Though originally constructed in the 14th century by the Knights of St. John, the current Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is a Mussolini-era reconstruction built after the original was destroyed by a 19th-century explosion. The lavish palace now serves as a museum displaying furniture, statues, and ancient mosaics.
Visitors can explore parts of the palace interior, including the courtyard and interior rooms. Among the highlights of the collections held within are Greek and Roman floor mosaics taken from the Dodecanese island of Kos. The palace can often be seen during walking and Segway tours of Rhodes, with some longer sightseeing excursions including entrance to the palace and exploration of Rhodes Old Town, the Acropolis of Lindos, and the Acropolis of Rhodes.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is a must for history buffs.
- No cafe or shop is situated within the palace, but lots can be found in the surrounding Old Town.
- Much of the palace, as well as Rhodes Old Town in which it is situated, present challenges to wheelchair users, with steps and uneven cobbled surfaces.
How to Get There
The palace is situated within the medieval center of the city at the top of the Street of the Knights (Ippoton). The best way to get there is on foot. The palace is just a short walk from Mandraki Harbour and the KTEL East Side bus terminal.
When to Get There
The palace is busiest during the tourist season, which runs from April through November, particularly when cruise ships are in port. Even then, the palace is rarely crowded, and it’s likely you’ll get some respite here from the busy streets of the surrounding Rhodes Old Town.
What Else to See in Rhodes Old Town
In addition to the palace, the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes—which displays ancient treasures dug up from sites all around the island—is also situated in Rhodes Old Town. Also of note is the Street of the Knights, the 14th-century home of Rhodes former rulers: the Knights Hospitaller. Then there’s the Turkish Quarter, where you’ll find the 16th-century Suleiman Mosque, built to celebrate the Ottoman win over the Knights of Rhodes.