The House of the Knights of Rhodes

Perched above the Forum of Augustus is a building with a massive loggia: Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi, the House of the Knights of Rhodes. Its location gives it one of the best views in all of Rome.

This eye-catching building was constructed by the Knights Hospitaller in the 13th century.  It’s gone through multiple hands over the years, but since 1946 it has been under the control of the Knights of Rhodes’s successors, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The best ways to spot the House are from Via dei Fori Imperiali and from the Fori Imperiali.

Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi
View of the Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi from the Fori Imperiali

 

Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi
Looking over from the Mercato di Traiano

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Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi
Different views of the building …

 

Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi
… looking over from the Via Fori Imperiali

 

The building has an impressive facade, graced by five large arches:

The facade of the Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi
The building is graced by five massive arches on the loggia (looking up from inside the Imperial Fori)

 

Off to one side is an enchanting little window.

The lovely window of the Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi
The lovely window …

 

The building includes a walkway leading behind Trajan’s Market to the brick tower, which was a 13th century defensive structure. Never a bad idea to be able to retreat to a tower in case times get bad.

The little street behind the House of the Knights of Rhodes
The little street behind the House of the Knights of Rhodes

 

Part of the ancient building was converted in 1946 into the Cappella di San Giovanni Battista dei Cavalieri di Rodi. Ironically, this is one of the “youngest” churches in all of Rome.

The Chapel of Saint Jean Baptiste of the Knights of Rhodes
The Chapel of Saint John the Baptist of the Knights of Rhodes

 

There are other properties in Rome owned by the Sovereign Order of Malta, but they are not in Italy.  More on that in a future post.

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