Colossus of Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes was a gigantic statue of the Greek god Helios, erected on the island of Rhodes, Greece, in the 3rd century BC by Chares of Lindos.

It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

All that is known about this statue is due to the news we have left by the ancient writers Polibio Strabo and Pliny, and the chronicles of Constantine VII Byzantine Porfirogéneta, Michael the Syrian and Philo.

Made with bronze plaques on an iron frame, the statue represented the Greek sun god, Helios. Its size was 32 meters tall and weighs approximately 70 tons, dimensions similar to the Statue of Liberty, located in New York, but rested on a platform lower.

In the year 305 BC Rhodes, in the struggles of diádocos, was aligned with Ptolemy I. It was invaded by an army led by Demetrius Poliorcetes, son of Antigone I Monóftalmos.

To seize the city, they built several Demetrio siege towers in order to storm the ramparts. The first of these towers was mounted on six ships. This first attempt did not work because the ship was wrecked in a storm before the tower could be used. Demetrius try again with yet another tower built on higher land. This type of siege weapon was called helepolis. However, the defenders repelled the attack Rhodians flooding the ground before the walls so that the helepolis could not be moved.

In the year 304 BC. a fleet sent by Ptolemy I, allied with Rhodes, he made haste to flee Demetrio, who left the bulk of its weapons of siege. Despite his failure against the walls of Rhodes, Demetrius Poliorcetes earned the nickname, “conqueror of cities” by his military successes.

To celebrate their victory, the Rhodians decided to erect a giant statue of the god Helios, the protector of the city. Its construction was commissioned to Cares, a native of the island, which had already made large statues. His teacher, the famous Lysippos, had sculpted a statue of Zeus from 12 meters in height.

56 years after its construction, in the year 223 BC. an earthquake demolished the colossal work.

The inhabitants of Rhodes decided to leave his remains in the same place where the plan fell further to an oracle. And so were the remains of the statue for about nine years, until in the year 654 AD an Arab force took over the bronze as the spoils in a number of raids.

For many years it was believed that the statue had been erected with one leg supported on each side of the dock in Rhodes as it appears in some images.

However, this appears to have been true for two reasons:

  • If it had been erected there, was sunk by its own weight.
  • The other reason is that its construction would have closed a major spring military for several years, remain vulnerable to attacks by sea. It is believed that the statue was erected near the pier, which is now the fortress of San Nicolas.

With this work the wonders of the ancient world that could be considered in the face of the earth at the same time reached a total of five. This number was never exceeded.

In the last few years there has been a plan to rebuild the Colossus of Rhodes. In 2008 the mayor of Rhodes, Hatzis Hatziefthimiou, had instructed the German artist Gert Hof to plan the reconstruction of the statue at its former location.

That statue, from an initial $200 million, measured between 60 and 100 m. (the original measured only about 30 m) and various trade organizations responsible for international finance.

According to the artist, the new statue, would have a tourist attraction inside of it.

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