Built on the highest elevation, in the north-western part of the Medieval City, the site of the Palace of the Grand Master actually dates back from the 7th century AD. The original construction, developed at the time of the Byzantine rule, has over the centuries suffered innumerable additions, alterations and refurbishments, not to mention the changes in use. Under the Byzantine rule, the premises formed part of the main fortification system. Then, under the Knights (1309-1522), it became the centre of the Administration of the Order. The Ottomans that ruled the island over the period from 1522 through to 1912 used the premises as a gaol, a use that eventually continued well into the Italian rule, until restoration works were commissioned by the Italian Government, in 1930.
Moments from life in this Palace and areas around it have been artfully illustrated by Guillaume Caoursin in what came to be known as the “Code de Caoursin”, a most elaborate manuscript with painted miniatures, safe-kept at the French National Library, in Paris.
In present times, the premises of the various halls of the Castello, as the locals have come to refer to it, play host to exhibitions on various themes from the history of Rhodes, from the 5th century BC through to the fall of the islands to the Ottomans, in 1522.
- For adults over 18 years old