Rhodes – the Mediterranean Pearl
Rhodes – is called the “Mediterranean Pearl”. It is a very attractive island - not only because of the nature, but also because of the historical monuments.
The history of the Greek Island - is derived from from the Mythology. When Zeus divided land among the gods of Mount Olympus he had forgotten about the absent Sun-god Helios. When Helios complained about the injustice done to him, Zeus offered him a land that will emerge the sea.
Then from the bottom of the blue sea slowly emerged a beautiful island, profuse with flowers. Helios bathed the island with his own radiance (there are about 300 sunny days in a year)
A History Lesson
-A brief history of Rhodes-
The first traces of history date back to 600 years B.C. After about 200 years. In 408 B.C the residents of the island together with the neighbours from other city-states, Kamiros, Ialissos and Lindos, set up-on the north tip a capital, the Town of Rhodes.
In the year
305 B.C Rhodes prospered very well depriving Athens of its role as a centre of
rhetoric and art in the eastern part of the Mediterranean World. Together with
the involment in Roman civil wars came the twilight of this prosperity.
In 1309 the Knights of the Saint John of Jerusalem arrived on the island, and ruled it for 213 years. The Order was set up in XI century and its main role was to be in charge of the pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land.
Forced to leave Jerusalem 1291, Ioannites moved to Cyprus, then to Rhodes.
After the Turks conquered the island they took shelter on Crete, later on Sicily to finally settle down in Malta (from that time they were known as the Knights of Malta).
However, the most intensive development of Rhodes took place not during the Roman Times but under the Greek rule. The Greeks attached significant importance to the development of art – many famous artists came from Rhodes, ex Pytokritos, the author of the famous sculpture “Nike of Samothrace” (now in Louvre Museum in Paris).
After Rhodes was incorporated to Roman Empire, the Romans destroyed its fleet and carried away to Rome many precious sculptures.
Ancient Greeks worshipped Rhodes, the largest island in the Dodecanese, as their Island of Sun. It has maintained its reputation as the sunniest destination in Greece, and with its delightful bays, flowers and forests, handsome towns and ancient sites, visitors are only too happy to continue the veneration. Rhodes holidays incorporate a perfect partnership of sun, sea, sand, age-old sites, find dining and modern amenities. For Greek holidays Rhodes is a fantastic island destination for all holiday-makers.
Greek mythology pronounces that when Zeus forgot to set aside any land for the Sun God, Helios, the latter asked for a sunny land that had recently emerged from the sea which suited his disposition admirably. That island was Rhodes. Enjoying one of the healthiest and most refreshing climates in the Mediterranean with strong sunlight and beautiful warm sea, the island is also crammed with sites. The old town of Rhodes, the capital city, is widely acknowledged as one of the finest walled cities in Europe, and the landscape is bedecked with as many Byzantine churches as it is flowers. Ancient archaeological settlements and a truly stunning Acropolis give way to fragrant pine forests, fabulous beaches and delightful sandy coves. With stunning beaches and fascinating historical sites, Rhodes holidays are a wonderful way to experience Greece.
Rhodes’ Turkish heritage remains in the faded red stone and slender minaret of the 16th century Mosque of Suleiman: on a clear day it is just visible from the Turkish coastline just 18km to the north.
Beyond the ancient walls of Rhodes, the trinkets of the new town exercise considerable charm: there are designer shops, international restaurants, a casino housed in a summer palace, live-music, bars, clubs, laser shows and simple backstreet ouzeries where backgammon is the plat du jour. During summer, the city hosts various cultural events and the many theatres of the capital have daily performances and concerts of classical and modern music. This spectacular contrast between the gloriously old and the new is ideal for visiting the ancient sites, alongside modern comforts when on holidays to Rhodes.