Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes

Holiday Travel Guide
Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes featuring heritage architecture

Admire the towers, gates and courtyard of this striking looking medieval building, then tour rooms filled with art and antiques.

Discover a fascinating collection of art and antiques as you explore the rooms of the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. The monumental structure with its ramparts and fairytale-like towers was built in the 14th century by the Knights of St. John, a Christian military order.

During medieval times the palace served as an administrative center and residence of the Grand Masters. It survived an attack led by the Turks in 1522, but was largely destroyed by a gunpowder explosion 300 years later. The palace of today is a reconstruction from the first half of the 20th century.

Enter the palace via the grand twin-turreted gateway that leads to a large inner courtyard. Go over and inspect the statues from the Roman and Hellenistic periods that stand beneath the lower level arcades.

There are more than 150 rooms inside the palace, of which 24 are open to visitors. Walk through the Grand Reception Hall and Music Room on the lower floor. Then climb the staircase to the upper floor where you can glimpse inside the former living quarters of the Grand Master.

Many of the rooms feature exhibitions that showcase the history of Rhodes, the Knights of St. John and the Dodecanese Islands. See displays of 16th and 17th century furniture, antique armor, carpets and vases. Examine Hellenistic mosaic floors excavated on the island of Kos. One of the most famous is the mosaic of Medusa, the Greek mythological monster who had snakes instead of hair. Appreciate the religious paintings in the small art gallery by the Italian artists Felice Vellana and Pietro Gaudenzi.

The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is situated in the Old Town of Rhodes City, a 10-minute walk from the Tourist Harbour.

The palace is open every day except for major holidays, from early morning to early evening. During the winter, the building closes on Mondays and in the middle of the afternoon on all other days. There is a small admission fee to pay.

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