The Amazing Rebirth Of A Giant You Must See

In the history of mankind, there are few things that can attest to the ingenuity, resourcefulness and sheer dedication of which human beings are capable, as those constructions we have deemed to be considered as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Colossus of Rhodes_architecture_statue_Kenny Slaught
Image courtesy of Nathan Hughes Hamilton at Flickr.com

The existence of The Hanging Gardens of Babylon has never been truly proven and experts believe that it may have all been a myth perpetuated by writers of the era. Meanwhile, The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, and The Lighthouse of Alexandria are nothing but distant memories with remnants scattered all over the world in museums or laying in the bottom of rivers and the ocean.

The Great Pyramid of Giza seems to be the only wonder that has been able to survive the test of time and even today baffles the minds of experts with its impressive architecture; making it the center of theories and speculation as to how it was possible to build such a massive project utilizing the tools available to men back then. The pyramids are so amazing than some have even ventured to deem them worthy of being built by an intelligence not of this world.

Last but not least, we are left with the Colossus of Rhodes, an enormous bronze sculpture of the god Helios built in the third century B.C. The statue was destroyed by an earthquake only 60 years after it was finished, but thanks to the technology of today and a group of dedicated individuals; plans to rebuild the statue and to make it even grander that it ever was, are already on their way.

Chares de Lindos, a Greek sculpture who was born in the island of Rhodes, built the statue in 280 B.C. The giant monument depicted the Greek god of the sun Helios standing at the entrance of the harbor welcoming all ships that came to the island. The Colossus was built to commemorate the victory of Rhodes over Antigonus I Monophthalmus, the ruler of Cyprus who had just been defeated with the help of Ptolemy I of Egypt and had to lift his Siege of Rhodes leaving most of their siege equipment behind. It is said that the Rhodians sold the abandoned equipment and with the proceedings went ahead and built the gigantic statue.

It is said that the Colossus was built straddling the waterway so that ships had to enter the harbor between his massive legs, but experts today say this design was not plausible due to many reasons. First of all, the enormous weight of the materials used to build it would have made the construction collapse on itself. Secondly, considering the design it is obvious that the Rhodians would have had to completely close access to the harbor and dredge the waters, something they couldn’t have possible done at the time. Ultimately, if the Colossus had been straddling the harbor, at the time of its collapse it would have completely blocked access to the port since they would have had no possible way to remove the debris using the technology available to them in that era. Experts today say it was more probably that the statue stood with moth feet together firmly planted on one side of the mouth of the entrance to the harbor.

Port of Rhodes_harbor_statue_Reconstruction of the Colossus_Kenny Slaught
Image courtesy of xlibber at Flickr.com

The Colossus is said to have stood 100 feet (30 meters) high. Today, a group of European architects, civil engineers, and archeologists want to build a modern version of the statue, five times taller than the original.

In their website, they creators state that they new monument will stand 150 meters tall and it will be a cultural center housing a museum, a restaurant, a library, a lighthouse and several observation decks overlooking the ocean.

The blueprints and artist’s renditions showed on the website are truly amazing. The work is inspiring and innovative, something that if completed will truly pay fair homage and respect to this marvel of ancient architecture.

One of the most amazing features of the construction in my opinion is the idea of covering the exterior of the construction with solar panels and thus making The Helios Museum completely self-sustainable; something that would truly be a perfect amalgamation of the ancient and the modern.

The new design also uses a sash draped over the statue’s arm as a third point of support in addition to the two powerful legs. This tripod of a support system could assure that the massive building do not suffer the same fate as its predecessor and be knocked down by strong earthquakes or powerful winds.

I can truly say that I am not the only one hoping this plans are in fact realized and the world can witness again the gigantic statue overseeing the harbor of Rhodes once more like it did a couple of thousand years ago.

For more articles on amazing works in the world of architecture, check out our posts at Kenny Slaught’s Blog.

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