Located in the beautiful city of Rhodes, Greece, the Castle of Rhodes stands proud as a medieval wonder. The grand place is reflective of the splendor of the Byzantine Empire and its architectural heritage. Apart from its structural magnificence, the palace also holds historical importance for being the home residence for the Great Masters of the Knights of St. John.
To understand the significance of the castle in the books of history and what makes it a famous tourist spot in Greece, let us take a deeper look into the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes in the coming section.
Table of Contents
- 1 Frequently Asked Questions
- 2 Early History
- 3 Current Times
- 4 Interesting Castle of Rhodes Facts
- 5 Visiting the Castle of Rhodes – Tips and Tricks
The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is also known as Kastello and is located at the highest point in Rhodes, Greece.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Castle of Rhodes Located?
The Castle of Rhodes is located at Ippoton, Rhodes 851 000, Greece.
When is The Best Time to Visit the Castle?
You can visit the Castle of Rhodes any day around the year. If you want to enjoy prime weather along with your visit, April to October is the best month to visit the place. If you are not a fan of big crowds, visiting the castle during September and October is the most feasible option.
What Other Monuments are Located Nearby?
The city of Rhodes, Greece, is famous for its historical landmarks. While you are in the city, make sure to visit the Street of the Knights located 2.8 km (1.7 miles) from the castle; the Statue of Diagoras, 3.8 km (2.4 miles) away; and the Archeological Museum of Rhodes, 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes.
FOR HISTORY | BEAUTIFUL IMAGES | INTERESTING FACTS | TRAVEL TIPS
From Rhodes Fortress to Rhodes Palace
The Grand Palace dates back to the Byzantine period in the 7th century AD, when the Byzantine Emperor laid out the foundation for the palace. It was initially designed as a fortress, which was later seized by the Knights of St. John. They modified the fortress’s structure into a residential palace for the Grand Master of the Knights.
The modifications and expansion of the palace were done by Pierre d’Aubusson and Fabrizio Del Carretto. From the 14th to 16th centuries, the palace served as the residence for nineteen Grandmasters. However, the attacks by the Ottomans in the 16th century drove the knights off the island, and the Ottomans took over the palace.
Destruction of the Palace Under the Ottoman Empire
After the conquest of Rhodes Island and the Knights of St. John abandoning the Palace, the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes was converted to a prison, a warehouse, and a home for the guards by the Ottoman invaders. During this time, the palace was subjected to two major turbulences, which destroyed the original architecture. The first was an earthquake hitting the city of Rhodes in 1851, which damaged a major portion of the palace. The other unfortunate event was a huge explosion of a powder magazine in 1856. The explosion destroyed the church of St. John the Baptist and the tombs of some of the grandmasters.
Reconstruction of the Palace by Italian Monarchy
For fifty years after the explosion, the castle was left in ruins. The turning point in the history of the Castle of Rhodes came with the seizing of Rhodes by the Italian Monarchy during the Italo-Turkish War. The restoration of the palace started in the 1930s, returning it to its original grandeur. After the restoration of the palace, it was converted to a vacation house for King Victor Emmanuel III and Benito Mussolini.
Revisit More Historic Places Below or Read Further
After the end of WWII, the city of Rhodes was returned to Greece in 1947. Since then, the Island of Rhodes and the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes have become busy tourist spots. The palace attracts thousands of tourists from across the globe to visit the centuries of historical conflicts etched on the walls of the castle.
Today, the palace constitutes a large courtyard filled with numerous statues of the Roman Emperors excavated from the Odeon of Kos. To the right of the castle’s grand staircase, there is a small chapel added by the Italians during the renovation of the palace. The interior of the castle is filled with furnishings, artifacts, and sculptures of the Byzantium, Ottoman, and Italian periods.
Interesting Castle of Rhodes Facts
- The existing version of the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes mainly reflects the Italian renovations.
- The castle serves as a rare example of Gothic architecture in Greece.
- The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is also known as Kastello and is located at the highest point in Rhodes, Greece.
Visiting the Castle of Rhodes – Tips and Tricks
While visiting the City of Rhodes, it is a shame if you skip visiting this historical wonder. There is a small fee to visit the palace; however, the experience is for a lifetime.
We have you covered if you are looking for some necessary tips and tricks to visit the palace. In the following section, you will find everything from the ticketing cost to visiting hours to some general tips to ease your visit.
How to get to the Castle of Rhodes?
You can easily walk up the hill to the castle from Rhodes central. The cheapest and most feasible way to reach the castle is via bus, which costs around €2-4 (USD $3-5). Taking a taxi from Rhodes Island to the palace can cost about €43 (USD $50).
Ticket Prices, Visiting Hours & Travel Tips
The palace is open for visitors all around the year. However, the peak months to visit the palace last from April till October. The opening hours of the palace during these months vary depending upon the day of the week. The palace opens from 9 am-4 pm on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. From Tuesday to Friday, the opening hours are from 8 am-10 pm.
For the rest of the year, from November to March, the palace opens from 8:30 am- 3 pm, closed on Mondays.
The entry fee is €6 (USD $7) for adults. For adults over 65, the entry fee is €4 (USD $4.5). For children under 18, admission is free. There is no entry fee for students from European countries;whereas students from non-EU countries pay €3 ($3 USD).
In addition to the palace gardens and museum, there is also a gift shop and a coffee house. You can relax with a delicious cup of coffee while buying a souvenir from the palace for memory’s sake.
How Long Will It Take to Tour Around?
It can take up to 2-3 hours to completely visit the Palace from the gardens to the elaborate interior and artifacts that the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes offers.
Some words of advice and tips:
- If you plan on visiting the castle during the busy months, it is better to book a reservation online to secure a spot.
- Be respectful towards the palace premises. Avoid littering the palace and take care of your trash. You risk a fine for littering.
- Be careful of the national heritage which is displayed inside the palace. Do not touch the artifacts.