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Rhodes island

Rhodes Island Greece 

 

 

Rhodes (Greek: Ρόδος, Ródos, [ˈroðos]) is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007,[1] and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes.[2] The city of Rhodes had 53,709 inhabitants in 2001. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and southwest of the Anatolian coast in Turkey.

 

Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

 

 

Geography of Rhodes

 

Rhodes is closer to Asia Minor than to the Greek mainland.

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.

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).

It is situated 363 km (226 mi) east-south-east from Greece mainland and only 18 km (11 mi) from the southern shore of Turkey.

 

Flora of Rhodes

The interior of the island is mountainous, sparsely inhabited and covered with forests of pine (Pinus brutia) and cypress (Cupressus sempervirens). While the shores are rocky, the island has arable strips of land where citrus fruit, wine grapes, vegetables, olives and other crops are grown.

Fauna on Rhodes

The Rhodian population of fallow deer was found to be genetically distinct in 2005, and to be of urgent conservation concern.[7] 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.

Geology - Earthquakes in Rhodes

 

Earthquakes include the 226 BC earthquake that destroyed the Colossus of Rhodes; one on 3 May 1481 which destroyed much of the city of Rhodes;[8] and one on 26 June 1926.[9]

On 15 July 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 stairs while trying to flee her home.[10]

 

History of Rhodes

Ancient times

 

In 408 BC, the cities united to form one territory. They built the city of Rhodes, a new capital on the northern end of the island. Its regular plan was superintended by the Athenian architect Hippodamus. 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 it fell to the Persians in 340 BC. Their rule was also short. To the great relief of its citizens, Rhodes became a part of the growing empire of Alexander the Great in 332 BC, after he defeated the Persians.

Following the death of Alexander, his generals vied for control of the kingdom. Three: Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Antigonus, succeeded in dividing the kingdom among themselves. Rhodes formed strong commercial and cultural ties[13] with the Ptolemies in Alexandria, and together formed the Rhodo-Egyptian alliance that controlled trade throughout the Aegean in the 3rd century BC.

The city developed into a maritime, commercial and cultural center; its coins circulated nearly everywhere in the Mediterranean. Its famous schools of philosophy, science, literature and rhetoricshared masters with Alexandria: the Athenian rhetorician 

 

Medieval period in Rhodes

 

In 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 Malta. The island was thereafter a possession of the Ottoman Empire for nearly four centuries.

 

Modern history of Rhodes

 

The island was populated by ethnic groups from the surrounding nations, including Jews. Under the Ottoman Empire rule, they generally did fairly well, but discrimination and bigotry occasionally arose. In February 1840, the Jews of Rhodes were falsely accused of ritually murdering a Christian boy. This became known as the Rhodes blood libel.

In 1912, Italy seized Rhodes from the Turks. The island's population thus bypassed many of the events associated with the "exchange of the minorities" between Greece and Turkey. Due to theTreaty of Lausanne, the island, together with the rest of the Dodecanese, was officially assigned to Italy. It became the core of their possession of the Isole Italiane dell'Egeo.

Following the Italian Armistice of 8 September 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, the German occupation caused the British failure in the subsequent Dodecanese Campaign.

On 19 July 1944, the Gestapo rounded up the island's nearly 2,000 Jewish inhabitants to send them to extermination camps. About 160 of the island's more than 600 Greek Jews survived. TheTurkish Consul Selahattin Ülkümen succeeded, at considerable risk to himself and his family, in saving 42 Jewish families, about 200 persons in total, who had Turkish citizenship or were members of Turkish citizens' families.

In 1947, 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 Agreements.

 

Archaeology of Rhodes

 

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, St. Catherine Hospice and Rhodes Footbridge.In ancient times, Rhodes was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World—the Colossus of Rhodes. This giant bronze statue was documented as once standing at the harbour. It was completed in 280 BC but was destroyed in an earthquake in 224 BC. No trace of the statue remains today.

 

Religion in Rhodes

 

The predominant religion is Greek Orthodox. There is a significant Roman Catholic[16] 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 times.

The Jewish community of Rhodes[17] goes back to the 1st century AD. In 1480, the Jews actively defended the walled city against the Turks. Kahal Shalom, established in 1557, is the oldest synagogue in Greece and still stands in the Jewish quarter of the old town of Rhodes.

At its peak in the 1920s, the Jewish community was one-third of the total population.[18] In the 1940s, there were about 2000 Jews of various ethnic backgrounds. The Germans deported and killed most of the community during the Holocaust. Kahal Shalom has been renovated with the help of foreign donors but few Jews live year-round in Rhodes today, so services are not held on a regular basis.[19]

 

Government


Afantou (Afantou, Archipoli)The present municipality Rhodes was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 10 former municipalities, that became municipal units (constituent communities in brackets):

  •  
  • Archangelos (Archangelos, Malonas, Masari)
  • Attavyros (Emponas, Kritinia, Monolithos, Siana, Agios Isidoros)
  • Ialysos
  • Kallithea (Kalythies, Koskinou, Psinthos)
  • Kameiros (Soroni, Apollona, Dimylia, Kalavarda, Platania, Salakos, Fanes)
  • Lindos (Lindos, Kalathos, Laerma, Lardos, Pylona)
  • Petaloudes (Kremasti, Pastida, Maritsa, Paradeisi, Theologos, Damatria)
  • Rhodes
  • South Rhodes (Gennadi, Apolakkia, Arnitha, Asklipieio, Vati, Istrios, Kattavia, Lachania, Mesanagros, Profilia)
  • The municipality covers the island of Rhodes and a few uninhabited offshore islets. Rhodes city was the capital of the former Dodecanese Prefecture. Rhodes is the most populated island of the South Aegean Region.

Towns and villages

Rhodes has 43 towns and villages:

 

 

Town/Village Population Municipal unit Town/Village Population Municipal unit
Rhodes City 80,000 Rhodes Gennadi 655 South Rhodes
Ialysos 15,000 Ialysos Salakos 607 Kamiros
Afantou 5,933 Afantou Kritinia 606 Attavyros
Kalythies 5,861 Kallithea Kattavia 590 South Rhodes
Archangelos 5,752 Archangelos Dimylia 515 Kamiros
Kremasti 4,585 Petaloudes Kalavarda 512 Kamiros
Koskinou 3,224 Kallithea Pylona 504 Lindos
Paradeisi 2,646 Petaloudes Istrios 485 South Rhodes
 

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