RHODES. The largest island of the Dodecanese and the fourth largest of Greece, Rhodes was the island of the god Helios, whose statue, the famous Colossus, standing at the harbour entrance, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Rhodes flourished in Hellenistic times, becoming a major trading city. From 1309, Rhodes was the seat of the Order of the Knights Hospitaller. The medieval city which they built, with the Castle of the Knights and the Palace of the Grand Master, was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1988. The island was conquered by the Ottomans in 1523 and by the Italians in 1912. It remained under Italian rule until the unification of the Dodecanese with Greece in 1948. Today, one of Greece’s most popular island destinations, Rhodes enchants its visitors with its exquisite beaches, idyllic landscapes and important ancient and medieval monuments.
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