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Kallithea Thermal Springs, Rhodes, Greece

The Springs of Kallithea belong to the Municipality of Rhodes and are located 9 km from the city center. After years of renovation of this magnificent seaside monument, the doors of the Springs opened on July 1, 2007. This unique combination of nature, architecture and history offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a unique experience.
After years of desolation and abandonment, the Municipality of Kallithea and Mayor Ioannis Iatridis undertook the important task of restoring the monument in 1999. After ten years of difficulties, always with love, care and passion, the Kallithea Springs reopened to the public, recovering and again their former glory.
The springs of Kallithea are an admirable and representative example of architecture, which has been integrated into the natural environment of the area.
The Springs of Kallithea belong to the Municipality of Rhodes and are located 9 km from the city center. After years of renovating this magnificent seaside monument, the doors of the Springs opened on July 1, 2007.
This unique combination of nature, architecture and history offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a unique experience. After years of desolation and abandonment, the Municipality of Kallithea and Mayor Ioannis Iatridis undertook the important task of restoring the monument in 1999. After ten years of difficulties, always with love, care and passion, the Kallithea Springs reopened to the public, recovering and again their former glory.
The springs of Kallithea are an admirable and representative example of architecture, which has been integrated into the natural environment of the area.
History
The existence of thermal springs in the bay of Kallithea has been known since ancient times. During Ottoman times, in the area where the reddish water gushed forth, a large number of people, even from Anatolia, gathered every August and September, who lived in rough accommodations. The spring was known as Cillonero and was considered beneficial for the kidneys.

Rhodes was captured by the Italian Navy in 1912 and the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 confirmed Italian sovereignty over the Dodecanese. Italian architects and urban planners arrived in the Dodecanese to demonstrate the power and supremacy of Italy. In 1927, a study was made of the healing properties of the waters of Kallithea and it was decided to create a recreation center by the Italians. The design of the complex was undertaken by Pietro Lombardi in 1928 and the construction was supervised by the architect Armando Bernaditi. The baths were officially opened on July 1, 1929, along with the road connecting Rhodes to Lindos. It soon became one of the most popular of its kind in the Mediterranean.
After World War II, Rhodes came under Greek rule and the baths continued to operate until 1967, when the operation was stopped, as, like other buildings of the Italian occupation, they reminded the inhabitants of World War II and the Occupation. In 1985 the complex was designated as a work of art in need of special state protection because it presents exceptional architectural and morphological interest. In 1999 the municipality of Kallithea started the legal procedures so that the baths could be reopened. First the entrance gate was repaired. In 2005, gradual restoration began, with the first large rotunda. The restoration work amounted to €1,831,722.23 and was completed in 2007, the year in which the baths also reopened. The municipality of Kallithea took over the operation for 25 years, starting in 2001. The Ministry of Tourism finally entrusted the operation of the baths to the municipality in 2011.
Fortunately, the healing properties of these springs were detected early, in a country where water was traditionally so highly valued that it was placed under the patronage of an established god - Poseidon. In the 5th century BC, Herodotus and Hippocrates, as well as other prominent physicians of the Hellenistic Age, such as Herophilus (330 BC) and Erasistratus (320 BC), explored hydrotherapy, which it included two separate treatments, thermal and positherapy.
The reddish water spurting from a special rock formation somewhere in the middle of the left bank of Kallithea Bay had already attracted people's attention in the past. Especially in August and September, many "patients" arrived with their families and stayed either in temporary accommodation or in the "cuspes", the natural hollows of the surrounding rocks. Orthodox Christians, Muslims and Jews gathered peacefully in this quiet environment.
The war reached Rhodes, with the appearance of Italian military forces on May 5, 1912. Several years later, the Italian Governor of the Dodecanese, Mario Lago, realized the importance of the cultural and political aspects of the site, enough to integrate it into the overall development plan for the island of Rhodes.

In 1928, Pietro Lombardi, an established architect of wide acclaim in Rhodes, was entrusted with the task of designing the buildings that would make up the complex. Armando Bernabiti, another eminent architect, undertook the decorative work, with full respect for the natural environment, creating blue lines and gentle circular patterns on three different levels. The characteristic epithet given to the Springs was "Royal", in order to indicate their greatness, while the Italian King himself, Vittorio Emmanuele, graced the opening ceremony of the site with his presence, which was celebrated on July 1, 1929.

A year later, Aeneas Brunetti, a well-known physician of the time, was placed in the complex of the Springs of Kallithea, together with Alberto Mozzi, head of the medical clinic of the Italian hospital in Cairo as medical advisers to the Springs. Alberto Mozzi organized an international hydrological conference, which attracted more than 200 scientific experts and doctors of various specialties, in order to confirm the multiple benefits expected from the exploitation of the Springs as a whole. This event triggered a glorious period for the Springs of Kallithea, as visitors discovered that multiple purifications – both physical and mental – were entirely possible in the tranquility of this magnificent setting.

However, at the end of World War II with Italy now weakened, the Springs of Kallithea fell into decline. At the same time, the Germans had turned the complex into a prison. Barbed wire and minefields had transformed the once impressive spa into a depressing sight... It was like a mirror of the unfavorable political situation of the time. A lament for civilization eroded by war.
In 1948, the Dodecanese were incorporated into the Greek National territory, without however making a significant improvement in the sad state of disintegration of the Springs. Only thanks to funds made available under the US Marshall Plan for the island's economic recovery, the Springs made a humble attempt to reopen, only to close for good this time in 1967.

Description
Although the complex is made of reinforced concrete thanks to the geometric shapes, it fits into the natural environment, on a slope that ends in the cove with the thermal waters. The entrance has Art Deco features and has two monumental columns with the inscription REALI TERME CALITEA. The entrance leads to a circular square with a fountain. Then there is a Moorish-style gate followed by a corridor with a pergola that descends towards the sea. At the end there are stairs left and right forming a portico surrounding a small rotunda. The rotunda has a diameter of 14 meters and is built over the natural thermal spring. Beneath the rotunda six fountains channel the water into the central pool. The entrance to the rotunda is through six Moorish-style gates protruding from the circular wall. Between the gates there are openings for better lighting. Behind the portico were shops and offices.

After the rotunda the path leads covered by a pergola to a larger rotunda which offers a panoramic view of the bay and the complex. There is an elliptical portico with circular pointed openings with benches. In the center there is a dome supported by two domes. The space between the elliptical portico and the main building is covered with a radial pergola decorated with plants. Artificial caves were formed next to the beach to house dining areas.

The floors of all the paths are decorated with mosaics consisting of black and white pebbles. Mosaics form either geometric designs or floral motifs.[9] The exterior walls of the complex are decorated with marine motifs.

The Thermal Springs of Kallithea in the movies
One can see why such a special natural setting would attract the interest of more than one director. Already during the time of Italian rule, "Kallithea" often appeared in news clips produced by Italian cameramen, who were active in Rhodes. The inclusion of the Dodecanese in the Greek National territory put Rhodes in the forefront of tourist interest, putting the island on an unprecedented path of development and prosperity, with the help that preceded it from the world of cinema. In 1948, Michael Gaziadis, one of the pioneers in film production in Greece, arrived in Rhodes for the shooting of the film "Anna Roditis", which is explicitly characterized by its producers as "Tribute to the Martyrdom of the people of the Dodecanese".

During the golden age of Greek cinematography, in the 60s, more than one domestic production chose the location of Pigi as a natural set. Classic shots, such as those seen in the production "The Bait" starring Aliki Vougiouklakis and Alekos Alexandrakis (1964 - Director: Alekos Sakellarios), left an indelible mark on the Greek collective memory. The 60s also brought international directors to Rhodes. Among the most prominent of the era, Yul Brynner came to the island to star in 'Surprise Package', a 1960 comedy directed by Stanley Donen. In 1979, Roger Moore, Teli Savallas, David Niven and Claudia Cardinale arrived in Rhodes to film Escape to Athens, directed by George Kosmatos, a Greek-American director who chose the Kallithea Springs location for many and extended scenes in his film. The Springs had previously been the setting for another war film, an adventure called The Cannons of Navarone (1961) starring Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn. The film won the Academy Award for Best Effects and a Golden Award for Best Dramatic Film and Best Screenplay. Forever fascinated by Rhodes, Anthony Quinn was to become a regular visitor, despite the controversy sparked by his later feelings of love for the beach that bears his name to this day.

Στιγμιότυπο από την ταινία Escape to Athena (1979). Απεικονίζεται: Ρότζερ Μουρ

Reconstruction of the site and the complex
After 1967 and for several years, the site was left to decay, with the springs' past glory surviving only in people's memories...

Then, however, came Ioannis Iatridis, a visionary Mayor in the Municipality of Kallithea, who decided to restore the site and restore the complex to its original glory, which would become a cause for celebration. Declaring that the space is a fundamental feature for the economic and cultural development of his Municipality, as well as the island as a whole, Ioannis Iatridis initiated a series of actions in three main axes, namely "Recovery" - "Restore" - "Development".

Until then, the site was owned by the Hellenic Tourism Organization (HTO). In this context, a series of initiatives was developed and adopted, which lasted from 1999 to 2011, and culminated in a proposal approved by the Greek Parliament, which decided to grant the property rights to the Municipality.

Later, further actions were taken to restore the site. In 1993, Kallithea was referred to as a "shadow of its past glory". However, the financial investments began to pay off, making it possible to clean the outer part of the complex and replant trees. In addition, new projects were carried out to shape the water drainage system, the car park and the outdoor theater (1999 - 2009). In 1999, the restoration of the monumental entrance took place and in 2003 permission was given to start public contracts with the aim of restoring the "Great Rotunda". Meanwhile, in 2001, a second contract was drawn up by the Hellenic Tourism Organization for the restoration of the Trullo, followed by another commission in 2005, with the aim of renovating the Cave, a research project carried out by the technical services of the Municipality and financed from municipal resources. On the day of the official opening ceremony for the site in 2007, in the presence of the Minister for Tourism Development and members of Anthony Quinn's family, the result of such a huge effort was more than tangible. In this way the obvious fact was confirmed that the Springs of Kallithea were much more than the revival of a legend. The project to restore the Springs was vital for tourism and cultural development.

The third axis of the Mayor's actions concerned the approach of the Hellenic Survey of Geology and Mineral Exports (2001), the National Technical University of Athens, the School of Medicine of the University of Athens and the Pantheon University of Athens. From 2001 to 2008, all the aforementioned institutions worked on a series of research projects to prove and officially certify the healing properties of the Springs. The relevant decree published in the Official Gazette of the Greek Government also confirmed the ideality of the climate and bioclimate of the extensive area, while official proposals were also submitted for the future development of the area. Starting in 2011, Ioannis Iatridis, who until then had been placed in charge of the Municipal Enterprise of Rhodes (DERMAE) in the new, integrated framework of the local government, undertook a conscious effort to improve and promote the area of the Springs of Kallithea.

Sources / References
 listedmonuments.culture.gr/fek.php?ID_FEKYA=4080.
 Orlandi, Luca· Ivkovska, Velika (2020). «Kallithea, Rhodes; A summer thermal bath resort at the border of the Italian Fascist Empire and its reuse today». The Routledge companion to Italian fascist architecture : reception and legacy. Λονδίνο: Routledge. σελ. 192. ISBN 978-0-429-32843-5.
 «Καλλιθέα». Δήμος Ρόδου. Ανακτήθηκε στις 15 Οκτωβρίου 2021.
 Αναστ. Βρόντη, Της Ανεράδας το γιαματικό Ροδιακά Λαογραφικά, τόμ. Β, 1950, σελ. 11 – 12
 Orlandi, Luca· Ivkovska, Velika (2020). «Kallithea, Rhodes; A summer thermal bath resort at the border of the Italian Fascist Empire and its reuse today». The Routledge companion to Italian fascist architecture : reception and legacy. Λονδίνο: Routledge. σελ. 195. ISBN 978-0-429-32843-5.
 Orlandi, Luca· Ivkovska, Velika (2020). «Kallithea, Rhodes; A summer thermal bath resort at the border of the Italian Fascist Empire and its reuse today». The Routledge companion to Italian fascist architecture : reception and legacy. Λονδίνο: Routledge. σελ. 200. ISBN 978-0-429-32843-5.
 ΥΑ ΥΠΠΕ/ΔΙΛΑΠ/Γ/1297/25456/14-5-1985 - ΦΕΚ 340/Β/31-5-1985[νεκρός σύνδεσμος]
 «Η αναγέννηση των Πηγών της Καλλιθέας στη Ρόδο». www.kathimerini.gr. 5 Αυγούστου 2007. Ανακτήθηκε στις 15 Οκτωβρίου 2021.
 Orlandi, Luca· Ivkovska, Velika (2020). «Kallithea, Rhodes; A summer thermal bath resort at the border of the Italian Fascist Empire and its reuse today». The Routledge companion to Italian fascist architecture : reception and legacy. Λονδίνο: Routledge. σελ. 196. ISBN 978-0-429-32843-5.
 Orlandi, Luca· Ivkovska, Velika (2020). «Kallithea, Rhodes; A summer thermal bath resort at the border of the Italian Fascist Empire and its reuse today». The Routledge companion to Italian fascist architecture : reception and legacy. Λονδίνο: Routledge. σελ. 199. ISBN 978-0-429-32843-5.