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Monuments and archaeological sites of Rhodes

City of Rhodes was created in 408/7 b.c. on the nothern point of the island after the constitution of the three ancient cities of Rhodes- Island, Lindos, Kameiros, and Ialysos. In 1992 and 1993 celebrated the 2400 years since the year it was first created.

In the creation of the Rhodian City important role played the aristocratic family of Diagorides from Ialysos.All of the males in the family were world famous Olympic Champions. There is still the saying " Idou i Rodos idou to Pidima" which symbolizes how strong and good Diagoras was. The locals made a myth about him that he jumped from Pireas to Rhodes. The Olympic champions of the Family were Diagoras(the father) Akoysilaos, Damagitos, Dorieas Eyklis and Peisirodos.

The city of Rhodes has a strategic position on the world Map, the five ports helped Rhodes to quickly rise from the rank. The govermental system was democratic and had as authorities the church, the parliament, 5 deans and a Lord, which was the priest of Sun, the God who was protecting the Island.

The first Period for Rhodes is a period of instability and frequent political alterations and interior collisions between the democratic supporters and the oligarhics.Democrats were supported from Athens and Oligarhics from Sparti.

The diluteness of the 2nd Athenian coalition in which Rhodes was part of it since 378/7 b.c. favoured the extension of the mausolius and the successor of Artemisias which place Rhodes in the Kariki dynasty from 351 b.b to 332 b.c. when Alexander the Great started his campaign.

Although, Rhodes remained free with democratic goverment system with limited independence due to the presence of the Macedonian garrison which Rhodians banished after the death of Alexander the Great. At that speicific time the life of an independent Rhodian State starts.

The extremely important current geographic position of Rhodes which is in the crossroad of East and West and also the historical and political conditions will favour Rhodes to Rise as a strong naval and commercial power equal and competitor of Athens, first in the Aegean and then in the whole medditeranean sea.

Although soon enough the Rhodian state will be influenced from the collisions of the successors of Alexander the Great to a point that could not continue it's foreing Policy of neutralism that was securing the safety of Rhodes and was making easier the commerce for Rhodians.

The creation of Alexandria in 331 b.b. that was controlled from Ptolemeous favoured the development of Rhodes which maintained commercial and political relations with Alexandria. Although after the refusal of Rhodians to take Antigonos side against Ptolemeous constituted the cause of rift between the two states. Antigonos, son of Demetrios the besieger, besieged Rhodes in 305/4 b.c.

The rise period of Rhodes

The success for Rhodians to answer the besieged consolidated to the Rhodian indepedence and became the start of a 150 years period during which Rhodes met a marvelous economic development and political irradiation, the larget in Rhodes history. Simoultaneously the city of Rhodes became one of the most organized and beautiful cities of the world built under the Ippodamus system with street layout and strong fortifications decorated with temples gyms and wonderfull buildinings.

The decay of Egypt comprised in the stregthen of the Rhodian naval democracy which made Rhodes a guarantor in the freedom of Seas and became a protector of the Greek cities.

The valuable authority of Rhodes was demonstrated the next few years when after the earthquake in 227/6 B.C which became the reason for the whole Rhodes city to be destroyed and Collosus of Rhodes as well, the powerful men of Rhodes after offers they made helped Rhodes to be errected very fast and regain it's reputation.

The foreign policy of Fillipos the 5th constituted the cause for Romans to be brought on the political foreground of Greece and hellenistic Middle east. Rhodes takes the side of Romans on the war and extends it's land in Mikra Asia (where turkey is today).Rhodes was the ruler of the islands.After the defeat of Antiohos the third (188 bv.) in which Rhodes helped with naval forces , Rhodes obtained large areas in Karia and Lykia and reached the maximum of it's Political strength and economic development.

After this point the history of the island depends more and more on the Romans which take control of the Greek World. The treaty with Rome signed in 164 b.c. which obligated Rhodes to have the same enemies as Rome marked the end of a long term neutral Rhodian foreign policy and limited gradually the role of Rhodes as a satellite of Rome, even if Rhodes was still powerfull enough in order to be able to help Rome in the Mithridatikous Wars (88 b.c.)

  Decay of Rhodes

The next few years after the civil wars of Romans Rhodians tried to follow the well known foreign policy for them, that gave them power and economic development,although there was no success. Cassius punished Rhodians for what they did, because he was not supported from Rhodians as much as he should have and as such he besieged and detroyed Rhodes in 42 b.c. . All the statues and oblations were moved in Rome and were situated in palaces and squares in Rome.

After the defeat of Augoustos in Aktio (31 b.c.) and the settlement of the Roman Empire, Rhodes maintained the domestic autonomy and for long time was still a comercial center and a city admirable for it's beauty and art treasuries.

The freedom of Rhodians was a benefit that was depended on the Romans and was frequently taken from them during the 1st century a.c. The earthquake of 142 b.c. completed the decay of Rhodes. Rhodes never made it to raise again and constituted just a simple city in the Roman empire.

In Rhodes was dispersed from the early ages Cristiniasm. According to history Saint Paul on his Trip from Militos to Syria passed from the island 57 a.c.

In 297 a.c. Dioklitianos merged Rhodes with the rest of the islands and unfortunately that meant the end of Rhodes independence for ever.

  Education and Art in Rhodes

Simultaneously with the economic development of the island the political power of Rhodes was also developing as an important center of art and letters of the ancient world.

Important men of that time appeared in early years since the creation of Rhodes city.

Peisandros a poet from Kamrios, Kleovoulos from Lindos leader of Lindos and one of the 7 ancient prudents of ancient Greece, Timokreon a poet from Ialysos.

Since 4th century Rhodes started attracting local and foreign wise people, scientists, poets and artists who came in Rhodes to teach do researches and create. Between these people was the famous Athenian rhetor Aishinis creator of the Rhodian rhetoric Academy, the philologist Dionysos from Thrace, astronomers and mathematicians such as Ipparchus from nikaia, Evdoxos from Knidos. Some of the most important scientists are the Rhodians, Timahidas from Lindos and the historians Ergeias and Antisthenis.

The reputation of Rhodes reached the top during the hellenistic years due to the philosophic and rhetoirc schools operated in the island. Other famous celebrities of the island were Philosopher Panaitios and Pasidonios, Ekaton and Adronikos.

All these years were visiting Rhodes Roman celebrities who were seeking for education and intellectual company, such people were Kikeron, Julius Ceasar, Pompios, Cassius, L. Karos and others. As in the literary life the same development Rhodes met also in the arts. In Rhodes there were creations of great painters such as Parrasios and Appelis, sculptors such as Lyssipos and Vryaxis and it is a conjecture that Dinokratis architect of Alexander the Great was also Rhodian. Sculptur Charis the Lindian, Agisandros, Athinodoros and Polydoros createt the cluster of "Lakoon".

The raise of the art world of Rhodes was so big that even during the years of decay according to Plinio around 60 a.c. there were more than 3.000 statues.

  Medieval Period

Rhodes during the medieval period follows the luck of the other Greek cities first as a roman suburban city and then with the creation of the Byzantine Empire as a byzantine suburban city. According to the residential division of the byzantine empire Rhodes belonged to Kivyrraitoys. The earthquakes of 344/5 and mainly the one in 515 a.c. was the reason for the fortified walls of ancient town to fall. After 7th century begun for Rhodes a dark period that the only clues we have belong to some information taken from byzantine chronographers.

The military importance of the island grew after the appearance of an Arabian power in Medditeranean sea and for over two centuries Rhodes was on the center of the fight for the dominance of the two rival worlds. Byzantine and Arabian.

Rhodes was accepting continous attacks from the Persians of Hosroi the 2nd (620 a.c.), the Arabs of Moabia (653/4 a.c.) who sold the bronze of Collosus statue. Rhodes devastated from Seltzoykoys of Chalif of Baghdad Aroun Al Rasint 807 a.c.

The same time Rhodes port was used from the byzantines as the starting point for attacks to Crete and Africa. After the end of Arabs, west countries started the commercial infiltration. In 1082 the blue in color with the permission from the byzantine emperor Alexio Komnino they made a commercial base in Rhodes and in 1291 Rihardos the 2nd of England and Fillipos the second Augoustos of France on the way to Jerusalim they passed from Rhodes and take missionaries for their crusades.

The capture of Constantinoupolis from Frags in 1204 had consequences for the political authority in Rhodes.Rhodes was given to the "blue in Color".

Leon Gavalas the imperial governon made it in time to announce himself as an independent emperor. Later he was forced to accept his suzerainty and he was successed from his brother Ioannis Gavalas faithful to the emperor that supported him on his wars against the Latins.

A few years after the regain of Constantinoupolis from the Byzantines in 1261 a.c. the island of Rhodes was given to different crusaders as a feud. Finally and luckily Rhodes gets out of the byzantine empire in 1306 when Vignolo di Vignoli gave it to the Knights os Saint John.

  The period of Saint John's Knights

Rhodes that during the medieval age was placed in the fringe of the historic acts regained power during the years of Knights, a strategic and economic importance. The port of Rhodes became one of the portals of the western Europe to Eastern world and vice versa, not only because of the import of gears but also because of the exchange of intellectual ideas.

The members of the Saint John's battalion were coming from all the Catholic countries around Europe and were divided into three categories. Knights, Kapelanos and Sergentis. They corresponded to the classes of the medieval age which were noblemen, clergies and the folk.

The structure was based on the national provenience and were divided into 7 language - nations: France, England, Germany, Overni, d'oc later, Catillia was added.

Life term Lord in the command of the battalion was Great Magistre, the collectible synod and the coucil of the chiefs of every language-nation. After a period of adaptation and domestic collisions the Knights of Rhodes powerful politically and militarily signed treaties with other powers such as France, Cyprus, East mediterranean and Saint dais. They tried to weaken the stregnth of Muslim countries and dominate the commercial paths of East and West.

In the middle of 15th century Rhodes accepted repeated muslim attacks and in 1453 Constantinoupolis falls in the Turkish Hands. The enemy is close enough and the Knights that visioned the ineluctable collision foritify all the walls and castles of Rhodes island.

In May 1480 the besieged of the Island starts from the navy and army of Mesih Pasa who finally succeeded on the 27th of July. The besieged had as a result all the castles and fortified walls to be destroyed. The knights started fortifications and constructions according to that age's latest techniques favoured from the civil wars between Sultan Mehmet B'. Simultaneously they seek for help to the west but the international coincedences were not on their favour. Turkish took advantage of it and the Turkish navy and army besieged all the ports.

After many years of wars Knights admitted their loss and signed a treaty of Peace with Suleiman and on the first of January 1523 they left for Crete and from there to Italy with final destination Malta. After 213 years under the occupation of Knights and the start of Rhodes to raise again economically and politically falls on the hands of the Turkish barbarians. Knights and Rhodians tried for 8 years to drive Turkish away of the island.

During 400 years of Turkish occupation the island had it's darkest years. A huge effort of the Turkish to change the language and religion of the locals was unsuccesfull. Manslaughtering and devastations were the main characteristics of the Turkish occupancy in contrast with The Previous conquerors of Rhodes. Finally and luckily 1912 the Turkish Occupancy ended and Italians came in the island.

Romans then Byzantines then Knights then Turkish and back to Italians again. Although Italians thought that they would keep the island for ever. During their occupancy they errected many archaeological sights medieval buildings the constructed hotels and streets.

Finally Rhodes after 33 years of italian occupancy earn their indepedence and merged with the rest of the Greek Country.

  Monuments and Archaeological sites of Rhodes city

Rhodes has important monuments and ancient areas for the visitor to admire. The biggest archaeological monument is Rhodes itself. The visitor by the time he/she steps foot on this island feels the different aura that surrounds the island. Great philosophers and atrtists were born and died here or simply taught such as Charis the Lindian, Kleovoulos, Sain Paul and Saint John who wrote Apocalypsis ,Ipparchus, Alexander the Great, Omeeros, Diagoras, Dorieas. The sensation to be in Rhodes is unique for the people that appreciate history of Greece and history as a whole.

When you shut your eyes and let you mind free to recur moments of the past, when somebody touches the fortified walls of old town and walks between the relics of Ancient Kamiros, Filerimos and Lindos makes him/her feel that he/she lives in different times. The museum inside the castle gives the opportunity to the visitor to learn just a bit of the Rhodian history.

A visit in Kamiros makes your mind recur a few thousand years ago and remember the hisoty with Dorieans and Achaeans. The archaeological findings are splendid.

There are so many monuments as have been mentioned through the Rhodes history and history of Rhodes island that are a must see.

Visit The following Places while in Rhodes

    * Castle of Old Town
    * Ancient Kamiros
    * Ancient Ialysia
    * Filerimos
    * Castle of Monolithos
    * Castle of Lindos and surrounding areas
    * Fortification of Feraklos in Haraki
    * Acropolis of Rhodes
    * Rhodes old town


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