Travelling to Rhodes - Covid-19 Information
Image © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com

The castle of Kritinia (Kastellos), Rhodes

The castle of Kritinia (Kastello, for the locals) is a Venetian castle built in the 16th century on a hill about 131 meters above the village of Kritinia. It is fairly considered the gem of the village as it offers a breathtaking view of the Aegean Sea, the island of Chalki and the islets of Strogyli, Makri, Alimia and others.

Due to its strategic location, which allowed complete monitoring of the sea and thus, the activities of pirates and other enemies, the site was chosen by the Knights of the Order of St, John to build the castle. Originally, the castle was divided in three levels, each of them belonging to a different Grand Master.

The castle of Kritinia (Kastellos) © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com

In 1480, the Ottoman Turks sent 100.000 soldiers across Rhodes in an effort to invade and conquer the island with a big number of troops sent to Kritinia as well, attempting to seize the castle. However, regardless of the fact that the Turks outnumbered the Knights a lot, and after many bloodshed battles, the Turkish troops finally retreated, leaving the castle full of ruins and damages. Without wasting time though, the Knights engaged themselves to restoring the damages that the castle had sustained, bringing it back to its original form.

The castle of Kritinia (Kastellos) © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com

The castle of Kritinia (Kastellos) © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com
The castle of Kritinia (Kastellos) © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com

 

 

Only the shell of the castle still survives today. But above the rather disintegrated entrance of it, lie the coats of arms of two of the Grand Masters of the Medieval Era. The coat of arms of the Grand Master D’Amboise (1503-1512) and the one of the Grand Master Origny (1467 – 1476). Within the walls, there are also remnants of a chapel devoted to Saint John, where you can view amazing 16th century wall paintings.

The castle of Kritinia (Kastellos) © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com

Fortunately, and as the Greek Archeological Services had realized the importance of the castle, a reinforcement programme will take place in order to conserve and renovate the damaged sections of the castle and the church.

Location - how to get here:
The castle is located 48.6 km (approx. 1 hour driving time) from Rhodes Town. The hill on which the village of Kritinia and the castle are situated are on a bus route, however in order to reach the castle you would have to cross a little dirt road that leads all the way up to the castle, so maybe hiring a car would be a good idea. Also, you should bring comfortable closed toe shoes (like sport-shoes or trekking shoes) with you.

Article topics

Related articles

Popular resorts, bustling with life, important archaeological sites, picturesque villages and beaches perfect for windsurfing await the visitor of this side of Rhodes.

Topics: Scenic views

Read more about The west coast of Rhodes: Windsurfers Paradise

The streets of Lindos are a maze of continuous buildings, chiefly with interior courtyards. Most of the houses have flat roofs, but some variety of types can be seen among the buildings that have not been affected by time and changes of use and shape. The material used in their construction is either the local quarried limestone (porolithos) or field stones which have been plastered and whitewashed.

Topics: Monuments in Rhodes

Read more about Lindos

When you approach the walls of Medieval Old Town of Rhodes you are about to enter the oldest inhabited medieval city in Europe. It's a thrill to behold. Best to know one thing from the start about the Old Town of Rhodes: It's not laid out on a grid - not even close.

Topics: Castle, History, Monuments in Rhodes

Read more about Rhodes Old Medieval Town




The castle of Kritinia (Kastellos) reviews & comments

click here to add your review!

I have been there twice and was just as thrilled if not more so the second time. The ruins of the castle in Kritinia, as visually captivating as they are, remind me that people can die taking selfies. Wear good shoes and be sober as a judge. Oh, and there is no admission but there is a quaint watering hole on the hillside where you park. Loved it!

Commented by Barbara July 11, 2019

I had the chance to visit this site. It is absolutely astonishing. the people in the area are very nice and there is a small museum about local culture nearby which is worth checking out. The ruins themselves are a nice stop. It is not an entire day excursion but the view is to die for and it is a nice place to get away from the touristy bustle of larger areas.

Commented by Bernadette Alloway February 24, 2016

Let us know what you think about The castle of Kritinia (Kastellos) - your opinion matters!
Rate this article or place (optional)

From our blog

Time to have a look to some of the best breakfast and brunch in Rhodes. There is nothing more glorious than starting a day with plenty of time for a breakfast, when you want a table filled with delights, baked goodies and drizzled everything.

Read more about Food in Rhodes: Top places for breakfast and brunch

The "Medieval Rose" is a non-governmental, non-profit association, with the ambitious but realistic aim of organizing an annual Medieval Festival within the walls of the Medieval Town of Rhodes - the best preserved, while continuously inhabited, surrounded by walls and moat, medieval town in the world (monument of cultural and architectural world heritage - UNESCO 1988).

Read more about The Rhodes Medieval Rose Festival 2019

For many of us, one of the best parts of being on vacation is taking photos trying to capture the magic of the place we are currently visiting. We have listed our top picks for photo-shooting on Rhodes.

Read more about Top Photography Locations on Rhodes, part 1

Being one of the first of the Aegean islands to adopt the cultivation of the grapevine and wine production process. Thanks to it's unique soil and plenty of sunshine, wines of Rhodes today have a fine reputation.

Read more about The Wine and Vineries of Rhodes

As summer season 2021 has kicked in, we are looking at some of the videos that tell us experiences from people who are visiting the island!

Read more about Rhodes Summer Holidays 2021

The 7th Marathon of Rhodes is organized by the Region of South Aegean, EAS SEGAS Dodecanese, DOOPAR of the Municipality of Rhodes and is supported by the Rhodes Hoteliers Association. It is under the auspices of the Greek Tourism Organization and is included in the official calendar of AIMS.

Read more about Roads to Rhodes Marathon 2020

An old promotional video from 1963. This story involves a tour around picturesque Greece. There are scenic shots of Rhodes and the surrounding sea, the narrator gives a history of the islands as we view them.

Read more about Rhodes, Island of the Sun (1963)

Feedback