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 some other islets.

Due to its strategic location, that allowed a 360 degree monitoring view of the sea and thus, the pirates’and the enemies’activities, 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. 58 mins 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.

Map location for The castle of Kritinia (Kastellos)

The castle of Kritinia (Kastellos) Rhodes Greece map

Article topics

Related articles

The castle of Feraclos (Feraklos) lies 150m high on a very sharp and rocky hill, on the eastern side of the island, overlooking the bays of Haraki and Agathi, opposite the coast of Asia Minor.

Topics: Castle, History

Read more about Feraclos (Feraklos) Castle

The former Governor's Palace, now used as the the Building of the Prefecture, It is one of the most considerable buildings constructed on Rhodes during the Italian occupation of the island. It is a combination of many different architectural styles and its arrangement strongly resembles the Palace of the Duces in Venice.

Topics: Monuments in Rhodes

Read more about Governor's Palace

The medieval castle that looks out over the sea towards Chalki, standing on a pine-clad hill on the north-western coast of Rhodes, welcomes you to the region of Kritinia - called the forgotten border region by the inhabitants of the village. What makes it really worth a visit is the wild beauty of the landscape.

Topics: Castle

Read more about Kritinia



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) - we would love to read your opinion!
Rate this article or place (optional)

From our blog

In early April 2010 Susan, Richard and myself (Stephen) thought we would look at re-offering the easy walk from Laerma to Agios Isidoros which we stopped doing after the fire in July 2008 that devastated this area, the walk in question is on a dirt track road and is approx 12km (7.5miles) long, it takes about 3-4hrs to walk at a leisurely pace.

Read more about Regeneration of the ecology after the the fire of 2008

Rhodes is the walker's island, being the largest of the Dodecanese Island group at about 1398 square kilometers. It offers all kinds of different walking and treking routes including mountains, forestry, areas of historical interest, places of natural beauty, wine producing areas, coastal walks etc. You never have far to travel to get to the start of your walking route, eliminating the need for long bus journeys.

Read more about Walking and Trekking holidays in Rhodes

A Park that invites you to experience art under the Rhodian Sky. The Art park is a non-profit gallery of fine arts, photography, sculpture, and music. We take a look at the park and interview the owner, Mr Damon Papakiriakou, an artist, sculptor and musician.

Read more about Rhodes Art Park

After a whole month of filming, Oscar Holly, a long time fan of Rhodes since childhood, produced this magnificent video of the island showing a more raw and untouched and at the same time beautiful and accessible aspect of the island.

Read more about A Rhodos Story (vid)

Rhodes has become one of the most popular destinations for weddings abroad. Its a beautiful island that offers a large variety of locations with gorgeous settings, enabling you to make your wedding day an unforgettable one. Antonis Giannelis, a WPJA award winning wedding photographer located in Rhodes gives practical advice.

Read more about Your wedding in Rhodes - Capturing your most precious moments

Rhodes has ample nightlife opportunities to offer. With crystal beaches that glimmer under the sun, and stunning blue waters surrounding ancient buildings, coastal caves and sheltered bays, museums, ancient ruins, castles and monasteries revealing its rich history, it’s no secret that Rhodes is a place thriving with culture, history and beauty. Equally impressive is the nightlife in Rhodes, which we will explore here.

Read more about Rhodes Nightlife

It's winter. You are sitting in your apartment or office, while it's cold outside and the weather is gray, dark and rainy, and you find yourself reading this article. Don't you wish you can go someplace where the winter weather is not necessarily so depressive?

Read more about Wintertime in Rhodes

Feedback