Rhodes

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Rhodes
Ρόδος
Rhodes NLT Landsat7.png
Flag of Rhodes
Official seal of Rhodes
Nickname(s): 
Island of the Sun
Location of Rhodes
Coordinates: 36°10′N 27°56′E / 36.167°N 27.933°E / 36.167; 27.933Coordinates: 36°10′N 27°56′E / 36.167°N 27.933°E / 36.167; 27.933
Country Greece
Administrative regionSouth Aegean
PrefectureDodecanese
Regional unitRhodes
SeatRhodes
Government
 • MayorAntonios Kambourakis [1] (New Democracy)
Area
 • Total1,400.68 km2 (540.81 sq mi)
Highest elevation1,216 m (3,990 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
Population
 (2011)
 • Total115,490
 • Density82/km2 (210/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Rhodian, Rhodiot or Rhodiote (rare)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
851 00, 851 31, 851 32, 851 33 (for Rhodes town)
Telephone2241, 2244, 2246
Websitewww.rhodes.gr

Rhodes (/rdz/ (listen); Greek: Ρόδος, romanizedRódos [ˈroðos]) is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and is also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean administrative region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes.[2] The city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens. Rhodes has several nicknames, such as "Island of the Sun" due to its patron sun god Helios, "The Pearl Island", and "The Island of the Knights", named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who ruled the island from 1310 to 1522.[3]

Historically, Rhodes island was very famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.[4][5][6][7]

Name

The island has been known as Ρόδος (Ródos) in Greek throughout its history. It was also called Lindos (Ancient Greek: Λίνδος).[8][9] In addition, the island has been called Rodi in Italian, Rodos in Turkish, and רודי (Rodi) or רודיס (Rodes) in Ladino. Other ancient names that the island was called was Ρόδη (Rodē), Τελχινίς (Telchinis) and Ηλιάς (Helias).

The name of the island comes from the ancient Greek Rhódon (rose), and is sometimes called the island of roses.

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville incorrectly reports that Rhodes was formerly called "Collosus", through a conflation of the Colossus of Rhodes and Paul's Epistle to the Colossians, which refers to Colossae.[10]

The island's name might be derived from erod, Phoenician for snake, since the island was home to many snakes in antiquity.[11]

Geography

The island of Rhodes is shaped like a spearhead, 79.7 km (49.5 mi) long and 38 km (24 mi) wide, with a total area of approximately 1,400 square kilometres (541 sq mi) and a coastline of approximately 220 km (137 mi). Limestone is the main bedrock.[12] The city of Rhodes is located at the northern tip of the island, as well as the site of the ancient and modern commercial harbours. The main airport is the (Diagoras International Airport, IATA code: RHO) is located 14 km (9 mi) to the southwest of the city in Paradisi. The road network radiates from the city along the east and west coasts.

Outside the city of Rhodes, the island is dotted with small villages of white-wash homes and spa resorts, among them Faliraki, Lindos, Kremasti, Haraki, Pefkos, Archangelos, Afantou, Ixia, Koskinou, Embona (Attavyros), Paradisi, and Trianta (Ialysos).

Rhodes is situated 363 km (226 mi) east-southeast from the Greek mainland, and 18 km (11 mi) from the southern shore of Turkey. Mount Attavyros, at 1,216 metres (3,990 ft), is the island's highest point of elevation.

Flora

The interior of the island is mountainous, sparsely inhabited and covered with forests of pine (Pinus brutia) and cypress (Cupressus sempervirens). While the shores are rocky, the island has arable strips of land where citrus fruit, wine grapes, vegetables, olives and other crops are grown. Many flowering plants for which the island is named are abundant.

Fauna

The Rhodian population of fallow deer was found to be genetically distinct in 2005, and to be of urgent conservation concern.[13] In Petaloudes Valley (Greek for "Valley of the Butterflies"), large numbers of tiger moths gather during the summer months.

Earthquakes

Earthquakes include the 226 BC earthquake that destroyed the Colossus of Rhodes; one on 3 May 1481 which destroyed much of the city of Rhodes;[14] and one on 26 June 1926.[15]

On 15 July 2008, Rhodes was struck by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake causing minor damage to a few old buildings and one death.[16]

Climate

Rhodes has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa in the Köppen climate classification) with mild winters and hot summers. The South East of the island experiences a significantly warmer climate with Lindos registering for the period 2010-2019 a mean annual temperature of 21.9 °C (71.4 °F),[17] making it the warmest area in Greece.[18][19] Moreover, according to the Hellenic National Meteorological Service South East Rhodes records the highest mean annual sunshine in Greece with over 3,100 hours.[20]

Climate data for Rhodes
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22.0
(71.6)
22.0
(71.6)
27.4
(81.3)
30.6
(87.1)
34.8
(94.6)
36.2
(97.2)
39.0
(102.2)
41.2
(106.2)
35.4
(95.7)
33.2
(91.8)
28.4
(83.1)
22.8
(73.0)
41.2
(106.2)
Average high °C (°F) 15.1
(59.2)
15.2
(59.4)
17
(63)
20.0
(68.0)
24.1
(75.4)
28.3
(82.9)
30.4
(86.7)
30.7
(87.3)
28.1
(82.6)
24.5
(76.1)
20.2
(68.4)
16.7
(62.1)
22.5
(72.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.0
(53.6)
12.0
(53.6)
13.5
(56.3)
16.3
(61.3)
20.0
(68.0)
24.2
(75.6)
26.4
(79.5)
26.7
(80.1)
24.4
(75.9)
20.7
(69.3)
16.7
(62.1)
13.5
(56.3)
18.9
(66.0)
Average low °C (°F) 9.2
(48.6)
9.1
(48.4)
10.5
(50.9)
13
(55)
16.3
(61.3)
20.4
(68.7)
22.7
(72.9)
23.2
(73.8)
21
(70)
17.4
(63.3)
13.7
(56.7)
10.8
(51.4)
15.6
(60.1)
Record low °C (°F) −4.0
(24.8)
−1.6
(29.1)
0.2
(32.4)
5.2
(41.4)
8.6
(47.5)
12.6
(54.7)
16.8
(62.2)
17.0
(62.6)
10.6
(51.1)
7.2
(45.0)
2.4
(36.3)
1.2
(34.2)
−4.0
(24.8)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 151.8
(5.98)
101.7
(4.00)
68.9
(2.71)
29.4
(1.16)
16.4
(0.65)
1.8
(0.07)
0.3
(0.01)
0.2
(0.01)
6.3
(0.25)
56.9
(2.24)
89.6
(3.53)
152.8
(6.02)
676.1
(26.63)
Average rainy days 15.5 12.7 10.5 7.6 4.6 1.2 0.2 0.1 1.5 6.7 9.5 15.4 85.5
Average relative humidity (%) 70.1 69.1 68.7 66.5 64.4 58.5 57.6 59.9 61.4 67.5 71.4 72.4 65.6
Mean daily sunshine hours 5.0 6.0 7.0 9.0 11.0 13.0 14.0 13.0 11.0 8.0 6.0 5.0 9.0
Percent possible sunshine 50 55 58 69 79 87 100 100 92 73 60 50 73
Source 1: Hellenic National Meteorological Service (1955-2010 averages) [21]
Source 2: NOAA (1961-1977 record temperatures taken from Maritsa Airport

and 1977-1990 from Rhodes International Airport[22] ),[23] Weather Atlas (sunshine data)[24]

Climate data for Rhodes
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average sea temperature °C (°F) 17.9
(64.2)
17.0
(62.6)
17.1
(62.8)
17.6
(63.7)
20.1
(68.2)
23.4
(74.1)
25.9
(78.6)
27.2
(81.0)
26.7
(80.1)
23.8
(74.8)
20.9
(69.6)
18.8
(65.8)
21.4
(70.5)
Mean daily daylight hours 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 15.0 14.0 13.0 12.0 11.0 10.0 10.0 12.1
Average Ultraviolet index 2 3 5 7 8 10 10 9 7 5 3 2 5.9
Source: Weather Atlas [24]
Valley of Petaloudes

History