7 Wonders of the Ancient World

                                                  ..::Colossus of Rhodes::..

The Colossus of Rhodes only survived for 56 years, but still is on the list of Ancient Wonders. But even lying on the ground it is still magnificent. But why was such a thing made?


At the entry of the harbor of the Mediterranean island of Rhodes, Greece


The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of yet another Greek God. This one’s name is Helios (God of the Sun) erected in the city of Rhodes this monument stunned viewers, but it only survived for 56 years. It was made to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the king of Cyprus.

The Colossus was a figment of medieval imaginations, based on the dedications text “over land and sea.” Many older pictures of the staue show that it was one foot on either side of the harbor mouth with ships going under it.


Through most of its history, ancient Greece was made of city-states which had very limited power past their border. In 408 BC, the cities united to make one territory, with a unified capital: Rhodes. The city thrived  commercially and had a well-built economic ties with their main ally, Ptolemy I Soter of Egypt. In 305 BC, the Antigonids of Macedonia who were also enemies of the Ptolemies, besieged Rhodes in a try to break the Rhodo-Egyption alliance. They could never penetrate the city. When a peace agreement was reached in 304 BC, the Anitgonids lifted the siege, leaving a heap of military gear behind. To celebrate their unity, the Rhodians sold the equipment and used the money to make a huge statue to their sun god, Helios.

The building of the Colossus took 12 years and it finished in 282 BC. For years the statue stood at the harbour entrance until a massive earthquake hit Rhodes around about 226 BC. The city was badly hurt, and the Colossus was broken at the weakest point. His knee. The Rhodians received a fast offer from Ptolemy III Eurgetes of Egypt to cover all restoration costs.

For nearly 1 million years, the statue laid in broken bits. In AD 654, the Arabs invades Rhodes. They disassembled the remains of the broken monument and sold them to a Jew from Syria. It was heard that the bits where taken back to Syria on 900 camels backs.

Why was it made?

It was built to symbolise freedom and victory over Cyprus, like the statue of liberty.


It has belived that the Colossus stood strongly in the front of the Mandraki harbor. Given the height of the statue and the width of the harbor mouth, this picture is rather impossible than improbable. Moreover, the fallen Colossus would have blocked the harbor entrance. Recent studies show, that it was erected wither on the eastern part of the harbor, or even firther inland.

The project was specially made by the Rhodian sculptor Chares of Lindos. The base was made of white marble, and the feet and ankle of the statue were dirst fixed. The statue was gradually erected as the bronze form was fortified with an iron and stone framework. To reach the higher parts, an earth ramp was built around the statue and was later demolished. When the statue was finished, it stood about 33 m high. And when it fell, a few people could wrap their arms around the thumb of the statue.