About Rhodes Island, Greece
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece. Rhodes is also the group of island’s historical capital. It is thought the name Rhodes came from erod, Phoenician for snake, as the island was infested with them in antiquity. The island has been called Rodi by the Italians and Rodos by the Turks. Rhodes is also known as Emerald Island due to the large amount of pine and cypress trees that grow there.
In Pindar’s ode, it is said that the island was born of the union between Helios, the sun god, and Rhodos, the nymph. The cities were names after their three sons. Actis, one of the sons of Helios and Rhodos went to Egypt, built the city of Heliopolis, and would go on to teach the Egyptians astrology.
In the 8th century BC, settlements on the island began to form. The Dorians would build three important cities: Lindos, Ialyssos, and Kameiros. These cities along with Kos, Cnidus, and Halicarnassus, all on the mainland, would form the Dorian Hexapolis (meaning six cities).
Rhodes has been known worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Colossus of Rhodes was a bronze statue of Helios that once stood at the harbor. It was completed in 280 BC and then destroyed by an earthquake in 224 BC. Today there is no trace of the statue. In 1988, the old town was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The name of the US state Rhode Island comes from Rhodes. The story is that Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano wrote a letter in 1524 detailing an island he had discovered at the entrance of the Narraganaset Bay, which he thought resembled Rhodes Island.
Administrative Region of Rhodes Island, Greece
Area of Rhodes Island, Greece
1,400.684 km2 (540.807 sq mi)
Population of Rhodes Island, Greece
Top Attractions of Rhodes Island, Greece
• Kallithea Springs – This site is famous for its healing springs, which have been known about since ancient times. The buildings above the springs were constructed in 1928. Features a rotunda hall, terrace, and pebble stone mosaics.
• Ixia Beach – Located at Ixia Bay near Rhodes Town. This long beach is made of fine pebbles. Thanks to consistent winds, it’s the perfect place to windsurf.
• The Great Hammam – A Turkish bath located in Arionos Square. As a hammam-spa it offered massages and head-to-toe washes. While the interior is closed to the public, you can still explore the outside of the building.
• Filerimos Monastery – Located near the village of Ialyssos. Monastery was built in the 15th century by the Knights of Saint John. It was destroyed by the Turks and rebuilt in the 1920s.
• Waterpark in Faliriki – A great spot to unwind from sightseeing. Considered one of the best water parks in Europe. Appeals to people of all ages, from toddlers to adults.
• Toy Museum – A museum showcasing toys made from the 1930s – 1990s. Features a game room with arcade games, which you can play. Interactive toys and handicraft activities will appeal to children.
• Butterfly Valley – Enjoy nature, trails, and more at Butterfly Valley. Located 30 km from Rhodes Town. June – September you will be treated to the beauty of the butterflies.
• Palace of the Grand Master – Located in the Medieval City of Rhodes, the palace was built on a Byzantine site by the Knights of Saint John. Served as the center of activity for the knights as well as being where the Grand Master lived. Well-preserved palace ideal for exploring.
• Acropolis of Lindos – During ancient times was the main area of Lindos. Some original structures are still standing today. You can take a guided tour so you know exactly what you’re looking at.
• Afandou Beach – A long and sandy beach that is family friendly. Lots of facilities available. Located 19 km south of Rhodes Town.
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