Other Islands of the Dodecanese.

RHODES.

Map of Rhodes.
Map of Rhodes.


History

- Neolithic era: Rhodes first inhabited, as demonstrated by finds from caves on the south side of the island.
- Bronze Age: Rhodes is colonised by the Telchines or Thelgines (Diodorus Siculus. Timachidas XV).
- 16th century BC: Cretan colonists - Founding of the city of Cretenia.
- 15th century BC: Colonisation by the Achaeans - Foundation of the city of Achaea.
- c. 1.200 BC: Trojan War - Rhodes sends nine ships commanded by Tiepolemos (Homer, Iliad II,653).
- c. 1.100 BC: Colonisation by the Dorians, led by Althamenes of the line of Herakles (Strabo XIV 653, Apollodoros 1112, Thucydides VII 57).
- c. 700 BC: Foundation of the Doric Hexapolis - The Doric cities of Lindos, Ialysos, Kamiros, Knidos and Halikarnassos form a holy alliance with Kos.
- 491 BC: Lindos besieged by the Persians - Rhodes capitulates. - 480 BC: Battle of Salamis - defeat of the Persians - liberation of Rhodes.
- 478-477 BC: memberschip of the 1st Athenian confederation.
- 408 BC: Foundation of the city of Rhodes - the plans for the city are prepared by the architect Hippodamos of Miletos.
- 377 BC: Membership of the 2nd Athenian confederation.
The third century BC was a time of prosperity for Rhodes.
- 332 BC: Alexander the Great captures Rhodes - The Greek cities are declared autonomous and receive privileges - Rhodes becomes an ally of Alexander.
- 305 BC: Demetrios Pollorketes besieges Rhodes unsuccesfully for a year - to commemorate their historic victory, the people of the island dedicate the statue called the "Colossus of Rhodes" to the sun-god Helios: 32 metres in height, it is one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.
- 227 BC: A devastating earthquake demolishes the Colosus of Rhodes and many other buildings on the island.
- 64 BC: Rhodes makes an alliance with the Romans and Julius Caesar.
- 42 BC: After the assassination of Julius Caesar, Cassius besieges and takes the island - he seizes all the art treasures of Rhodes and carries off to Rome more than 3.000 statues - this is seen as the date at which the decline of the island begins.
- 57 AD: St Paul lands at the little harbour near Lindos.
- 330 AD: Rhodes is included in the eparchy of the Dodecanese as part of the Byzantine Empire - Frequent raids and short periods of occupation.
- 1306: The island's commander, Byzantine admiral Vinioli, surrenders Rhodes to the Knights of St John - The inhabitants resist the change of hands, and the Knights besiege the island.
- 1309: The Knights capture Rhodes - beginning of a period of prosperity which lasts some 200 years (As long as the period of rule by the Knights), with extensive trade and the construction of many fine buildings.
- 1522: Suleyman the Magnificent occupies the city - The Knights of St John put up a stout resistance and are eventually allowed to leave Rhodes under truce, with all their property - 390 years of Ottoman occupation follow - The Greeks lose many of their basic rights, such as the entitlement to own property - to practise their religion (no churches are allowed), or to live within the walls of the city - the new city comes into being.
- 1912: Italy occupies Rhodes and is as first hailed as a liberator.
- 1943: German forces occupy the island during the Second World War.
- 7 March 1948: Rhodes and the other islands of the Dodecanese are united with Greece.


Information:

The Island Rhodes, with a population of 77.720 people, is situated at the south-eastern extremity of the Aegean. It is the largest island in the Dodecanese and has an area of 1.398 Km², a maximum length of 77 km a maximum width of 37 km and a coastline of 220 km. It is 265 nautical miles from Piraeus.
A mountain range runs like a backbone down the length of the island's plains. Its highest peaks are Mts Attavyros (1.215 m), Artamytis (850 m), and Prophitis Ilias (800 m).
The small green plateaus, the easely-accessible beaches with their little coves, golden sand and sapphire-coulored sea, the leafy, blossoming gardens with theirorange trees, the palm groves, the cypresses, the picturesque villages and gleaming white houses go to make up the paradisal beauty of the island.

The Town:
The town of Rhodes stands at the north-eastern end of the island and is divided into the imposing medieval Old Town, with its population of 8.000 and the New Town.

The New Town:
The administrative and commercial centre of the Dodecanese, the New Town is full of life. with broad, tree-lined avenues, up-to-date town planning, handsome buildings, fine beaches and a wide range of goods available in the market.
The little old harbour of Mandraki today serves small tourist vessels, hydrofoils and pleasure craft. The entrance to the harbour is dominated by two columns with carved deer on top.
On the mole protecting the harbour stands Fort St Nicolas, today a lighthouse and, in the middle of it, three Byzantine windmills. This is also the site of the polygonal building of the New Market.
If the visitor takes a stroll along the seaside avenue northwards, he comes to buildings which were put up during the italian occupation, among them the Cathedral Church of the Annunciation (built in 1825), the Governor's Palace with its imposing Gothic Arches, and the National Theatre. At the northern end of the town is the Aquarium. Here, apart from the large collection of preserved sea and other creatures, the visitor encounters the strange living world of the deep. There is a sandy beach on either side of the Aquarium.

If we take the route from Mandraki towards the south, after the market building, we come to the Kastro gardens and the walls of the Old Town.
The New Town today extends as far as the hill of St Stephen, the acropolis of Rhodes, where the town's most important archaeological discoveries have come to light: remains of the ancient acropolis, the temples of Athena Polias, of Zeus Polieus and of Asclepius, the cave of the Nymphs, the base, four columns and part of the pediment of the large temple of Pythian Apollo, the ancient stadium and the restored theatre.
The Rodini park has gardens lush with greenery and roses and lakes with bridges. There are also several Hellenistic tombs in the park and a monumental Roman tomb.

The Old Town:
The old walled town was divided by an internal wall int two parts: The castle (Collachium), which was the residence of the Knights, and Chora. The main entrance to the medieval town with its high walls and bulky towers, is from Mandraki through Eleftherias (freedom) Gate to the Collachium. A few metres inside the Old Town, in Mouseiou Square and to the right, we cross the impressive paved Street of th Knights, which is flanked by the inns of the stone of Creto and Timarista, a head of Apollo and many other statues, reliefs, jars, vessels, figurines, ancient coins and jewellery. At a higher point in the Street of the Knights is the Castle or the Palace of the Grand Masters (Castello) ; as its largest building, it dominates the whole of the medieval complex. The old Knights' building of the 14 th century was completely destroyed in the great explosion which took place at the church of St John in 1856. The Italians restored it (1940) and adorned it with mosaic floors of the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, which they brought from Kos. They used it as the headquarters of the Italian Governor of the Dodecanese and for the intended visits of Vittore Emmanuele III and of Mussolini.

Among the notable buildings to be seen in Chora are those of the Castellania, which is in Ippokratous Square and was a commercial centre and the headquarters of the Knight who controlled commerce, and of the Admiralty, on the north side of the Square of the Jewish Martyrs (Evraion Martyron). Within the walls of the Old Town many old churches have also survived - Our Lady of Chora, Our Ladyu of Victory, St Phanurius, etc, together with a number of mosques. A walk trough the streets of this lively city where some 8.000 people live and work should certainly include Sokratous Street with it many shops and Orpheos, Aristotelous, Sophokleous, Ippodamou and Ipparchou streets.

Two main roads, one from the east and one from the west, encircle the island and have many branches which link the countryside with the city of Rhodes.


Eastern side:

Kallithea (10 km):
A fine beach, a natural environment all of its own, medicinal springs. The spa facilities are interesting, but no longer operate.

Faliraki (15 km):
A cosmopolitan centre, with large hotels, rooms to let, supermarkets, shops, restaurants, etc. Approximately 5 km of sandy beach, with shallow water.

Afantou (20,50 km):
A town with a tradition of carpet-weaving. Beach with fine pebbles. Golf course.

Epta Pighes (26 km):
A spot with plane trees, springs, little waterfalls and lake.

Tsambikas Monastery (28,50 km):
A branch off to the left after Kolymbia leads to this Byzantine monastery, which is at the top of a mountain of the same name (320 m). A certain amount of the way can be covered by car; after that, it takes about 15 minutes on foot to reach the summit.
The next branch off the main road leads to its sandy beach.

Archangelos (33 km):
A large pictureque town with a tradition in ceramics, carpet-weaving and the making of the traditional goat's leather boots of the region.

Haraki (40 km):
The port of the villages of Malona and Massari. On top of a rock to the left, the medieval fortress of Feraklos looks out to sea.

Lindos (50 km):
Immediately after the branch off the main road which leads to Lindos, there is a breath-taking view of the beautiful natural bay of Palaistra with its sandy beach. Higher up, above the white houses of the village, the acropolis seems fused to the rock, while all round the sea is blue and boundless.

Lindos stands exactly on the site of the ancient town, on the Krana headland. Many of the houses are of the 17th century and are built with hewn stone with doors and windows of the medieval type. Their architecture is of great interest. In the village is the 15th century church of Our Lady with notable wall-paintings.
On the hill above the village is the acropolis. The walls which encircle it today are those of the Knights. The most imposing of the ruins of the acropolis are thos of the Temple of Lindian Athena and its propylaea (gateway), and a colonnade of a length of 88 metres in which 20 of the 42 columns which it had in antiquity have been re-erected.
At the entrance to the acropolis is a stern of a ship in relief, the work of the Lindos sculptor Pythocritus.
On the western side of the hill there are the remains of an ancient theatre.
The building on the top of the little promontory which encloses the harbour, is the church of St Aimilianos.
Lindos reached its high point of prosperity under the tyrant Cleobulus, one of the Seven Sages of Greece, who ruled his native land for 40 years.
Below the south-western part of the acropolis is the picturesque little harbour of Apostolos Pavlos. According to tradition, St Paul landed here to teach Christianity in Rhodes, hence the name. The chapel dedicated to him has its feast day on 28 June.

Kattavia (107 km):
This is the point at which the western and eastern roads meet, at the islands' southernmost village. From here an earth road sets out to the southernmost extremity of the island, Prasonisi.


Western side:

Ialisos (8 km):
This was one of the three cities of Rhodes in ancient times. The site has not yet been uncovered, but it is assumed that it is on the side of the Philerimos hill. In the course of archaeological digs - 1stperiod: 1859-1871 & 2ndperiod: 1914-1929 - tombs and other rich finds from the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods came to light. In the modern town is the Church of the Dormition of the Vergin, whose sanctuary screen is a fine piece of wood-carving of the 18thcentury. The road leading to the Philerimos hil passes through the village. Asmaller road to the left leads to the small Monastery of the Archangels (Taxiarches).

Philerimos (15,2 km):
On this wooded hill, of a height of 265 metres, there are the remains of an ancient Doric fountain of the 4thcentury BC, a restored 15th century monastery of Our Lady and an underground Byzantine church with wallpaintings of the 14thcentury.

Kremasti (11 km):
There are major celebrations here on the feast of the Dormition of the Virgin on 15 August.

Airport (15 km):
To the right of the main road

Petaloudes (26 km):
2,5 km after the village of Paradeidi, a brach road off to the left leads to this long, narrow valley with dense greenery on its rising ground. This is full of butterflies between June and September. A little uphill road from here leads to the Monastery of Our Lady of Kalopetra (1782).

Agios Soulas (28 km):
Approximately 4 km after the village of Soroni, a road branching off to the left leads to this small monastery, ringed with cypress trees. It has its feast day on 30 July, when there are major celebrations.

Prophitis Illias:
At a height of 700 metres and near the Monastery of the Prophet Elias are the Elaphos and Elaphina hotels. The mountain is very verdant and the road leading to it is surfaced.

Kamiros (36,2 km):
This ancient city of Rhodes was discovered in 1860. It stands like an amphitheatre on an attractive and fertile hill. Its prosperity in ancient times is indicated by the important remains which have been discovered: a marketplace, houses, hot baths, a water-supply and drainage system, a cistern of a capacity of 600 m³ (6th - 5th century BC), a temple of Athena Kamarias (6th century BC), the foundations of a colonnade of the Doric order of a length of 200 metres (3th century BC), etc.

Kamiros Skala (52 km):
A little fishing port with attractive tavernas serving fish, and a sandy beach. Caïques depart from here for the small island of Alimia and for Chalki.

Agios Isidoros (66 km):
Approximately 5 km from the village of Kritinia, a road off to the left leads to the village of Embonas, where there is a wine festival. It then climbs the side of Mt Attavyros, tracing out a semi-circle until it comes to the village of Agios Isidoros. In the middle of this semi-circle is the old Artamitis Monastery (13th century).

Monolithos (80 km):
2 km of earth road, south-west of the village, leads to the medieval castle of Monolithos (15th century), imposing because of its position on top of a huge rock (Monolithos = single rock).

Night Life:
Apart from the many places in the city of Rhodes which have Greek and foreign music, there are also the following:
- Son et Lumière: In the garden of the Kastro, a few metres beyond the new Market. A spectacle representing the siege of the city.
- Open-air theatre in the old town: Traditional dances, and other events.
- The ancient stadium: The municipality of Rhodes organises many events at this venue in the summer months (concerts, theatrical performances, etc.).
- The Regional Theatre: The venue for concerts, theatrical performances and other cultural events.
- The Rodos Cinema.
- The Cinema Theatre.

Text from Davaris Publications. - Greek Islands: DODECANESE.

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Nostalgia Travel ™ / Other Islands / Rhodes.