To make your holidays perfect, historic places are also of prime importance to visit. The historic Colossus of Rhodes is just one of them. It is located in the island of Rhodes. It was a giant statue of the god Helios and is also known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The discussion below would give you a better idea to conclude if the Colossus of Rhodes Island is a myth or a reality and to make your Rhodes Holidays meaningful.
History and People Associated with the Colossus of Rhodes
The history of the Colossus of Rhodes takes us back to the era of Alexander the Great, who died at an early age in 323BC. His early and untimely death gave him no time to name his successor and eventually resulted in a fight among his generals. Three of his generals ultimately ended up dividing his empire in the Mediterranean area.
Ptolemaic Egypt formed an alliance with Rhodes. Since then they took control over most of the eastern Mediterranean trade. Antigonus I Monophthalmus, one of the most important generals of Alexander was upset with the progress of Rhodes and its alliance. So in 305BC, his son Demetrius who was also a general invaded Rhodes with a huge army of 40,000 men but the city was well defended.
The statue of Colossus was built to celebrate their great victory against Demetrius men. Historic places, statues and monuments constructed in reference with a war attract a lot of tourists and that’s why Rhodes Holidays are famous among tourists all over the world.
Construction of the Colossus of Rhodes
The excitement of Rhodes Holidays gets even more when people get to know about the construction of this mighty staute which was supposed to be a daunting task. The statue was built by Chares who was a native of Rhodes. Chares was well known for his involvement in previous large scale statues constructed. His teacher who was a famous sculptor also constructed a 60-feet high statue of Zeus. The Colossus of Rhodes was built in 292BC.
The purpose of the construction of the Colossus of Rhodes was to celebrate the victory in war against Demetrius’s army. The Rhodians defended their homeland and the army of Demetrius was retreated as a result of that war. People of Rhodes sold all the equipment left by Demetrius in order to bear the construction expenses of Colossus.
The material used for construction of the statue included several stone columns and towers of blocks. The statue stood over a 50-metre high white marble pedestal. Irons beams and bronze plates were also used in the construction of the statue. The statue itself was over 30 meters high – one of the tallest statues of the ancient world. It took 12-years to complete this mighty statue.
Destruction of the Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes remained intact for 56-years only before it was brought down by a severe earthquake in 224BC. The earthquake broke it up and for about 800years the remains were left where it fell. It is said that in 654 AD, the Arab force under Muslim Caliph Muawiyah captured Rhodes and sold the relics of Colossus of Rhodes to a Jewish merchant.
In 1989, media claimed to discover the foundation-stones for the Colossus. However this claim has proved to be false. The Colossus of Rhodes does not exist anymore; but the Rhodes Holidays ideas struck to most tourists just to see the ruins of this terrific Wonder of the World.
Is Colossus of Rhodes just a Myth?
There is a question of some people if there was really a Colossus of this size or it is just a myth? This is because there are many views regarding the size and location of the Colossus of Rhodes.
It is said that the Colossus of Rhodes was over 30 meters high. It stood on both sides of the Mandraki Harbor and ships used to pass between its legs. Many illustrations show the statue astride the harbor and ships passing under it. On the other hand some people are of the view that the colossus existed in the Temple of Helios area.