Fans of the hit TV series Game of Thrones – which is almost everyone - will know about the Titan of Braavos, an imposing statue of a huge warrior guarding the entrance to the port, unsettling all those who are forced to pass beneath it to gain entry to the city.
But did you know that the statue is based on a real statue that stood in Rhodes thousands of years ago? The Colossus of Rhodes once towered over the entrance to the city, acting as a deterrent to anyone thinking of invading the island.
Believed to have stood over 100 feet tall, the Colossus of Rhodes was the tallest statue on the planet and it is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was designed by the legendary sculptor Chares of Lindos. Legend has it that when the statue was nearly finished, Chares was admiring his work one day when a passerby pointed out a tiny flaw in it. The sculptor was so ashamed that he killed himself. You can visit Chares’ beautiful home village by taking advantage of our car hire in Lindos.
As the artist's depiction above shows, the Colossus was a bronzed warrior modelled on the Greek sun god, Helios. The statue was finished in 280BC after twelve years of construction. Appropriately, given the terrifying world of Game of Thrones, it was funded by money that the people of Rhodes had made from selling equipment left behind by a defeated army who had tried and failed to invade the island. By using the equipment to build this statue, the locals sent a message to any other would-be invaders: enter Rhodes at your peril!
Unfortunately, the Colossus of Rhodes was destroyed around 50 years later by an earthquake, although you can still see where it stood at the entrance to the harbour. Thankfully, the locals in Rhodes are a lot friendlier to visitors these days. However, over the last 50 years, most recently in 2015, there have been rumours about a new statue being created to replicate the Colossus, which would surely see Game of Thrones fans flocking to the island.
Of course, the Colossus is just one part of the fascinating history of Rhodes, which has many amazing monuments that can still be seen today. Why not explore it straight away by using AutoRhodes’ car rental from Rhodes airport? Alternatively, see our list of pick up locations around Rhodes.