Colossus of Rhodes Facts

Below are five less known facts about the Colossus of Rhodes:

1. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Colossus stood at the entrance to the harbor of the Mediterranean island of Rhodes. At about 33 meters high, construction took 12 years and was finished in 282 BC. The base was made of white marble, and the body was made of bronze, fortified with iron and stone.

2. Three Rhodes city-states - Ialysos, Kamiros, and Lindos - had united in 408 BC.

In 305 BC, the Antigonids of Macedonia besieged Rhodes, trying to break its alliance with Egypt, but they failed to enter the city. When they withdrew, the jubilant Rhodians sold military equipment left behind to fund a huge statue of their sun god, Helios - the Colossus.

3. During a strong earthquake in about 226 BC, the Colossus broke at the knee and toppled. Ptolemy III Eurgetes of Egypt, offered to pay for restoration, but an oracle had forbidden a re-erection.

4. The statue lay in ruins until 654 AD, when the Arabs invaded Rhodes, broke up the Colossus' remains and sold them to a Jew from Syria. Legend has it that it took 900 camels to transport the fragments to Syria.

5. The Colossus, which symbolizes freedom, inspired French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi to create New York's Statue of Liberty, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of American independence.

Colossus of Rhodes engraving
Rhodes Old Town

Rhodes Island

Colossus of Rhodes