“And there like flower, Rhodes blossomed from the watery depths, child of Aphrodite, goddess of love and then became the bride of Helios”
Rhodes is one of the most important islands of Greece with 300 years of history and 300 days of sunshine per year. In comparison to the other islands it attracts, yearly, almost the highest number of tourists.
It is the biggest island of the Dodecanese, with size of 1400,68 square kilometers, populated by almost 120.000 inhabitants. It is located at the crossroads of two big sea routes of the Mediterranean, the Aegean Sea and the shores of the Middle East. As a meeting point of three civilizations, Rhodes has met many cultures. Through its long history, all the diverse people that inhabited Rhodes left their mark on the island’s cultural aspects: on art, on language, on architecture. Its strategic position has brought to the island great wealth and made the city of Rhodes one of the most prominent cities of Ancient Greece.
The capital lies on the northern edge of the island and is the capital of the prefecture with the Medieval City in its middle that, in 1988, was recognized as World Heritage City. It is a mixture of different architectures, from various historical eras, with most important this of the Military Order of Saint John along and this of the Ottomans. Today it is live part of the modern city where commercial, touristic and recreational activities develop, while being populated.
Many myths are connected to the creation of Rhodes. According to Pindar, when Zeus decided to distribute the earth to the Olympian Gods, Helios (Sun) was absent and was left without any piece of land. In order to do justice they agreed that the land that would surface from the sea the next dawn would be his. So it surfaced a beautiful and green island. Helios rapt by its beauty bathed it with his beams and named the island Rhodes, after his wife’s name, the daughter of Poseidon. Thence forward Rhodes is the island of Sun, the most bright and radiant. This myth, produced by folk imagination, tries to explain various phenomena. The emersion of Rhodes is relative to the uplifts and subsidence that Geology describes, regarding the formation of the Earth’s surface. The love of Helios for Rhodes is explained by the sunshine that the island has almost every day. This is why it was named the bride of Helios and is considered to be daughter of Aphrodite, who surfaced from the waves.
Crowned with golden beaches, surrounded by green hills and fertile valleys, endlessly bathing in the light of its ancient long-standing mentor, Rhodes is blessed by nature, a Heaven tailored for the mortals.