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The Greek island of Rhodes has a “colossal” history, and it was home to one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. The Colossus of Rhodes was erected in 293 B.C., which stood on the island until being destroyed by an earthquake around 227 B.C. It is a land rich in history, and filled with tales of war, conquest, re-conquest and finally liberation.Documented history of Rhodes dates back to 1500 B.C. when the Mycenanean Greeks conquered the island. Three major city-states were founded, and these included Ialyssos, Lindos and Kamiros. The Persians later conquered much of the island in 491 B.C., but the city-state of Lindos held out and later Rhodians acceded to the Athenian alliance during the Classical Age.
The island was part of the Roman Empire and later the Byzantine Empire. King Richard I of England, the Lionhearted, visited Rhodes during the Third Crusade in 1191 A.D. He plundered the island of various goods and animals and recruited soldiers to join his army. Many of these men would return however with more plunder on their minds, and 10 years later during the Fourth Crusade the Crusader knights besieged and took the island by force from the Byzantines. The Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem bought the island in 1309 A.D., only to leave in 1522 A.D. when it fell to the invading Turks.
For the next 400 years the island was part of Ottoman Empire, until 1912 when the Italians, with the help of the Greek inhabitants, wrestled control. After the Second World War Rhodes finally became part of Greece again on March 7, 1948.