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.
From the Greek capital Athens, Kos island can be reached by sea with the ferry service from Piraeus Port or by airplane from Athens International Airport, «Eleftherios Venizelos». Search for alternative flights which operate from other Greek airports as well. The local airport “Hippocrates” hosts during summer, direct charter flights more or less from all European major cities. Check with your local travel agent or via the internet.
Walk through the city. Pay a visit to:
– The Eleftheria (Liberty) Square , which is considered to be the center of the contemporary city. It is surrounded by three buildings of Italian architecture, erected since the same era: The municipal market, ideal for shopping fresh fruits, spices, local delicasies or even souvenirs. The club, which was called Fascism Palace. The Archaeological Museum with prehistoric collection. The visitor can admire statues, sculptures and mosaic floors saved from the Roman buildings of the ancient city, an imitation of roman baths.
– The ancient city, originates since 366 B.C.. Used to be the capital city of Kos. You can see the development within time from Hellenistic to Roman period. The Hellenistic Doric temple, the market, the port sanctuary and arcade, Hercules’ sanctuary, Dionysus’ altar, The roman baths, the roman mansions with the mosaic floors, the roman resident as well as the roman conservatorium with a capacity of 750 seats.
– The Medieval Castle is located at the entrance of the port. Its fortification originates since the 7th century during Byzantine empire. You can walk inside and explore the internal walls. Four round towers and an external one with its massive bastions still seen today in a very good condition.
– Platanos Square or simply Plane-tree, one of the most busy and social points of the town.
– Hippocrates’ Plane tree. A tree under which Hippocrates presumably examined patients and tought students. Propably aged more than 2.500 years with a trunk periphery of 10m and enormous branches, a must see.
– Therma is hot baths. A natural spring that flows in to the sea. Explore, enjoy and rejuvenate your self!