Rhodes was first occupied at the end of the Neolithic period in 4000 B.C.
Classical period: In 408 B.C. the three ancient towns Kamiros, Ialyssos and Lindos are being connected to create together the new town of rhodes. Since then and for the next three centuries rhodes gets remarkable financial development, mostly because of the sea commerce and navigation as well as the skillful political moves that kept the town financialy strong until the Roman period. During the classical period, rhodes creates great piece of art, with most distinguishing creation the Colossos statue, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Roman period: In 164B.C. Rhodes bacomes a province of the roman empire, but even so until the 1st century A.D. rhodes keeps its glory and brightess being developed into one of the most important centers of learning arts and science. There has been found much information and written sources about the Roman period.
Byzantine period: During the period 330-650A.D. rhodes becomes a province of the chistianised roman empire well known as the Byzantine empire. Even though rhodes was less significant and prosperous than before, becomes the See of a Bishop with many churches and some basilicas. Rhodes is also an important military base. During the 7th century, the Arabs appear to the Medditeranean sea and attack to occupy it for some decades. During the following centuries, the city shrank and new walls have been made to protect it. The town was divided into two zones, one for the political and military leadership and the other for the common people. That was reflection of the medieval social reality. Not very much information was found about this period.
Knights period: In 1309 the island was sold to to the Order of the Knights Hospitaliers of Saint John of Jerusalem. The Order established its Headquarters on Rhodes, taking a leading role in the Mediterranean. During the period of the knights, the walls were renovated and added more structures, a hospital and many churches most of the buildings reflecting the Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Rhodes had many years of prosperity and the relations between them and the locals were pretty good and even cooperative. The division of the town remains and even more is built an inner wall to seperate the north part of the leadership from the south part of the common people. The Order kept a well-organized archive of all documents that has survived and is found today in the National Library of Malta. It is a valuable source of information for the period.
Ottoman period: Rhodes was occupie by the Turks in 1522. The Greeks had to abandon their houses and go to live out of the walls. New buildings were constructed such as mosques and public baths. The houses of the knights were renovated so to adjust to the Ottoman culture, so baths were added and enclosed wooden balconies also. During the Ottoman period rhodes lost much of its prosperity and its international character. In general, the Ottoman culture devastated the island much. In 19th century the decline of the Ottoman empire resulted the neglet of the island even more.
Italian period: Italian troops took over the island and the rest of the Dodecanese in 1912 and in 1923 Italy established a colony Isole Italiane del Egeo. They liberated the island in every possible way. The Italians demolished all the buildings and additions of the Ottoman period, preserved the remains of the Knights period and reconstructed the Palace of the Grand Magister. The Italians undertook extensive infrastructure works (roads, electricity, port, etc.) and radically transformed the town of Rhodes, which was supplied with a new urban plan, building regulations and many new public and private buildings.
Modern period: The English bombs that fell on the medieval city of Rhodes in 1944 claimed human lives and destroyed a great number of buildings, leaving large gaps in the urban tissue. One of the first Decrees of the Greek administration designated those areas as reserved for future excavations and a number of edifices as safeguarded buildings. In 1957, a new city plan was approved by a Decree and in 1960 the entire medieval town was designated as a protected monument by the Ministry of Culture. In 1961 and 1963 new Decrees were issued concerning the new city plan. They provided for the widening of existing streets and the opening of new ones. These were not implemented in the old city due to the resistance of the Archaeological Service. In 1988, the old town of Rhodes was designated as a World Heritage City by UNESCO.