Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes

The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is a palace in the Old Town of Rhodes, on the islands of Rhode, South Eastern Greece. The site was previously a Byzantine citadel that functioned as a headquarters and fortress. The palace is ideally located at the end of the Street of the Knights. It is conspicuous by its spherical towers as well as a gate with a sharp arch.
The palace was built in the 14th century by the Knights of Rhodes, who occupies Rhodes from 1309 to 1522. After the island was captured by the Ottoman Empire, the palace was used as a fortress. The original palace was largely destroyed by an ammunition explosion in 1856. 

When Italy occupied Rhodes in 1912, the Italians rebuilt the palace in a grandiose pseudo-medieval style as a holiday residence for Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and later for Benito Mussolini. Nevertheless, when eventually the Dodecanese was transferred to the Kingdom of Greece from the Italian Republic, due to the Paris Peace Treaty, the Greeks converted the palace into a museum. 
The palace, currently, boasts of numerous grandiose rooms with antique furniture, exquisite polychrome marbles, sculptures, carpets and fine Oriental vases. In total there are a staggering 158 rooms; however, only 24 of them are open to visitors. 

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