AND GREEK ISLANDS
Rhodes Greece is the biggest island of the
archipelago called Dodecanese and is the capital
of the group of Greek Islands. It is world known
for its colossus. It is located between Karpathos and Kos and it is, along Santorini and
Mykonos, one of the most famous islands of
Greece. The capital lies outside and within the
walls of a very well preserved Venetian castle,
built by the Knights of Saint John. Its
interesting sites and its many Byzantine
churches make this Greek island one of the most
popular islands of Greece.
This section of Rhodes Island provides much
information: pictures, map, villages, history,
museums, architecture, excursions, weather and
more such as a large range of hotels
Topography of Rhodes The island of Rhodes is
shaped like a spearhead, 79.7 km (49.5 mi) long
and 38 km (24 mi) wide, with a total area of
approximately 1,400 square kilometres (541 sq
mi) and a coastline of approximately 220 km (137
mi). The city of Rhodes is located at the
northern tip of the island, as well as the site
of the ancient and modern commercial harbours.
The main air gateway (Diagoras International
Airport, IATA code: RHO) is located 14 km (9 mi)
to the southwest of the city in Paradisi. The
road network radiates from the city along the
east and west coasts.
In terms of flora and fauna, Rhodes is closer to
Asia Minor than to the rest of Greece. The
interior of the island is mountainous, sparsely
inhabited and covered with forests of pine (Pinus
brutia) and cypress (Cupressus sempervirens).
The island is home to the Rhodian deer. In
Petaludes Valley (Greek for "Valley of the
Butterflies"), large numbers of tiger moths
gather during the summer months. Mount Attavyros,
at 1,216 metres (3,990 ft), is the island's
highest point of elevation. While the shores are
rocky, the island has arable strips of land
where citrus fruit, wine grapes, vegetables,
olives and other crops are grown.
Outside of the city of Rhodes, the island is
dotted with small villages and beach resorts,
among them Faliraki, Lindos, Kremasti, Haraki,
Pefkos, Archangelos, Afantou, Koskinou, Embona (Attavyros),
Paradisi, and Trianta (Ialysos). Tourism is the
island's primary source of income
Rhodes has experienced severe earthquakes.
Notable are the 226 BC earthquake that destroyed
the Colossus of Rhodes; the one on 3 May 1481
which destroyed much of the city of Rhodes;
and the one on 26 June 1926. July 15, 2008,
Rhodes was struck by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake
causing minor damage to a few old buildings. One
woman lost her life when she fell down the
stairs, while trying to flee her home.
Further information: Rhodes, Greece
Deer statues in Mandraki harbor, where the
Colossus of Rhodes possibly once stood The
island was inhabited in the Neolithic period,
although little remains of this culture. In the
16th century BC the Minoans came to Rhodes, and
later Greek mythology recalled a Rhodian race
they called the Telchines, and associated Rhodes
with Danaus; it was sometimes nicknamed
Telchinis. In the 15th century BC the Achaeans
invaded. It was, however, in the 11th century BC
that the island started to flourish, with the
coming of the Dorians. It was the Dorians who
later built the three important cities of Lindos,
Ialyssos and Kameiros, which together with Kos,
Cnidus and Halicarnassus (on the mainland) made
up the so-called Dorian Hexapolis.
In Pindar's ode, the island was said to be born
of the union of Helios the sun god and the nymph
Rhode, and the cities were named for their three
sons. The rhoda is a pink hibiscus native to the
island. Diodorus Siculus added that Actis, one
of the sons of Helios and Rhode traveled to
Egypt where he built the city of Heliopolis and
he taught the Egyptians the science of
Invasions by the Persians eventually overran the
island, but after their defeat by the forces
from Athens in 478 BC, the cities joined the
Athenian League. When the Peloponnesian War
broke out in 431 BC, Rhodes remained largely
neutral, although it remained a member of the
League. The war lasted until 404 BC, but by this
time Rhodes had withdrawn entirely from the
conflict and had decided to go her own way.
In 408 BC the cities united to form one
territory, and built a new capital on the
northern end of the island, the city of Rhodes:
its regular plan was superintended by the
Athenian architect Hippodamus. However the
Peloponnesian War had so weakened the entire
Greek culture that it lay open to invasion. In
357 BC the island was conquered by the king Mausolus of Caria, then fell to the Persians 340
BC. But their rule was also short and to the
great relief of its citizens, Rhodes became a
part of the growing empire of Alexander III of
Macedon in 332 BC after he defeated the
The Acropolis of Lindos Following the death of
Alexander his generals vied for control of the
kingdom. Three of them, Ptolemy, Seleucus, and
Antigonus, succeeded in dividing the kingdom
among themselves. Rhodes formed strong
commercial and cultural ties with the Ptolemies
in Alexandria, and together they formed the
Rhodo-Egyptian alliance which controlled trade
throughout the Aegean in the 3rd century BC. The
city developed into a maritime, commercial and
cultural center and its coins were in
circulation almost everywhere in the
Mediterranean. Its famous schools of philosophy,
science, literature and rhetoric, shared masters
with Alexandria: the Athenian rhetorician
Aeschines who formed a school at Rhodes;
Apollonius of Rhodes; the observations and works
of the astronomers Hipparchus and Geminus, the
rhetorician Dionysios Trax. Its school of
sculptors developed a rich, dramatic style that
can be characterized as "Hellenistic Baroque".
In 305 BC, Antigonus had his son, Demetrius
besiege Rhodes in an attempt to break its
alliance with Egypt. Demetrius created huge
siege engines including a 180 ft (55 m)
battering ram and a siege tower named Helepolis
that weighed 360,000 pounds (163,293 kg).
Despite this engagement, in 304 BC, after only
one year he relented and signed a peace
agreement, leaving behind a huge store of
military equipment. The Rhodians sold the
equipment and used the money to erect a statue
of their sun god, Helios, the statue now known
as Colossus of Rhodes.
In 164 BC, Rhodes signed a treaty with Rome, and
became an educational center for Roman noble
families, and was especially noted for its
teachers of rhetoric, such as Hermagoras and the
author of the Rhetorica ad Herennium. At first
the state was an important ally of Rome and
enjoyed numerous privileges, but these were
later lost in various machinations of Roman
politics. Cassius eventually invaded the island
and sacked the city.
Woodcut engraving depicting the city of Rhodes
by Hartmann Schedel (1493)In the 1st century AD,
the Emperor Tiberius spent a brief term of exile
on Rhodes. Saint Paul brought Christianity to
the island.(cf. Acts 21) Rhodes reached her
zenith in the third century. In 395, the long
Byzantine Empire period began for Rhodes, when
the Roman Empire was split and the eastern half
gradually became a Greek empire. Although part
of Byzantium for the next thousand years, Rhodes
was nevertheless clarification needed]
repeatedly attacked by various forces. It was
first occupied by Muslim forces of Muawiyah I in
672. Much later, Rhodes was recaptured by the
Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus during the
Historic map of Rhodes by Piri ReisIn 1309 the
Byzantine era came to an end when the island was
occupied by forces of the Knights Hospitaller.
Under the rule of the newly named "Knights of
Rhodes", the city was rebuilt into a model of
the European medieval ideal. Many of the city's
famous monuments, including the Palace of the
Grand Master, were built during this period.
The strong walls which the Knights had built
withstood the attacks of the Sultan of Egypt in
1444, and of Mehmed II in 1480. Ultimately,
however, Rhodes fell to the large army of
Suleiman the Magnificent in December 1522, long
after the rest of the Byzantine empire had been
lost. The few surviving Knights were permitted
to retire to the Kingdom of Sicily. The Knights
would later move their base of operations to
island was thereafter a possession of
the Ottoman Empire for nearly four centuries.
Mortar of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem
(Knights Hospitaller), Rhodes, 1480 - 500, fired
260 lb (118 kg) cannon balls.In February 1840,
the Jews of Rhodes were falsely accused of
ritually murdering a Christian boy in what
became known as the Rhodes blood libel.
In 1912, Italy seized Rhodes from the Turks. The
island thus bypassed many of the events
associated with the exchange of the minorities
between Greece and Turkey.
Due to the Treaty of Lausanne the
island together with the Dodecanese was
officially assigned to Italy, and became the
core of the possession of the Isole Italiane
Following the Italian Armistice of September
8th,1943, the British attempted to get the
Italian garrison on Rhodes to change sides. This
was anticipated by the German Army, which
succeeded in occupying the island. In great
measure this resulted in the British failure in
the subsequent Dodecanese Campaign.
On July 19, 1944 the islands 1700 Jewish
inhabitants were rounded up by the Gestapo and
sent to extermination camps, of whom some 160
survived. The Turkish Consul Selahattin Ulkumen
succeeded, at considerable risk to himself and
his family, in saving 42 Jews who had Turkish
citizenship or were family members of Turkish
In 1948, together with the other islands of the
Dodecanese, Rhodes was united with Greece.
In 1949, Rhodes was the venue for negotiations
between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and
Syria, concluding with the 1949 Armistice
Ruins of Apollo Temple at the Acropolis of
Palace of the (Prince) Grand Master - RhodesIn
ancient times, Rhodes was home to one of the
Seven Wonders of the World - the Colossus of
Rhodes. This giant bronze statue once stood in
the harbour. It was completed in 280 BC but was
destroyed in an earthquake in 224
BC. No trace
of the statue remains today.
Historical sites on the island of Rhodes include
the Acropolis of Lindos, the Acropolis of
Rhodes, the Temple of Apollo, ancient Ialysos,
ancient Kamiros, the Governor's Palace, Rhodes
Old Town (walled medieval city), the Palace of
the Grand Masters, Kahal Shalom Synagogue in the
Jewish Quarter, the Archeological Museum, the
ruins of the castle of Monolithos, the castle of
Kritinia and St. Catherine Hospice.
The predominant religion is Greek Orthodox.
There is a significant Roman Catholic
minority on the island, many of whom are
descendants of Italians who remained after the
end of the Italian occupation. Rhodes has a
Muslim minority, a remnant from Ottoman Turkish
The Jewish community of Rhodes goes back to
the 1st century CE. In 1480, the Jews actively
defended the walled city against the Turks. At
its peak in the 1920s, the Jewish community was
one-third of the total population. The
community was mostly wiped out in the Holocaust.
Kahal Shalom, established in 1557, is the oldest
synagogue in Greece. It is still standing in the
Jewish quarter of the Old Town of Rhodes.
been renovated with the help of foreign donors
but very few Jews live year-round in Rhodes
today, and services are not held on a regular
Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese
Prefecture and the most populated island of the
South Aegean Region. The local association of
municipalities and communities of the
Dodecanese, TEDKD, is responsible for the
administration of the island and the prefecture
as a whole.
The economy is tourist-oriented. The most
developed sector is service. Small industries
process imported raw materials for local retail.
Other industry includes agricultural goods
production, stockbreeding, fishery and winery.
The road network of the island is mostly modern
and paved. There are four major arteries:
Rhodes - Kamiros Province Avenue: Two
lane, runs through the west coast north to south
and connects Rhodes City with Diagoras Airport
Rhodes - Lindos National Avenue (Greek
National Road 95): Four and two lane, runs
mainly inland north to south and connects Rhodes
City with Lindos.
Rhodes - Kallithea Province Avenue: Two
lane, runs through the east coast north to south
and connects Rhodes City with Faliraki Resort.
Tsairi-Airport National Avenue: Four and two
lane, runs inland east to west and connects the
east coast with the west and the airport.
Further widening of E-95 from Faliraki to Lindos.
This is to be four lane with jersey barrier in
the middle,about 36 km (22 mi) in length, with
the first part scheduled to start in August
Plans also exist for a new four lane express
road connecting Rhodes Town with Diagoras
Airport that will reduce congestion on the
coastal west avenue.
The first phase of construction of the Rhodes
City ringway was begun a few years ago, but
progress has been slow.
Cars and motorbikes
Families in Rhodes often own more than one car,
along with a motorbike. Traffic jams are common
particularly in the summer months. The island is
served by 450 taxis.
Bus services are handled by two operators
RODA: Rhodes City company that also
services suburban areas (Faliraki, Ialysos,
Kremasti, Airport, Pastida, Maritsa, Paradeisi)
and the entire west coast (blue-white colored).
KTEL: State-owned buses that serve
villages and resorts in the east coast
The ATC tower and part of the terminal of
Diagoras AirportRhodes has three airports but
only one is public. Diagoras Airport, one of the
biggest in Greece, is the main entrance /exit
point for both locals and tourists. The island
is well connected with other major Greek cities
and islands as well as with major European
capitals and cities via charter flights.
Diagoras International Airport: public airport,
16 km (10 mi) south west of Rhodes City, third
in international passenger volume and fourth in
total passenger volume in Greece.
Maritsa Air Force Airfield: closed to public,
near Maritsa village, used to be the public
airport of the island until 1977. Nowadays
serves the Greek Army and is sometimes used for
Kalathos Air Strip: served as a landing strip
during World War II, near the village of
Two pilot schools offer aviation services (small
plane rental, island hopping).
Rhodes has five ports, three of them in Rhodes
City, one in the west coast near Kamiros and one
in east coast near Lardos.
Central Port: located in the city of
Rhodes serves domestic and international
Kolona Port: opposite the central port,
serves intra-Dodecanese traffic and large
Akandia Port: the new port of the island
next to the central port, being built since
1960s, for domestic and international traffic.
At the moment serves cruise ships on peak days.
Kamiros Skala Dock: 30 km (19 mi) south
west of the city near Ancient Kamiros ruins
serves mainly the island of Halki
Lardos Dock: formerly servicing local
industries, now under development as an
alternative port for times when the central port
is inaccessible due to weather conditions. It is
situated in a rocky shore near the village of
Lardos in south east Rhodes.
Football: AS Rodos and Diagoras F.C.,
both Rhodes City based teams, compete
professionally at the national level. Local
football leagues (organized at the prefecture
level) contain three divisions with more than 50
teams. Many stadiums are grass covered.
Basketball: Colossus BC sponsors
professional basketball and has joined the Greek
A1 League. The local league includes two
divisions with 14 teams. Two indoor courts exist
in Rhodes City, and one each in Ialysos and
Kremasti. Several other are planned for Rhodes
City Pales De Sports, Faliraki, Afantou, and
Volleyball: local teams only.
Water Polo: mostly amateur based. There
is no single indoor pool on the island.
Rugby: introduced in 2007. Teams compete
at the national level.
Tennis: tennis has a long history on the
Sailing: widely developed, offers
competition at the international level.
Cycling: for a long period of time Rhodes
had the only cycling track in Greece, producing
Olympics level competitors.
Rhodes competes in the bi-annual Island Games,
which it hosted in 2007.
This article is in a list format that may be
better presented using prose. You can help by
converting this article to prose, if
appropriate. Editing help is available. (May