The Bank’s Rhodes Branch is a singular case.
The Bank’s Rhodes Branch is a singular case. It is located at Mandraki Harbour, in one of the most central spots of the city, next to equally impressive buildings dating from the same period. In close proximity to the medieval town and the imposing Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights, it is intrinsically linked to the history of the island.
The building, completed in 1930, was constructed during the Italian rule in the Dodecanese to house the local branch of Banca d’Italia. Following the Liberation, it was transferred to the Greek State and later, in 1952, it was sold to the Bank of Greece.
Its blueprints are unsigned and were drawn up in Rome. Eleven alternative versions by the same hand can be found in the Bank’s archives, showing how the Italian architect had strived to integrate the building into the architecture of the Knights’ era.
The lavish interior decoration was meticulously designed to echo the island’s medieval past, while the large stained glass ceiling above the main transaction hall, the marble floorings, the wooden counters, the furnishings and the light fittings successfully blend the past with the present. All the interior spaces, murals, ceiling paintings, stained glass and wooden furniture and counters were made with great craftsmanship and attention to detail.
The interior layout follows the same pattern seen in contemporary and later bank buildingsin Greece: vaults, archives and supporting facilities in the basement; a transaction hall, offices for the manager and staff on the ground floor; and manager’s residence on the first floor, with a separate entrance.
The Bank’s Rhodes branch is a true architectural gem and a landmark of the city and the island of Rhodes. Following extensive repair and restoration works by the Bank’s Technical Service and Art Conservation Service, it has been brought back to its past splendour.