Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and is their historical capital; it is the ninth largest island in the overall Mediterranean Sea. Administratively, the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean administrative region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes. The city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011. In 2022, the island had a population of 125,113 people. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens. Rhodes has several nicknames, such as "Island of the Sun" due to its patron sun god Helios, "The Pearl Island", and "The Island of the Knights", named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who ruled the island from 1310 to 1522.