In its day of greatest power, Rhodes became famous for its impressive sculptures, like the huge bronze Colossus which stood at the entrance of the harbor. Created to honor, the sun god Helios, it was at least 110 feet high and considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Unfortunately, the Colossus only stood for 56 years before an earthquake toppled it in 224B.C. but the enormous fragments remained half-submerged for another nine centuries. A scrap dealer carried the pieces away on 900 camels.
The most glorious episode in Rhodes history began in 1309 when the Knights of St.John took control after being expelled from the Holy Land following the Crusades. They built the St.John's Chapel and the St.Mary's Church.
One of the tunnels that allowed the Knights to secretely escape.
They settled in Rhodes and increased the fortifications. The ramparts are impressive, several feet high. A moat circled and protected the city when the drawbridge was raised.
After Constantinople was captured by the Turks. Repeated sieges of Rhodes by the Turks weakened the city. At the end only 180 Knights remained to defend Rhodes.
They were expelled to Malta and Rhodes became Turkish property.
The Italian navy seized Rhodes in 1912 and it was turned over to Greece in 1948.
The famous movie of Guns of Navarone was filmed in Rhodes.
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