Rhodes Town Museums

Rhodes Town museums include an archaeological museum, Byzantine museum, a museum of decorative arts, and exceptional collections of modern Greek art.

The Palace of the Grand Masters in the Old Town of RhodesThe Palace of the Grand Masters:
Home to the Museum of Ancient Rhodes

Archaeological Museum

Rhodes’s Archaeological Museum is located in the old Hospital of the Knights, a rather severe, but impressive, 15th-century Gothic building. A steep staircase leads to the magnificent infirmary hall with its central colonnade, the capitals of which are carved with heraldic devices.

The smaller side chambers of the upper gallery contain some fine artefacts including the celebrated, yet unglamorous, Marine Venus, a sea-eroded 4th-century BC statue of Aphrodite, which inspired the writer Lawrence Durrell to call his book about Rhodes, Reflections on a Marine Venus.

In other chambers are superb Rhodian amphorae, some fine Attic pottery pieces, and Mycenaean jewellery. Look for the 4th-century gravestone of Kalliarista and its touching epigram inscribed by her husband, as well as the tiny vases and bowls that formed a child’s funerary gifts. Beyond the upper gallery is a sunlit sculpture garden.

Museum of Modern Greek Art

Rhodes is the proud guardian of one of the finest collections of modern Greek art in existence. The collections are housed in separate galleries. Two are in the Old Town: the Municipal Art Gallery, which contains a collection of fine engravings, while the second, the smaller Centre of Contemporary Art, exhibits and promotes work by contemporary artists.

Pride of place goes to the splendid Nestoridion Melathron, housed in the one-time Olympic Hotel at the heart of New Town’s hotel district. The building has been thoroughly modernised and contains superb collections from the 1860s to the present day. The displays include an extensive number of paintings and prints, together with sculptures and drawings by celebrated Greek artists.

Nestoridion Melathron, 1 Haritou Square.

Centre of Contemporary Art, 179 Sokratous Street.

Museum of Decorative Arts

The Museum of Decorative Arts is housed in a ground floor room that was once part of the armoury of the Knights of St John. It is more of a folk art museum than its name implies, and has a charming and colourful collection of domestic goods from the 16th to the early 20th century.

These include folk costumes from the islands of Symi and Astypalaia, carved and painted chests and bedsteads, carved wall cupboards and other furnishings. There is a large collection of ceramics and fabrics, including carpets and such distinctive items as embroidered bed tents.

Argyrokastrou Square.

Byzantine Museum

The Byzantine Museum is housed in the splendid Church of Panagia Kastrou, the Virgin of the Castle. This 11th-century building has had a remarkable history. Originally it was the Byzantine Cathedral of Rhodes and had a classic Byzantine ‘cross-in-square’ form, with a central dome. The church was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral by the Knights of St John, who replaced the dome with a barrel vault and cross vaults.

During the Turkish occupation of Rhodes the building was converted into a mosque complete with minaret, removed during the Italian reconstruction. Today, the church contains a few Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons and wall-paintings, sculptures and mosaic fragments.

Mouseío Square

Read our review of the Best Guidebook to Rhodes

Museum of Ancient Rhodes

Located within the Palace of the Grand Masters, this is an outstanding collection of artefacts that leads you through a series of displays from the Stone Age settlement of Rhodes through the classical to the Roman period. Among the many exhibits is a fine head of the Sun God Helios, Rhodes’ mythic founder.

A mosaic floor of the Middle Hellenistic period displays a superb ‘New Comedy Mask’ that you would swear was a painting rather than an intricate mosaic. Look out for the little bronze figures of bulls and grasshoppers. There are splendid collections of pottery and household goods from all periods displayed in an imaginative way.

Where to Stay in Rhodes Town

Other Rhodes pages

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends its choice of where to eat in Southern Rhodes, including restaurants and tavernas in Lindos, Gennadi, Pefki and Monolithos.

    Where to Eat in Southern Rhodes

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends its choice of where to eat in Southern Rhodes, including restaurants and tavernas in Lindos, Gennadi, Pefki and Monolithos.

  • Lindos is one of the main attractions on the Greek island of Rhodes, with its Acropolis, other ancient sites, beaches and historic captain’s houses.

    Lindos

    Lindos is one of the main attractions on the Greek island of Rhodes, with its Acropolis, other ancient sites, beaches and historic captain’s houses.

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in Rhodes Town, including boutique and historic hotels in the Old Town and modern hotels in the New Town.

    Where to Stay in Rhodes Town

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in Rhodes Town, including boutique and historic hotels in the Old Town and modern hotels in the New Town.

  • Greece Travel Secrets’ guide to places to see in Southern Rhodes include Gennadi, Glystra, Pefkoi, Kiotari, Lardos, Moni Thari, Lindos, Kattavia and Prasonisi.

    Places to See in Southern Rhodes

    Greece Travel Secrets’ guide to places to see in Southern Rhodes include Gennadi, Glystra, Pefkoi, Kiotari, Lardos, Moni Thari, Lindos, Kattavia and Prasonisi.

  • Travel advice, information on Rhodes in the Dodecanese, with ferries from Piraeus for Athens, Symi, Crete, Kos, Patmos, Santorini, and flights from Europe

    Rhodes

    Travel advice, information on Rhodes in the Dodecanese, with ferries from Piraeus for Athens, Symi, Crete, Kos, Patmos, Santorini, and flights from Europe

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to eat in Northern Rhodes, including fish restaurants and roadside tavernas in Faliraki, Ixia, Kamiros and Charaki.

    Where to Eat in Northern Rhodes

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to eat in Northern Rhodes, including fish restaurants and roadside tavernas in Faliraki, Ixia, Kamiros and Charaki.

  • The Greece Travel Secrets guide to Rhodes food and drink including the Greek words for meze, meat dishes, and fish dishes, and a guide to the best Rhodes wine.

    Rhodes Food and Drink

    The Greece Travel Secrets guide to Rhodes food and drink including the Greek words for meze, meat dishes, and fish dishes, and a guide to the best Rhodes wine.

  • Rhodes weather is hot in summer and mild in winter, so read Greece Travel Secrets’ advice on the best time to visit Rhodes and why you should consider Lindos.

    Rhodes Weather

    Rhodes weather is hot in summer and mild in winter, so read Greece Travel Secrets’ advice on the best time to visit Rhodes and why you should consider Lindos.

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to eat in Rhodes Town with fine-dining restaurants and inexpensive tavernas in the Old Town and the New Town.

    Where to Eat in Rhodes Town

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to eat in Rhodes Town with fine-dining restaurants and inexpensive tavernas in the Old Town and the New Town.

  • The best Rhodes guidebook is undoubtedly the A-Z Travel Guide to Rhodes, including Symi, with a new revised and updated edition for 2022.

    Best Rhodes Guidebook

    The best Rhodes guidebook is undoubtedly the A-Z Travel Guide to Rhodes, including Symi, with a new revised and updated edition for 2022.

  • This walk through the Old Town of Rhodes takes you through this World Heritage Site and along the main streets and past the city walls, palaces and mosques.

    A Walk in the Old Town of Rhodes

    This walk through the Old Town of Rhodes takes you through this World Heritage Site and along the main streets and past the city walls, palaces and mosques.

  • Rhodes festivals and events include those celebrated throughout Greece like Easter and Greek Independence Day, and others that are unique to the island.

    Rhodes Festivals and Events

    Rhodes festivals and events include those celebrated throughout Greece like Easter and Greek Independence Day, and others that are unique to the island.

  • The Greece Travel Secrets guide to the Old Jewish Quarter, which you’ll see if you visit the Old Town of Rhodes.

    Rhodes Town Old Jewish Quarter

    The Greece Travel Secrets guide to the Old Jewish Quarter, which you’ll see if you visit the Old Town of Rhodes.

  • Several mosques in Rhodes Town offer a reminder of Ottoman Rhodes, along with a delightful Muslim cemetery.

    Ottoman Rhodes

    Several mosques in Rhodes Town offer a reminder of Ottoman Rhodes, along with a delightful Muslim cemetery.

  • If you’re wondering what to do on Rhodes then our suggested highlights include Rhodes Old Town, Lindos, Kameiros, and a visit to Symi.

    What to Do on Rhodes

    If you’re wondering what to do on Rhodes then our suggested highlights include Rhodes Old Town, Lindos, Kameiros, and a visit to Symi.

  • This Southern Rhodes drive starts and ends in Lindos and takes in Gennadi, Kattavia, Monolithos and the chance to stop at several good beaches.

    Southern Rhodes Drive

    This Southern Rhodes drive starts and ends in Lindos and takes in Gennadi, Kattavia, Monolithos and the chance to stop at several good beaches.

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in Northern Rhodes with hotels and apartments in Faliraki and elsewhere from 5-star luxury to family-friendly.

    Where to Stay in Northern Rhodes

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in Northern Rhodes with hotels and apartments in Faliraki and elsewhere from 5-star luxury to family-friendly.

  • During Easter on Rhodes Greece Travel Secrets publisher Mike Gerrard travels from Lindos to Kattavia to visit a monastery and spend Easter with a Greek family.

    Easter on Rhodes

    During Easter on Rhodes Greece Travel Secrets publisher Mike Gerrard travels from Lindos to Kattavia to visit a monastery and spend Easter with a Greek family.

  • Mandraki Harbour is the main harbour of Rhodes Town for travellers and from here you can catch ferries to Piraeus, Symi, Kos, Kalymnos, Patmos, and to Turkey.

    Mandraki Harbour

    Mandraki Harbour is the main harbour of Rhodes Town for travellers and from here you can catch ferries to Piraeus, Symi, Kos, Kalymnos, Patmos, and to Turkey.

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