The island of Rhodes opened like a flower from the watery depths, child of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, and then became the bride of the sun. - Pindar -
The history of Rhodes like the rest of Greece, has its beginnings in the murky depths of Myth. The first real inhabitants of the island are thought to have been the Carians people from Asia Minor opposite. Followed by the Phoenicians, but it was when Minoan Crete set up its own colony there that Rhodes got the chance to make its appearance in the history of the Eastern Mediterranean.
All the above, between 2500-1500 BC. In 1400 BC, the Greek Archaens from Mycenae, Tiryns, Argos and Attica arrive and about 1200 BC, the Dorians develop the towns of Lindos, Ialyssos and Kameiros from 100 to 600 BC. The three large towns of the island and above all Lindos founded may colonies on the shores of Asia Minor, Sicily, France and Spain.
The year 408 BC, the new capital was established, given the name of Rhodes. Through the classical antiquity to the Roman Period and the Byzantium middle ages, Rhodes experienced invasions and epic wars from the Persians, Saracans, to pirates and crusaders. But maintained throughout all those years a major cultural and commercial link between East and West.
Trade, maritime activities, arts and literature reached peaks that only a few towns had achieved before. Sculpture, painting and pottery produced works whose quality and numbers still continue to astound us. Among them the world famous statue Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
In 1988, UNESCO declared Rhodes medieval city a "Monument to the world's cultural heritage"
The years 1304-1522, when Rhodes was occupied by the order of the Knights of St. John could be considered as one of the Rhodes' most flourishing periods. The knights left imposing evidence of their time on the island, and gave it a particular color which the town still retains in its impregnable walls, its gates, the churches and the hospitals, the inns and the majestic palaces that leave the visitor of the historical city even in our days with a breathtaking experience.
Mountainous, historic Rhodes, known as the island of roses, was once a powerful capital, with access to the rich trading and shipping routes of the Mediterranean and Egypt. Great temples were erected on the Acropolis and a wide road was built to the busy harbor.
Modern codes of law were instituted and the Colossos was built as a symbol of Rhodian strength and wealth. The Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem took refuge on Rhodes and for two centuries after, knights from Europe joined the Order. They renovated the huge fortifications over the ancient city and built inns and the Palace of the Great Masters, which dominates the Old Town today.
The Old Town of Rhodes – home to S. Nikolis’ Hotel – is made of sandstone and marble, winding cobblestone alleys of stalls, tavernas and world-class restaurants, all dominated by the walls of the ancient city. The Old Town is safe, secure and clean – a much-loved jewel of Greece. S. Nikolis’ Hotel gives you a birds-eye view of the once mighty, but always alluring, island of Rhodes.