It is the main attraction of the island and one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. It operated as a hospital dedicated to healing deities such as Apollo, the son of Asclepius and Hygieia. In the 5th century BC, Hippocrates, the man who transformed medicine intro a true science, began to teach and heal here. The Asclepieio has a constant water supply from two springs that still flowing in its kennels. It was discovered on a hill which is located 4 kilometres south-western of the town, by the antiquarian I. Zaraftis.
THE CASTLE OF NERANTZIA
It was founded by the Knights of the Order of St. John, after their expulsion from Jerusalem and the transfer of their seat in Rhodes. Between 1337-1522, the battalion created a network of port fortifications and forts in the Dodecanese to control the movement of pilgrims to the Holy Land.
THE MEDIEVAL TOWN
The defensive wall of the old capital of the island was hastily built between 1391-1396, to protect it from raids. A part of its southern side (Hippocratous Street) has survived where there are two small rectangular towers, while its northern side is a mound which is now from the location of the so-called tree of Hippocrates. From side of Akti (coast) Miaouli, adjacent to the wall is the house of the commander from Ioannina Francesco Sans, which dates back to 1514. To the west and opposite of the Museum is the gateway to the Forum with a carved lintel block.
TREE OF HIPPOCRATES
The tree of Hippocrates stretches its branches over the mound on Phinikon Street, opposite the temple of the Loggia. The marble fountain that rests on its stone base is a work of the Ottoman times and the inscription in Arabic letters refers to "water of Hippocrates". The trunk of the tree has a diameter of 9.8 metres and its age probably exceeds four centuries as in photographs of the 19th century it already seemed very old. The only way it can be associated with the father of medical science is an offshoot of an earlier plane.
THE PORT & THE ANCIENT MARKET
The ruins of the Arcade, which was built in the 4th or 3rd century BC and consisted of 5 consecutive rooms, the temple of Hercules and the adjacent floors with the great mosaics from the 3rd century BC are the most important evidence for the former financial boom of the region. On the west side of the excavation area, the Agora was one of the greatest of the time. With dimensions 162x82 metres, the central building dominated in the centre of a colonnade with shops to the east and a monumental entrance at the north. The few vertebrae which are preserved in the ancient harbour entrance originate from the temple dedicated to Venus.
ANCIENT STADIUM OF XYSTOS
It was the largest sports stadium of the ancient city. 17 out of the 80 columns are saved. Its name is attributed to the habit of the athletes to use scrapers (xystres) to remove the oils with which rubbed their bodies before each race. In Roman times their locker rooms acquired a SPA and a pool. The Western Baths, near the gym, were built in Roman times and they have mosaic floors. On the opposite side, there is a building of the Hellenistic period. It was originally thought that it was dedicated to the worship of the nymphs, a view which is rejected by many scholars today. The mosaic of the Small House, which was built in 142 AD north of the second pavement, is also impressive. It illustrates the abduction of Europa by Zeus who had transformed into a bull.
You can reach the conservatory from Gregoriou E’ Street. The ancient amphitheatre came to light after excavations conducted here in 1929 by the Italian Archaeological School. It developed in 14 levels, hosting performances and other events of the ancient municipality of Kos. Around it they have discovered significant findings, such as the marble statue of Hippocrates which exhibited at the Museum of Kos.
It is located south-eastern of the Conservatory and it was used as a mansion both in the Hellenistic and in the Roman times. It was discovered in 1933 and its restoration began immediately for the protection of its mosaic floors. The first two have themes stemming from the animal and marine kingdom. The third is pebbled in Rhodian style and flanked by a double colonnade.
CASTLE OF ANTIMACHEIA
Its founders took advantage of its naturally fortified position. So to the north on the smoother side the walls are more robust and to south the need for fortification was not the same as the ground is quite steep. From the official archives of the Order which survives in Malta we know that it was founded in the early 14th century according to the decision of the Grand Master H. De Vileleneue and that since 1383 its wet dungeons hosted convicts serving long sentences. The same position was formerly fortified by the Byzantines.
It is located in Nea Pyli, just below the church of the Holy Cross. It is a complex of 12 domed tombs, a family mausoleum of the Hellenistic era which is dedicated to the local hero Charmylo and his relatives. It has a rectangular plan with two rows of graves, while its façade is covered by a marble portico of Ionic rhythm.
The building which houses the Archaeological Museum on Eleftherias Square was built in 1935. In its halls and its atrium you will admire significant sculptures and mosaics. The visitors are greeted in the foyer by a colossal statue of Hera. In the western hall the statues originate from the arcades of the Conservatory. In the north-western hall an imposing statue of Hippocrates stands out. The northern hall is adorned with statues of Demeter, Persephone and Athena from the classical times and Hellenistic statues of Aphrodite, the goddess of Fortune and the Nymphs. In the atrium the mosaic floor bears a mythological representation of the arrival of Asclepius on the island.
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PLAKA: THE FOREST OF THE PEACOCKS
Shortly before Antimacheia, west of the airport, hidden in the valley you will find the forest of Plaka. It was created by the Italians in the ‘40s. In 1980, the Forest Service has created here a little haven for peacocks and other birds. Today the area is a recreational park planted with pines (Pinus Brutia and Pinus Pinea), while the peacocks are countless and they fearlessly approach the visitors.
Kos has three types of therapeutic mineral springs: hot, lukewarm and cold. None of them operates as an organized spa. So they are always open and available for anyone who is determined enough to walk until he finds them.