notably, numerous oriental vases that stand out due to their unique presence within this historical setting. The floors of the palace are decorated with impressive mosaics from the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

Visitors can also access a small museum from the courtyard. The museum hosts an exhibition that shows 2,400 years of Rhodes history.

Why You Should Visit:
The Palace is enormous, and the fortifications in place are impressive. The museum immerses visitors in the long, storied history of this fascinating city.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Rhodes. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes on Map

Sight Name: Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
Sight Location: Rhodes, Greece (See walking tours in Rhodes)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rhodes, Greece

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