At a distance of about 8 kilometers from the city of Rhodes, at the so-called Cape Vodi, are the well-known from ancient times the Sources of Medicine of Kallithea.
The place was an attraction for millions of patients as well as scientists, and the reason was the thermal springs. At the time, it is said that travelers and hundreds of people with serious problems traveled to the springs to swim in the water gushing from the rocks.
Red water gushes from the spring and is characterized as a chlorinator with a temperature of 17-18 degrees Celsius.
The red water that came out of it was a balm for all kinds of diseases, such as malaria, dysentery, asthma, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, intestinal and skin diseases of all kinds. The beneficial waters were the best medicine for all the people who traveled miles to try them. In December 1928 some kind of restoration took place and the springs were named “Royal” due to the excellent results they had.
In 1927, the political commander of the Dodecanese, Mario Lago, arrived in “Tsillonero”, as the locals called the area due to the laxative properties of the water. Wanting to associate his name with the absolute enslavement of the islands and the penetration of the Italian element, he planned the creation of a spa town in the style of the spa towns abroad.
Together with the doctor from Smyrna, Aeneas Brunettis, in the summer of the same year, the experiments began in order to scientifically validate the existence of thermal properties in the water of Kallithea. In December 1928, the immediate construction of facilities began. The work was commissioned by architect Petrios Lombardi and the designs were ranked among the best architectural compositions of the time.
On July 1, 1929, the inauguration was made by Mario Lago, who proclaimed the beginning of Thermi Kallithea on behalf of the King and Duchess, which is why they were named Royal Thermae. Prior to the inauguration, the First Regional Hydrological Conference of Doctors of the Islands was held, in the presence of many important names in the field.
For the success of the conference, which would be an advertisement of the Sources and would contribute to the international promotion of Rhodes, the entire Italian state mechanism was mobilized. In fact, a series of stamps dedicated to it has been released, which is considered extremely rare today. Throughout the interwar period, from August to September, crowds from the Eastern Mediterranean flocked to the area to benefit from the springs’ thermal waters. However, with the start of the Greek-Italian war, the sources stopped working and the staff was replaced by soldiers.
After the capitulation of Italy, the Germans closed the area with barbed wire and turned it into a concentration camp for Italian prisoners. The facility was looted and the area was destroyed.
After the liberation, the thermal springs were destroyed and remained unexploited for a long time. In 1948, a fund was given for the execution of tourist projects in the wider area of Rhodes, and so their operation began again. However, in 1967 they closed permanently. Since 2008, their old glory is reviving dynamically.
Today the place has been renovated and hosts exhibitions and various other events, while the beach of the area is a tourist resort and attracts many visitors every year.