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With a rich mythical tradition, Rhodes was first inhabited during the prehistoric period with another wave of settlers during the Mycenaean period. This is attested to by the abundant wealth of finds in the cemeteries of Ialyssos and Kameiros. Dorians led by Tleopolemus colonized the island, apportioning it among three main city-states which flourished and participated in the establishment of the historic Hexapolis during the Archaic period. The island's shipping and trading flourished, important colonies were established in Lower Italy and Sicily and along the coastline of Asia Minor and good relations were maintained with the Egyptians. Rhodian vessels displayed the new spirit of the age and were strongly influenced by eastern tradition. A leading figure from the 6th century BC was Cleobolus from Lindos, one of the seven sages of antiquity. One of the most important events in the island's history was the founding of the city of Rhodes in 408 BC. It flourished during the 4th century BC. It was then that the famed Colossus of Rhodes was erected on the island by the Lindos sculptor, Chares, student of Lyssipus.


  A major political and military force, Rhodes was a dominant figure throughout the 3rd century BC always remaining loyal to its commercial interests. With these in mind it fell behind Rome and at the beginning of the 2nd century BC underwent an economic boom. In 88 BC it was attacked by Mithridates while in 42 BC Cassius inflicted major destruction. He had sought refuge on the island following the assassination of Julius Caesar and requested the assistance of the Rhodians. They refused and he reacted. The island went into a period of decline following the catastrophic earthquake in 155 BC. In the years after this, it followed the same fate as the other islands and despite attacks never lost its strategic and economic importance. From the 7th century AD onwards Rhodes suffered successively from the Persians, the Arabs, and the Saracens while during the 9th century AD the Seljuk Turks struck.
The role of the island remained important in the Eastern Mediterranean particularly during the 11th and 12th centuries when commercial links with the Venetians and the West were developed. It was then that major monuments were erected and rich libraries established. Between 1204 and 1246 Rhodes was governed by the Archon of Constantinople, Leon Gavalas, who was followed by the Genovese until 1309. The island then passed into the hands of the Knights of the Order of St. John. The Knights restored the fortress based on the new requirements of the art of war creating fortifications unique in Europe. At that time the island underwent another economic boom with many artistic and intellectual activities flourishing.
  The Municipality of Rhodes
The modern town of Rhodes together with the villages of Asgourou and Kritika is one of the largest municipalities in insular Greece. The rare beauty of the natural environment with the clean beaches, the parks and leisure facilities, the brilliant sun, warmth of hospitality, excellent tourist infrastructure, huge range of choice for entertainment and nightlife, sports, cultural events, one day outings to neighbouring islands or to Lindos and the opportunity to get to know a little about the turbulent history of the town by visiting monuments and museums make Rhodes one of the most famous resorts in the whole Mediterranean.

Mandraki was one of the five ports ancient Rhodes had. In the area around the port one can see buildings in the Italian architectural style such as the New Market (a large rectangular structure with rows of shields on the facade and a large open area in the centre), the Bank of Greece, the Akteon Building, the courts, the port master's office, the post office, the town hall, the Prefectural Building and the National Theatre.

Niohori and Psaroula are the first neighbourhoods of Rhodes town to have been developed for tourism. Narrow streets full of taverns, shops with tourism items, hotels and bars are to be found there. Along the length of Akti Kanari (in the Psaropoula area) is Kato Petres, a stone paved path which takes one down to the sea ideal for a romantic stroll particular as the sun is setting.

Ekato Hourmades
A long and narrow square with rows of palm trees surrounded by neoclassical and modern hotels.

The commercial heart of the town is Kyprou Square. From there on foot one can find Sofokli Venizelou St. also known as 100 Shops St. and reach the Academy building, a neoclassical structure.

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