Colossus of Rhodes, Rhodes

Colossus of Rhodes, Rhodes

Despite widespread myths, the Colossus of Rhodes did not actually span the entrance to Mandráki Harbour—as many depictions suggest. The reality is that its immense weight, consisting of twenty tonnes of bronze, would have caused it to sink into the soft seabed immediately. More credible theories suggest that this monumental statue of the sun god Helios, erected to memorialize Rhodes' successful defeat of Demetrius Poliorcetes, who attacked Rhodes for a year, was located near the Palace of the Grand Master.

The sculptor Khares of Lindos spent twelve years crafting the 35-meter (114-foot) tall Colossus, with each finger reportedly as large as a man. Tragically, Khares took his own life after discovering a critical design flaw in the statue, and his work was subsequently completed by his disciple, Lakhes. Less than 70 years after its completion, the Colossus suffered a catastrophic failure during an earthquake, snapping at the knees and collapsing, which some say confirmed Khares' fears about its structural integrity.

Following the disaster, the people of Rhodes sought guidance from the Delphic Oracle, which ominously advised them against restoring the statue. Heeding this warning, the ruins of the Colossus remained where they fell for nearly 900 years. It wasn't until AD 653 that Arab pirates pillaged Rhodes, ultimately selling the statue's bronze as scrap to a Jewish merchant from Syria. According to legend, it took 900 camels to transport all the bronze, marking a dramatic end to one of the ancient world's most famous statues.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Rhodes. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Colossus of Rhodes on Map

Sight Name: Colossus of Rhodes
Sight Location: Rhodes, Greece (See walking tours in Rhodes)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rhodes, Greece

Create Your Own Walk in Rhodes

Create Your Own Walk in Rhodes

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rhodes is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Rhodes Introduction Walking Tour

Rhodes Introduction Walking Tour

The city of Rhodes, capital of the eponymous island, has been famous since antiquity as the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Colossus of Rhodes. The enormous statue once stood over the harbor entrance and was destroyed by a powerful earthquake in 226 BC.

The name Rhodes comes from the ancient Greek word “rhódon” (rose), hence the island is sometimes referred to as the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Gates and Walls Tour

Gates and Walls Tour

Owing to its geographical location, as a gateway to the Aegean Sea, Rhodes has always had a vantage position on trade routes between the West and the East – well protected against both foreign invaders and corsairs sailing the Mediterranean waters. The early defense system of Rhodes dates back as far as the 4th century BC.

Starting the Middle Ages – the year 1309, when the Knights...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Acropolis of Rhodes

Acropolis of Rhodes

The Acropolis of Rhodes on Monte Smith is an ancient archaeological site. The excavations and restoration works here began under the Italian administration of the island (from 1912 to 1945) and continue to this day. This historic location is home to several significant structures dating back to the Hellenistic period (3rd to 2nd century BC) offering a glimpse into the history and culture of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Medieval Town Walking Tour

Medieval Town Walking Tour

The medieval town of Rhodes, where every street, square, or building evokes a story about ancient times, is a living museum in its own right. Being one of the best-preserved medieval walled towns in Europe, this enchanting area boasts several remarkable locations and is quite deservedly declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Welcoming you at its entrance is the Liberty (or Eleftherias) Gate....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles
Mandraki Harbor Tour

Mandraki Harbor Tour

Mandraki, one of the three harbors of Rhodes, is by far the most famous of them. For centuries, this “front door” of the island has welcomed visitors to Rhodes from far and away. In large part (and quite literally so), the reason for its popularity was the enormous statue of Colossus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, that used to crown the harbor's entrance, adding a sense...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles