The history of Rhodes island


Rhodes is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece and the whole Europe. It belongs to the island complex of Dodekanese and it is the largest island of this complex. It was famous since antiquity as the city of the Colossus of Rhodes that was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The capital city of Rhodes is one of the most well preserved medieval cities and was designated as Unesco World Heritage Site. The climate of Rhodes is classified as hot summer Mediterranean climate with 300 days of sunshine per year.

Rhodes is at crossroads between Europe, Africa and Middle East. This has given the island a variety of different cultures and histories, which have affected its civilization. In Classical period the most famous cities of the island were Ialyssos, Kamiros and Lindos. The island prospered for three centuries during the Golden Age until Roman times. In this period the Colossus of Rhodes was built. In 164 BC Rhodes island came under Roman control but it remained able to keep its beauty and influence and develop into a leading centre of arts and trade. In Byzantine period Rhodes was an important trading post and a crossroads for sailing between Alexandria and Constantinople. In the 7th century AD it was captured by Arabs, who removed the scattered pieces of the Colossus and moved them to Syria where they destroyed them to make coins. The Knights period started in 14thand continued until 16th century. After it the knights departed from the island leaving it under Ottoman control. In this period new buildings were constructed, such as mosques and public baths. The city of Rhodes kept its economic function as a market of agricultural production of the island and the surrounding smaller islands. The buildings of the Knights period in the Medieval Town were well preserved and the Ottoman architecture was adapted to the local climate and culture. In the Italian period (1912- 1945)the Ottoman buildings were destroyed, the Grand Masters Palace was built and also a great infrastructure work to modernize Rhodes was done.

In modern times during the Second World War the Medieval Town of Rhodes was bombed by the British army that cost many human lives and destroyed a great number of buildings. In 1988 the Medieval Town of Rhodes was designated as a World Heritage City of Unesco. Rhodes city is the capital of the Dodekanese Prefecture. The population of the island is estimated between 115.000 and 120.000 and continues to grow.

The history of Rhodes is responsible for a great number of monuments and sights that a visitor should explore. On the island there are many Rhodes car rental services that can help you see all these monuments in only a few days. Hire a car in Lindos or Rhodes town and explore all the options that the island can offer you. You can visit the site of autorhodes to rent a car in Rhodes and learn about our offers and special prices.