Rodos has always been the ideal meeting place of different origins, being at the crossroads of cultures and continents. In fact, the ancient city of Lindos became a major naval force, controlling all sea traffic through these waters, imposing duties and establishing the first Marine Law. Furthermore, one of the Seven Sages of antiquity, Cleovoulos, was born in Lindos. Rodos is also the island of the Colossus, a bronze statue of the Sun God Helios, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, which no longer stands (destroyed by an earthquake in 225 BC).
In the 5 th century BC, the three city-states Lindos, Ialyssos and Kamiros merged in the newly built city of Rodos, one of the finest and best-organised cities of the ancient world. The island's envious strategic position was due to attract invaders. In 42 BC, Cassius conquered Rodos, bringing about its commercial and cultural decline.
In 330 AD, when the capital of the Roman Empire was moved to Constantinople, the strategic and commercial significance of the island increased. The Rodians of the 5 th and 6 th centuries built luxurious public and private buildings. In the 11 th and 12 th centuries some of the most important monuments on the island were built in Rodos town and the surrounding countryside. Entering in alliances and commercial agreements with the Western powers, the Rodos harbour hosted ships from all over the world.
In 1309 the Knights of St John of Jerusalem settled in the Dodecanese, leading Rodos once more into economic, political and cultural contact with all of Western Europe and acting as a buffer for Europe, holding back the Arab attacks.
Commerce and wealth came to an abrupt halt when the island was occupied by the Turks (1522-1912) and, consecutively, by the Italians, the Germans and the British (during the World War II). Since 1947, when Rodos was finally united with Greece, it has resumed its active multicultural character, being the leading tourist destination in Greece and one of the most preferred meeting places for conventions and other events of international calibre, specialising in warm hospitality by tradition.