Indoor Cultural Venues | Μedieval City

Archaeological Museum


Grand hall of the patients: 250 seats
Grand atrium: 300 seats

The building of the Archaeological Museum was constructed from 1440 to 1489. It initially served as the secondary hospital of the Order of the Knights of St John, who acted both as hospitalliers and soldiers. It is a two-storey arched building, with a square atrium and a great rectangular hall for the patients, situated above the main entrance.

Today it houses the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes, along with the Prehistoric collection and Inscriptions collection, seated in two mansions inside the Museum's garden. The wonderful atrium is often used for musical performances.

Palace of the Grant Master

Grand hall: 250 seats + Hall : 150 seats
The Palace is a rectangular building, with a large inner courtyard. It was constructed in the beginning of the 14th century by the Knights of St John at the northwest point of the Medieval city, the site of the ancient and byzantine acropolis. It was an integral part of the city’s fortifications, with active role in its defense being the last refuge of its population. By the middle of the 19th century, the upper storey of the palace had collapsed completely, due to the 1856 explosion of gun powder, stored in the basement of the nearby church of St John. The Palace was reconstructed by the Italian occupation in the 1930s to accommodate the Italian governors, undergoing drastic interventions and furbished by exquisite post-Hellenistic pebble mosaic floors from the island of Cos, ancient columns, chandeliers and furniture. Today the Palace functions as a museum, hosting the collection of the Classical and Hellenistic periods of Rhodes and the Byzantine Icons Collection of the city.

Amboise Gate

(50 seats)
D’ Amboise gate, named after grand master Emery D’Amboise, is the closest gate to the Palace. It consists of an inner two-storey cultural space, with an exit to the moat.

Former Muslim school

(50 seats)
The neoclassical rectangular building with a central courtyard, constructed in 1876, served as a Muslim school for almost a century. The building is now under restoration to host cultural events.

St George monastery and bastion

(50 seats +150 seats respectively)
St George monastery consists of three buildings of monastic cells and the post byzantine church of 14th-15th century A.D., around a central courtyard. During the ottoman period the monastery was converted to a holy teaching school (mendresse) and the church into a mosque. The impeccable restoration of the place, completed in 2006 by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, received the EUROPA NOSTRA award.

The Bastion of St George, just beside St George monastery, one of the most prominent bastions of the medieval moat, has a rectangular arched hall, used for many years for all kinds of events.

The Knight’s street & the inns of the Tongues

(50-150 seats each)
The knights came from various European states and every state was called “ Tongue”. Each tongue had its own inn in the northern area of the medieval city. Τhe inn of Auverne is seated in Argyrokastrou square, the inn of England in Museum square, while the inn of Germany has not been identified. Most of the inns are situated on the street of the knights. On the north side, the inns of Italy, France and Provence have been reconstructed during the Italian occupation and today function as offices and consulates. The inn of Spain, opposite the inn of Provence, was recently restored by the Hellenic ministry of culture to function as a museum and to host cultural events.

Lady of the Castle

(200 seats)
The Church of our Lady of the Castle, an inscribed cruciform type of church dating back to the 11th century, was the Orthodox Cathedral of Rhodes in Byzantine era, becoming the Latin cathedral of the Knights. During the ottoman occupation it was converted into a mosque, with an arched porch and a minaret constructed at its entrance. The additions were demolished during the Italian occupation. The church is restored by the Hellenic Ministry of culture, in order to host cultural events.

Yeni hammam baths

(2 halls of 50 seats each)

The Yeni Hammam baths are situated in Arionos Square in the medieval city of Rhodes, next to the mosque of Sultan Mustafa III. Constructed in the 16th century, the complex’s size –1070 square meters- and style, including “Persian plumes” and engraved ornamentations, is similar to that of the large baths of the classical period of the Ottoman architecture (1453-1603).

The complex was constructed in two phases. The men’s quarter, constructed first, was symmetrical in plan. The entrance and the reception hall of the cold section (frigidarium) are situated on the north side and the hot section (caldarium and tepidarium) on the south. The women’s quarter was added later.

The Yeni Hammam baths were fully restored in 2000, by the Municipality of Rhodes, in order for the place to keep functioning for the same original purpose. It is the only existing building of the kind in Rhodes and one of the rare ones still in use in Greece.

St Nicholas or St Augustine monastery

(50 seats)

The monastery of St Augustine’s order consists of the church, a southern courtyard and two buildings of monastic cells on the north and east side. The church was constructed in the 14th century. In the 15th century, a chapel was attached in the south side, dedicated to St Nicholas.

During World War II, a bomb destroyed half the church and the courtyard. The place was recently restored by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.

Castellania building

(50 seats)
The Castellania building -knights Commercial Court- is situated in Ippokratous sq. It consists of a rectangular hall with a painted timber ceiling on the second floor, accessible by the open staircase. The west facade of the building bears a marble relief, depicting two savages holding the coat-of-arms of Grand Master Emery D’Amboise and the date 1507.

The Armory De Milly

(150 seats)
The De Milly armory, the only one of its kind to exist today is a rectangular building covered by a pointed arch and bearing the coats of arms of Great Masters Jacques de Milly and Giovanni Battista degli Orsini. It is restored by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and hosts periodical exhibitions and events.

The Hospice of St Catherine

(2 halls of 50 seats each)
The Hospice of St Catherine was constructed in 1391-92, exclusively intended for eminent guests of the Order of the Knights. Destroyed in the siege of 1480 and the earthquake of 1481, it was rebuilt in 1516. The building is fully restored by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and awarded the Europa Nostra Award for exceptional preservation work. The first floor functions as a museum and the basement hosts educational programs for elementary schools.

St Nicholas Tower

(50 seats)
Mandraki port was the war port of Rhodes throughout the Hellenistic and Medieval era. St. Nicholas’ Tower stands on the north end of the ancient mole. The fortress was constructed in 1464-67 by Grand Master P. R. Zacosta. It was a cylindrical tower, bearing the relief of St Nicholas on the east side. After 1480, Grand Master P. d’Aubusson constructed a fosse and a polygonal bastion with external escarp surrounding the initial building. The tower endured vicious ottoman assaults during both sieges, due to its important defensive position. In 1496 the mole of St Nicholas had at least three windmills, which still stand today.

Del Caretto Bastion

(50 seats)
In 1465, Grand Master Zacosta divided the city’s fortifications into wall sections, and assigned to the tongues of the Knights, namely to Germany, Auvergne, Spain, England, Provence, Italy, Castile and France, to defend them in the event of a siege. These sections underwent the first ottoman siege of 1480, which was victorious for the knights and the city, and the second fatal one of 1522. In the section of Italy, the bastion of grand Master Fabrizio del Caretto has a cylindrical shape and entrance from the medieval moat. Like St George bastion, it has an inner cylindrical hall suitable for periodical exhibitions.

Outdoor Cultural Venues | Medieval City

Atriums & Courtyard of the NW bastion of the Palace of the Grant Master

(600 people / 500 seats each)
The courtyard on the north-west bastion of the Palace of the Grand Master, with the tower of Pagnac at the northern end, overlooks the garden, said to be the medieval garden of the Palace full of rare species of trees and birds. The inner and outer atriums of the palace are used for musical performances, and the recently restored courtyard on the north-west bastion of the Palace of the Grand Master is used for performances and conferences.

Medieval city squares

(200 – 500 people each)
All the squares of the Medieval city bear at least one significant monument of the long history of the Rhodes. Every one of them is suitable to host cultural events. The two main squares, namely Ippocratous Square and Evreon Martiron square, filled with visitors all day long, often host open concerts and performances.

Lady of the Burgum

(200 seats)
The Church of our Lady of the Burgum was constructed in the late 14th - early 15th century. The three arches of the sanctuary are preserved to their entire height, as well as the west wall and remnants of the side chapels. It is approximately 30 m. long, about 14 m. wide and quite possibly had a transept. The church was restored to its full length by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Musical concerts and events often take place in it.

St Paul Bastion

(300 people / 250 seats)
St Paul’s bastion protected the passage towards the war port (Mandraki port). The construction took place in the second half of the 15th century, and the coats-of-arms of Pope Sixtus IV and Grand Master Pierre D’ Aubusson are incorporated above the gate. The bastion hosts open air music festivals.

The medieval moat

(over 10.000 people)
The moat surrounding the medieval city has always been a dry place, for the enemies to be trapped inside and killed by the defenders of the city fighting from the inner walls. The walls, ramparts, towers and bastions of the moat, constructed during the medieval era by the knights of St John, underwent the two ottoman sieges of 1480 and 1522 and were left almost intact. The length, width and height of the fortifications are impressive and the views are breath-taking. Recently restored by the Hellenic ministry of culture, the moat provides a beautiful park to the inhabitants and the visitors of Rhodes, as well as a cultural spot, including the "Melina Merkouri" open theatre in the south, along with the Bastions of St George and Fabricio Del Caretto, with inner courtyards for cultural use.

Wooden pathway

(1.500 people)
The wooden pathway is a two –phase infrastructure for the creation of a pedestrian way along the sea side on the north –east side of the medieval city, connecting all the ports of the city, namely the Mandraki harbour on the north side, with both the touristic and the commercial harbors in the east. It consists of a wooden deck based on a metal frame of beams, embedded on the sea rocks, two m. above the sea level. It provides the visitors beautiful views of the impressive walls and gates of the area.

SOURCES OF PHOTO

  • Photo archives of the Municipality of Rhodes, Department of Medieval City and Monuments
  • Photo archives of the Municipality of Rhodes, Department of Tourism.
  • Photo archives of the Emphorate of Antiquities of Dodecanese.
  • Photo album of Rhodes by Davide Virdis, realized for the purposes of European program “Marenostrum” - the Municipality of Rhodes as partner.
  • Photo album of Rhodes by Kostas Vassis, realized for the purposes of the Municipality of Rhodes project of “Cultural and historical information data for Rhodes, in infokiosks, http and smartphones».
  • Photos by Harris Pastrikos.

Sources of texts

  • Web page “Ulysses” - the Hellenic Ministry of Culture
  • Album: “Rhodes: the city outside the medieval walls – 1522-1947 –architecture- urban planning” Edition of the Technical Chamber of Greece, Department of Dodecanese, Rhodes, 2005
  • Texts archives of the Municipality of Rhodes, Department of Medieval City and Monuments
  • Texts archives of the Municipality of Rhodes, Department of Tourism