From its building to its destruction lies a time span of merely 56 years. Yet the colossus earned a place in the famous list of Wonders.But even lying on the ground, it is a marvel, said Pliny the Elder. The Colossus of Rhodes was not only a gigantic statue. It was rather a symbol of unity of the people who inhabited that beautiful Mediterranean island Rhodes.
Let us first clear a misconception about the appearance of the Colossus. It has long been believed that the Colossus stood in front of the Mandraki harbor, one of many in the city of Rhodes, straddling its entrance. 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 suggest that it was erected either on the eastern promontory of the Mandraki harbor, or even further inland. Anyway, it did never straddle the harbor entrance.