During the Byzantine times, the island has periods of prosperity and flourishing. Due to its wealth and its geographical position, Rhodes attracts many invaders, who often attack and pillage it. Finally, in 1306, the island, along with the neighboring islands of Kos and Leros were sold to the Knights of the Order of St. John. Under the domination of the Knights Rhodes becomes commercial, economic, military, and cultural center of the Eastern Mediterranean. The fruit of this period of glory, wealth, and prosperity is the Medieval Town, this wonderful complex that still exists and gives to the town of Rhodes its unique character and atmosphere. It is in this period of flourishing that is formed the particular features of the collective consciousness and the character of the people of the island, that still survive, up to nowadays. In 1522, after a siege that lasted six months, the town and the whole island, surrendered to the Ottomans of the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.
The island continued to be under the Ottoman domination until 1912 when it passed to the Italians. In the beginning, the population of the island received them as liberators, but soon enough they realized that the Italians’ domination was only new domination that did not bring the freedom they expected. However, the Italians added a lot to the infrastructures of the island and constructed several interesting buildings, which helped the island to recover soon from the damages it suffered during the World War II, both by the Nazis and by the bombings of the allies. After the end of the war, Rhodes was occupied by the British army, who kept it until March 1948, when it was incorporated into Greece, along with the rest of the Dodecanese.
Ever since the history of Rhodes goes along with the history of Greece. Today this beautiful island with the fascinating natural environment, the glorious history, the cultural treasures, and the friendly people has been developed in a first choice tourist destination. Tourism has contributed a lot to the actual wealth and prosperity of the island.
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