Karpathos Carpathos, is the second largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands, in the southeastern Aegean Sea. Together with the neighboring smaller Saria Island it forms the municipality of Karpathos, part of the Karpathos regional unit; because of its remote location, Karpathos has preserved many peculiarities of dress and dialect, the last resembling those of Crete and Cyprus. The island has been called Carpathus in Latin, Scarpanto in Italian; the island is located about 47 kilometres southwest of Rhodes, in the part of the Mediterranean, called the Carpathian Sea. The Sea of Crete, a sub-basin of the Mediterranean Sea, has its eastern limit defined by the island of Karpathos. Karpathos' highest point is Mt. Lastos, at 1,215 metres. Karpathos comprises 10 villages. Pigadia, the capital and main port of the island, is located in the southeast of the island; the capital is surrounded by the villages of Menetes, Aperi, Volada and Pyles. In the north Mesochori and Olympos. There are two ports, in the north of the island next to Olympos named Diafani.
The island Saria was once united with Karpathos. Saria preserves many important antiquities; the weather station of Karpathos alongside Ierapetra holds Greece's highest annual mean temperature, 20.1 °C. The present municipality Karpathos was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 2 former municipalities, that became municipal units: Karpathos OlymposThe municipality has an area of 324.800 km2, the municipal unit 219.924 km2. The island of Karpathos was in both ancient and medieval times connected with Rhodes, its current name is mentioned, in Homer's Iliad as Krapathos. Apollonius of Rhodes, in his epic Argonautica, made it a port of call for the Argonauts travelling between Libya and Crete; the island is mentioned by Diodorus who claims it was a colony of the Dorians, Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, Strabo. The Karpathians sided with Sparta in the Peloponnesian War in 431 BCE and lost their independence to Rhodes in 400 BCE. In 42 BCE, the island fell to Rome.
After the division of the Roman Empire in 395 CE, the island became part of the Eastern Roman Empire. Of its Christian bishops, the names are known of Olympius, a supporter of Nestorius, Mennas, Ioannes and Philippus. In the 14th century, the island was a see of the Latin Church, four of whose bishops bore the name Nicolaus. No longer a residential bishopric, Karpathos is today listed by the Catholic Church as an archiepiscopal titular see. In 1304, Karpathos was given as fief to the Genoese corsairs Andrea and Lodovico Moresco, but in 1306 it fell to Andrea Cornaro, a member of the Venetian Cornaro family; the Cornaro controlled Karpathos until 1538, when it passed into the possession of the Ottoman Turks. During the Greek War of Independence from 1821 to 1822, the island rebelled, but afterwards it fell again under the Ottoman rule. In 1835, Sultan Mahmud II conceded to the island the privilege of the Maktu tax system; the Ottoman rule ended on 12 May 1912, when the Italians occupied the island, together with the whole Dodecanese, during the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-12.
On that day, sailors from the Regia Marina ship Vittorio Emanuele and the destroyer Alpino landed in Karpathos. With the Treaty of Lausanne, Karpathos joined the other islands of the Dodecanese in the Italian possession of the Italian Aegean Islands, was ceded by Italy to Greece with the Paris Peace Treaties of 1947; the island formally joined the Kingdom of Greece on 7 March 1948, together with the other Dodecanese islands. In the late 1940s and 1950s, due to the economic problems after World War II, a number of Karpathians emigrated to the U. S. eastern seaboard cities. Karpathos today has a significant Greek-American constituency who have returned to their island and invested heavily. Inhabitants of the mountains to the north are more traditional. Karpathos Island National Airport, with its large runway, is located on the south side. Karpathos is connected to the mainland via ferries and airplanes; the ferries provide transport to and from Piraeus. Scheduled domestic flights connect the island with Rhodes, Kasos and Athens daily.
Additionally, charter flights from various European cities are scheduled during the high season. Within the island, cars are the preferred mode of transportation; the port, the airport, the main villages and other popular locations are connected by an adequate system of municipal roads, most of which are paved. During the summer months, small private boats depart from Pigadia to various locations daily, including Olympos and some inaccessible beaches. Fixed-rate taxis and municipal buses are available all year long; the island's 2011 census population was 6,226 inhabitants. This number more than doubles in the summer months as many Karpathian expatriates come to the island for their vacation with their families. Taking into consideration the number of tourists that visit, there can be up to 20,000 people on the island during the summer months; the population density is greatest during the 15th of August due to the Panagias festival, considered the most important festival on the island. Individuals travel f
Tílos is a small Greek island and municipality located in the Aegean Sea. It is part of the Dodecanese group of islands, lies midway between Kos and Rhodes, it has a population of 780 inhabitants. Along with the uninhabited offshore islets of Antitilos and Gaidaros, it forms the Municipality of Tilos, which has a total land area of 64.525 square kilometres. Tilos is part of the Rhodes regional unit. Popularly, Telos was the sister of the Telchines, he came to the island in search of herbs to heal his ill mother, returned to found a temple to Apollo and Neptune. However, Telos does not appear in Greek mythology and the name has an unknown pre-Hellenic origin. Pliny the Elder notes. In the Middle Ages, it was known by the Italian as Episcopio, either because it was a Bishop Seat or because its position as Vantage Point; the island has been called in Turkish İlyaki and in modern Italian Piscopi. Pottery and stone tools discovered in Charkadio cave indicate human activity on Tilos in the early Neolithic period, along with the large assembly of bones of 1.2-to-1.6-metre-tall dwarf elephants, carbon dated to between 4000 and 7000 BC.
Masseti suggests coexistence of these animals with humans into the historic period. Excavation has identified Pelasgian masonry, as well as suggesting Tilos was successively dominated by Minoans and Dorians; the island flourished during the classical era, minting its own coinage and being famed for clothing and perfumes. Telos claims that poet Erinna was born on the island around 350 BC. Charles Anthon describes her thus: "Erinna friend & contemporary of Sappho died at 19, left behind her poems which were thought worthy to rank with those of Homer, her poems were of the epic class. It was written in a dialect, a mixture of the Doric and Aeolic, and, spoken at Rhodes, where, or in the adjacent island of Telos, Erinna was born, she is called a Lesbian and a Mytilenean, on account of her residence in Lesbos with Sappho. There are several epigrams upon Erinna, in which her praise is celebrated, her untimely death is lamented. Three epigrams in the Greek Anthology are ascribed to her, of which the first has the genuine air of antiquity, but the other two, addressed to Baucis, seem to be a fabrication."
In the 7th century BC, colonists from Tilos and Lindos settled in Sicily and founded the city of Gelas. Herodotus described the centuries preceding him as the golden age of Tilos. In the 5th century BC, Tilos was a member of the First Delian League and kept its independence until the end of the Peloponnesian War. From the turn of the 4th century BC, for the next 200 years, Tilos was subject to the Seleucid Empire and Ptolemaic Egypt under the influence of Rhodes, until in 200 BC, the island was incorporated into the Rhodian confederacy; the island was conquered by the Romans in 42 BC. Archaeological finds from Roman and early-Christian times demonstrate the prosperity of the island until the 551 Beirut earthquake. Tilos followed Rhodes into the Byzantine Empire following the death of Theodosius I and was a member of the naval Theme of Samos between the 9th and 14th century; the Knights of Saint John took control of Tilos from 1309, restoring the Byzantine castles, building new ones in order to defend against pirate raids.
It was evacuated in 1470 as the Ottomans began the Siege of Rhodes and control passed to Suleiman I in 1522 when Rhodes fell. In 1523, Tilos was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and the island was put under the privileged administrative and tax system known as "maktou." Christian pirates pillaged the island constantly. Ottoman rule lasted until May 12, 1912, when Italian sailors landed in the bay of Eristos during the Italo-Turkish War. Tilos became part the Italian possession of the Isole Italiane dell'Egeo. After the Italian Armistice of September 8, 1943, Tilos was occupied by German troops, in 1948 it joined Greece together with all the Dodecanese islands. Since 1948, the population of the island has declined as many Tilians migrated to the United States or Australia. In June 2008, Anastassios Aliferis, the Socialist mayor of the island performed the first same-sex marriages in Greece, citing a legal loophole and defying claims of illegality by a Greek prosecutor. In late 2018 Tilos will become the first island in the Mediterranean to run on wind and solar power.
Tílos has an inverted'S' shape, is about 14.5 km long, north-west to south-east, with a maximum width of 8 km and an area of about 61 square kilometres. The island has a mountainous limestone interior, volcanic lowlands, pumice beds and red lava sand, like its north western neighbour Nisyros, it is well supplied by springs, is very fertile and productive. Its coasts are rocky or pebbled, but there are a number of sandy beaches. At the north-west end of the island, the Monastery of Áyios Pandeleímon, sits on the slopes of Mount Profítis Ilías; the monastery features fresh cold water springs as well as an enormous loquat tree. The mountain borders a fertile plain running across the island's width, with the settlements of Áyios Andónis to the north and Éristos to the south. To the north-east of the plain is the island's capital, Megálo Chorió
The Aegean Sea is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas i.e. between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, the Aegean is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosphorus; the Aegean Islands are within the sea and some bound it on its southern periphery, including Crete and Rhodes. The sea was traditionally known as the Archipelago, but in English the meaning of Archipelago has changed to refer to the Aegean Islands and to any island group. In ancient times, there were various explanations for the name Aegean, it was said to have been named after the Greek town of Aegae. A possible etymology is a derivation from the Greek word αἶγες – aiges = "waves", hence "wavy sea", cf. αἰγιαλός, hence meaning "sea-shore". The Venetians, who ruled many Greek islands in the High and Late Middle Ages, popularized the name Archipelago, a name that held on in many European countries until the early modern period.
In some South Slavic languages the Aegean is called White Sea. The Aegean Sea covers about 214,000 square kilometres in area, measures about 610 kilometres longitudinally and 300 kilometres latitudinally; the sea's maximum depth is 3,543 metres, east of Crete. The Aegean Islands are found within its waters, with the following islands delimiting the sea on the south: Kythera, Crete, Kasos and Rhodes; the Aegean Islands, which all belong to Greece, can be divided into seven groups: Northeastern Aegean Islands East Aegean Islands Northern Sporades Cyclades Saronic Islands Dodecanese CreteThe word archipelago was applied to the Aegean Sea and its islands. Many of the Aegean Islands, or chains of islands, are extensions of the mountains on the mainland. One chain extends across the sea to Chios, another extends across Euboea to Samos, a third extends across the Peloponnese and Crete to Rhodes, dividing the Aegean from the Mediterranean; the bays and gulfs of the Aegean beginning at the South and moving clockwise include on Crete, the Mirabello, Almyros and Chania bays or gulfs, on the mainland the Myrtoan Sea to the west with the Argolic Gulf, the Saronic Gulf northwestward, the Petalies Gulf which connects with the South Euboic Sea, the Pagasetic Gulf which connects with the North Euboic Sea, the Thermian Gulf northwestward, the Chalkidiki Peninsula including the Cassandra and the Singitic Gulfs, northward the Strymonian Gulf and the Gulf of Kavala and the rest are in Turkey.
The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Aegean Sea as follows: On the South. A line running from Cape Aspro in Asia Minor, to Cum Burnù the Northeast extreme of the Island of Rhodes, through the island to Cape Prasonisi, the Southwest point thereof, on to Vrontos Point in Skarpanto, through this island to Castello Point, the South extreme thereof, across to Cape Plaka, through Crete to Agria Grabusa, the Northwest extreme thereof, thence to Cape Apolitares in Antikithera Island, through the island to Psira Rock and across to Cape Trakhili in Kithera Island, through Kithera to the Northwest point and thence to Cape Santa Maria in the Morea. In the Dardanelles. A line joining Kum Kale and Cape Helles. Aegean surface water circulates in a counterclockwise gyre, with hypersaline Mediterranean water moving northward along the west coast of Turkey, before being displaced by less dense Black Sea outflow; the dense Mediterranean water sinks below the Black Sea inflow to a depth of 23–30 metres flows through the Dardanelles Strait and into the Sea of Marmara at velocities of 5–15 cm/s.
The Black Sea outflow moves westward along the northern Aegean Sea flows southwards along the east coast of Greece. The physical oceanography of the Aegean Sea is controlled by the regional climate, the fresh water discharge from major rivers draining southeastern Europe, the seasonal variations in the Black Sea surface water outflow through the Dardanelles Strait. Analysis of the Aegean during 1991 and 1992 revealed three distinct water masses: Aegean Sea Surface Water – 40–50 metres thick veneer, with summer temperatures of 21–26 °C and winter temperatures ranging from 10 °C in the north to 16 °C in the south. Aegean Sea Intermediate Water – Aegean Sea Intermediate Water extends from 40–50 m to 200–300 metres with temperatures ranging from 11–18 °C. Aegean Sea Bottom Water – occurring at depths below 500–1000 m with a uniform temperature and salinity; the current coastline dates back to about 4000 BC. Before that time, at the peak of the last ice age sea levels everywhere were 130 metres lower, there were large well-watered
Nisyros is a volcanic Greek island and municipality located in the Aegean Sea. It is part of the Dodecanese group of islands, situated between the islands of Tilos, its shape is round, with a diameter of about 8 km, an area of 41.6 km2. Several other islets are found in the direct vicinity of Nisyros, the largest of, Gyali; the Municipality of Nisyros includes Gyalí as well as uninhabited Pacheiá, Pergoússa, Kandelioússa, Ágios Antónios and Stroggýli. It has a total population of 1,008 inhabitants; the island was called Nisiro in Italian and İncirli in Turkish. The island has a 3-to-4-kilometre wide caldera, was formed within the past 150,000 years, with three separate eruptive stages, ranging from explosive and effusive andesitic eruptions to explosive and effusive dacitic and rhyolitic activity, its coasts are rocky or pebbled, but there are a few sandy beaches. The volcano is active, fumaroles are found at the craters, it has had four historical eruptions, all of which had a VEI of 2. All of its eruptions involved phreatic activity.
The latest eruptive activity was a steam explosion in 1888, after small ash eruptions in 1871 and 1873 and earthquakes are not infrequent. A period of seismic unrest in 1996–1997 led an international team of scientist to initiate monitoring of the volcanic unrest in the European Union sponsored Geowarn project; the entire volcanic complex includes the seafloor between Nisyros and Kos, the island of Gyali and a part of Kos island. Nisyros can experience the Meltemi Etesian wind through June - August; this is most obvious on the eastern and western flanks of the volcano, where trees are bent towards the South from the force of the winds. The wind may be strong on the island due to jet effects as it passes over Kos; the island is reachable by ship from Piraeus and Kos, in summer, there are many daily trips from the village of Kardamena on Kos. There is a heliport; the main town and port of the island is Mandraki. Other villages are Paloi and Emporeios. According to the 2011 census, the municipality's resident population is 1,008, although in summer it is augmented by many tourists as well as expatriate Nisyrians who visit the island for their vacations.
Tourism is not so developed as on other Greek islands. Deposits of perlite and pumice on Gyali provide much of the wealth of the island; the island used to be self-sufficient, many crops were grown on its terraced slopes. Today, they are cultivated on a smaller scale. According to Greek mythology, the island was formed when Poseidon cut off a part of Kos and threw it onto the giant Polybotes to stop him from escaping; the ancient name of the Nisyros was Porphyris. Ancient walls, dating from the 5th century BC, part of the acropolis of the island, are found near Mandraki, it was also a source of millstones used in some of the earliest watermills, being referred to by epigrammatist Antipater of Thessalonica in the 1st century BC. The island is mentioned by Homer in the Iliad. In Roman times it became part of the Insulae province; the Knights Hospitaller built the crusader castle. The island passed from the Ottomans to the Italians in 1911 during the Italo-Turkish War, along with the rest of the Dodecanese islands.
It was annexed to the Greek Kingdom after the Second World War, in 1947. The patron saint of the island is Saint Nikitas. Many Orthodox Christian churches are found on the island, as well as four monasteries which are not inhabited by monks today, although various celebrations take place in them; the largest monastery is the one of Panagia Spiliani at Mandraki. It is built beside the medieval castle erected by the Knights Hospitaller. Nisyrus was a suffragan of Rhodes. Known bishops included Pierre Fridaricus, Pedro Xague, Jerónimo Clavijo; the diocese was nominally restored in 1927 as Titular See of the lowest rank named Nysirus, renamed Nisyrus in 1928. It has been vacant for decades, having had the following incumbents: Francesco Fellinger Augusto Osvaldo Salinas Fuenzalida, Picpus Fathers Elizeu Simões Mendes Carlos Maria Jurgens Byrne, Redemptorists Augusto Trujillo Arango Auguste Joseph Gaudel A traditional product of Nisyros is soumada, a non-alcoholic almond-flavoured drink. Mandraki is twinned with the following municipalities: Lapithos, Cyprus List of volcanoes in Greece List of traditional Greek place names Official website Volcano World: Nisyros, Greece Photoblog from bRandSboRg.
Imia or Kardak is a pair of small uninhabited islets in the Aegean Sea, situated between the Greek island chain of the Dodecanese and the southwestern mainland coast of Turkey. Imia/Kardak was the object of a military crisis and subsequent dispute over sovereignty between Greece and Turkey in 1996; the Imia/Kardak dispute is part of the larger Aegean dispute, which comprises disputes over the continental shelf, the territorial waters, the air space, the Flight Information Regions and the demilitarization of the Aegean islands. In the aftermath of the Imia/Kardak crisis, the dispute was widened, as Turkey began to lay parallel claims to a larger number of other islets in the Aegean; these islands, some of them inhabited, are regarded as indisputably Greek by Greece but as grey zones of undetermined sovereignty by Turkey. The European Union backed the Greek side on the Imia dispute, warned EU-candidate country Turkey to refrain from any kind of threat or action directed against the sovereignty of EU member state Greece.
Turkey was called upon to solve any border disputes with its neighbors through peaceful ways, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, or by raising the matter at the International Court of Justice instead. The islets lie 5.5 nautical miles east of the Greek island Kalymnos, 1.9 nmi southeast of the Greek island of Kalolimnos, 3.8 nmi west of the Turkish peninsula of Bodrum, 2.2 nmi from the Turkish islet of Çavuş Adası. The islets lie some 300 m apart from each other, eastern one being larger than the western, their total surface area is 10 acres. The islands are referred to as Limnia in Greek, or İkizce in Turkish, or as Heipethes in some early-20th century maps. While several other aspects of sovereignty rights in the Aegean, such as the territorial waters and national airspace, had been disputed between the two countries for decades, conflicts over the possession of island territory were unknown until the end of 1995; the Turkish hydrographic maps recognize until 1985 the course of the Greek-Turkish border halfway between Imia and the Turkish coast.
The dispute over Imia arose when, on 26 December 1995, the Turkish cargo ship Figen Akat accidentally ran aground on one the East islet and had to be salvaged. A Greek tugboat responded to the distress call; the Turkish captain refused the assistance offered, maintaining that he was within Turkish territorial waters. He accepted being towed to the Turkish port of Güllük by the Greek tugboat; the Greek captain filled in the necessary papers for the salvage fee but the Turkish captain objected, arguing that the freighter had been in Turkish waters. On 27 December, the Turkish Foreign Ministry notified the Greek authorities that it believed there was a sovereignty issue, on 29 December it declared the islets Turkish territory. On January 9, Athens rejected the claim, citing the Treaty of Lausanne, the Convention between Italy and Turkey and the Treaty of Paris; the whole event was reported in the media so it was not known to public until a month on 20 January 1996 when the Greek magazine GRAMMA ran a story, one day after Kostas Simitis was appointed to form a new Greek government as prime minister.
The article brought a severe reaction from the Greek press, followed by four citizens of the neighboring island of Kalymnos, including the mayor and the owner of a herd of sheep that remained on the islets, hoisting a Greek flag on the East islet on 25 January. To oppose this, on 27 January some Turkish journalists from Hurriyet landed on the islet with a helicopter, lowered the Greek flag and hoisted a Turkish flag, the whole event being broadcast live on Turkish television. On 28 January, the Greek Navy lowered the Turkish flag and restored the Greek, resulting in an exchange of fierce statements by the Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller and the new Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis. Turkish and Greek naval forces were alerted and warships of both countries, both NATO members, sailed to the islets. During the crisis, at the night of 28 January, Greek special forces landed secretly on the east islet undetected. On the 30th of January and Greek officials gave statements, each insisting on their sovereign rights on Imia/Kardak.
Turkish armored units moved to the Green Line on Cyprus, which caused the alert of the Cypriot National Guard. On 31 January at 1:40 am Turkish special forces SAT Commandos landed undetected on the west islet escalating the tensions, it was not until 4 hours when the Greeks noticed this when a Greek helicopter took off at 5:30 am from the Greek frigate Navarino for reconnaissance. During the mission it crashed over the islets, but this was concealed by both states to prevent further escalation, although three Greek officers on the helicopter were killed: Christodoulos Karathanasis, Panagiotis Vlahakos, Ektoras Gialopsos; the immediate military threat was defused by American officials—in particular, US envoy Richard Holbrooke, working by telephone with officials of both sides during the final hours of the crisis. The Greeks and Turks did not speak directly to one another, but were responsive to Washington's assistance as an informal intermediary. Agreement was given by both sides to the United States to return to the "status quo ante"—i.e. differing views on sovereignty and no military forces on the islets.
Greek and Turkish officials provided assurances to the United States that their military forces on and arrayed around the islets would be removed, with the U. S. agreeing to monitor the withdrawal. While US engagement was instrumental in defusing the crisis, the fundamental territorial issue has remained unre
Kastellorizo or Castellorizo is a Greek island and municipality located in the southeastern Mediterranean. It lies 2 kilometres off the south coast of Turkey, about 570 km southeast of Athens and 125 km east of Rhodes halfway between Rhodes and Antalya, 280 km northwest of Cyprus. Kastellorizo is part of the Rhodes regional unit; the island has become more popular in recent years among tourists looking for an isolated place in the Dodecanese, thanks to the 1991 Oscar-winning movie Mediterraneo, by Gabriele Salvatores, set on the island during the Second World War. The island's official name, Megisti means "biggest" or "greatest", but at only 11.98 km2 in area, it is the smallest of the Dodecanese. The name, refers to the fact that it is the largest of the small archipelago; this name was used in antiquity, but is now used in Greek, the name Kastellórizo being common since the twelfth century. There are several hypotheses about the origin of this name. "Kastello" derives from the Italian word "castello", meaning "castle".
There is some argument on the second part of the name. The arguments are centered on the following possible origins of the element rizo: rizo being derived from the Italian word "rosso" meaning "red", either from the reddish color of the rocks of the island, or from the reddish color of the castle at sunset, or from the color of the coat of arms of the Great Master of the Knights of Rhodes, Juan Fernández de Heredia, which stood above the gate of the castle. Rizo being a corruption of the word "Rhoge", one of the ancient appellations of the nearby island of Ro. If this is correct, the island's modern name is an amalgam of the separate island names "Castello" and "Rhoge". Rizo being the actual Greek word "rizon" meaning "root", as researched by Greek Historian I. M. Hatzifotis, to signify the foothill or'rizovouno' on which the island's original castle was built, it has gone by several different names in its history, including Kastellorizo, Castelrosso, Château Rouge and Turkish: Meis or Kızılhisar, the former deriving from the island's official name in Greek, the latter meaning "Red Castle", a translation of the Italian name.
Kastellorizo is situated in the Levantine Sea. It lies about 2 km from the Anatolian coastal town of Kaş, more or less halfway between Rhodes and Antalya. Cyprus is about 280 km to the south-east, it is three kilometres wide, with a surface of 9.2 square kilometres. It has a triangular shape, is oriented from NE to SW; the island features three capes: Agios Stefanos and Pounenti. Cape Agios Stefanos, the nearest to Anatolia, is 2250m south of the modern Turkish town of Kaş. Cape Nifti lies some greater distance from the Anatolian coast; the island is mountainous, with high and steep coastlines, which become more difficult to access moving west. The soil is composed of limestone and produces only small amounts of olives and beans. On the island there is no source of drinking water; the Municipality of Megísti includes the offshore islands of Ro and Strongyli as well as several smaller islets. It has a total land area of 11.978 square kilometres. Kastellorizo has a mild climate during a pleasant climate year round.
A new meteorological station from the National Observatory of Athens was placed in Kastellorizo in the summer of 2018 while an older station from the Hellenic National Meteorological Service is operating in the island. The island's geology is exclusively limestone laid down at the Mesozoic/Cenozoic boundary; as a result of the lack of significant flora covering the island, the landscape shows many features of karstification. There are a number of notable sea caves including the so-called Blue Grotto, much larger than its namesake in Capri. Exploration undertaken in 2006 by members of the SELAS Caving club of Greece has revealed vertical caves in many parts of the island; the deepest found so far was surveyed to a depth of 60 metres in March 2006 and will be the subject of further exploration in the future by the same team. The houses of the town are slender and characterised by wooden balconies and windows of the Anatolian type. Behind the waterfront, many houses are still in a ruinous state.
At the entrance to the harbour, on the east side, stand the single story remnants of the former Italian government house, erected in 1926 by the Italian architect Florestano Di Fausto, who designed some of the most important buildings of the Italian period in Rhodes. Nearby is the island's former Ottoman mosque which dates from the second half of the 18th century and, restored and re-opened as a museum since 2007. From here starts the town's quay, which runs along all three sides of the harbour; the central square —Plateia Ethelondon Kastellórizou —lies at the midpoint of the eastern side, near the vessel dock. On the opposite side of the harbour one has a good view from this vantage of Pera Meria, the western quay, the monasterie
The Dodecanese are a group of 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea, off the coast of Asia Minor, of which 26 are inhabited. Τhis island group defines the eastern limit of the Sea of Crete. They belong to the wider Southern Sporades island group; the most important and well-known island, has been the area's dominant island since antiquity. Of the others and Patmos are the more important. Other islands in the chain include Alimia, Chalki, Gyali, Levitha, Nimos, Saria, Strongyli and Telendos; the name "Dodecanese", meaning "The Twelve Islands", denotes today an island group in the southeastern Aegean Sea, comprising fifteen major islands and 93 smaller islets. Since Antiquity, these islands formed part of the group known as the "Southern Sporades"; the name Dōdekanēsos first appears in Byzantine sources in the 8th century, as a naval command under a droungarios, encompassing the southern Aegean Sea, which evolved into the Theme of Samos. However it was not applied to the current island group, but to the twelve Cyclades islands clustered around Delos.
The name may indeed be of far earlier date, modern historians suggest that a list of 12 islands given by Strabo was the origin of the term. The term remained in use throughout the medieval period and was still used for the Cyclades in both colloquial usage and scholarly Greek-language literature until the 18th century; the transfer of the name to the present-day Dodecanese has its roots in the Ottoman period. Following the Ottoman conquest in 1522, the two larger islands and Kos, came under direct Ottoman rule, while the others, of which the twelve main islands were named, enjoyed extensive privileges pertaining to taxation and self-government. Concerted attempts to abolish these privileges were made after 1869, as the Ottoman Empire attempted to modernize and centralize its administrative structure, the last vestiges of the old privileges were abolished after the Young Turks took power in 1908, it was at that time that the press in the independent Kingdom of Greece began referring to the twelve privileged islands in the context of their attempts to preserve their privileges, collectively as the "Dodecanese".
Shortly after, in 1912, most of the Southern Sporades were captured by the Italians in the Italo-Turkish War, except for Ikaria, which joined Greece in 1912 during the First Balkan War, Kastellorizo, which came under Italian rule only in 1921. The place of the latter two was taken by Kos and Rhodes, bringing the number of the major islands under Italian rule back to twelve. Thus, when the Greek press began agitating for the cession of the islands to Greece in 1913, the term used was still the "Dodecanese"; the Italian occupation authorities helped to establish the term when they named the islands under their control "Rhodes and the Dodecanese", adding Leipsoi to the list of the major islands to make up for considering Rhodes separately. By 1920, the name had become established for the entire island group, a fact acknowledged by the Italian government when it appointed the islands' first civilian governor, Count Carlo Senni, as "Viceroy of the Dodecanese"; as the name was associated with Greek irredentism, from 1924 Mussolini's Fascist regime tried to abolish its use by referring to them as the "Italian Islands of the Aegean", but this name never acquired any wider currency outside Italian administrative usage.
The islands joined Greece in 1947 following as the "Governorate-General of the Dodecanese", since 1955 the "Dodecanese Prefecture". The Dodecanese have been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the Neopalatial period on Crete, the islands were Minoanized. Following the downfall of the Minoans, the islands were ruled by the Mycenaean Greeks from circa 1400 BC, until the arrival of the Dorians circa 1100 BC, it is in the Dorian period that they began to prosper as an independent entity, developing a thriving economy and culture through the following centuries. By the early Archaic period Rhodes and Kos emerged as the major islands in the group, in the 6th century BC the Dorians founded three major cities on Rhodes. Together with the island of Kos and the cities of Knidos and Halicarnassos on the mainland of Asia Minor, these made up the Dorian Hexapolis; this development was interrupted around 499 BC by the Persian Wars, during which the islands were captured by the Persians for a brief period.
Following the defeat of the Persians by the Athenians in 478 BC, the cities joined the Athenian-dominated Delian League. When the Peloponnesian War broke out in 431 BC, they remained neutral although they were still members of the League. By the time the Peloponnesian War ended in 404 BC, the Dodecanese were removed from the larger Aegean conflicts, had begun a period of relative quiet and prosperity. In 408 BC, the three cities of Rhodes had united to form one state, which built a new capital on the northern end of the island named Rhodes.