The island was already inhabited during Neolithic Period (5th - 4th mil B.C). Kos is the place were Hippocrates «the father of medicine» was born. (460-377 B.C) Latest studies show that Kos was an important trade hub through ancient times mostly but not entirely under Rhodes influence. Agriculture used to be vital for the local economy. The order of crusaders also known as the Hospitaller Knights of St. John of Jeruasalem, established on the island around the 14th century, reinforcing the older castles and building new fortifications. Under Ottoman occupation, the island was attacked regularly by several opportunists, among them pirates, Knights, Venetians etc. Under the Italian occupation (1912-1945) monumental public buildings were constructed. The unification of Kos island with Greece came in 1948. Its' surface is 290 km2 and its coastline around 112km. 31,000 people live all year round.
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