Kos is located in the south-eastern Aegean Sea south of Kalymnos and north of Nisyros at the ancient Keramiko gulf (Kerme Körfezi) or Kos gulf, just 3 nautical miles from Asia Minor coast. It is the third largest island in the Dodecanese, its extent 290,29 kilometers and its circumnavigation is around 60 nautical miles. From the prehistoric times it was an important channel of the sea ways that started from the Black Sea and along the shoreline of Asia Minor and the islands of Aegean and reached North Africa.
Kos is the birthplace of the father of medicine, Hippocrates, which was born on the island around 460 B.C. and founded the Great School of Medicine of Kos. The island is famous for its rich vegetation and its temperate climate and it was characterized by the Roman doctor Gallino as "the most temperate place in the world". Kos Island Air ViewThe morphology of the ground varies and is the result of long-lasting geological changes particularly owed to the volcanic activity of the commonly known Aegean Arc (Nisyros, Thira, Milos, Methana). According to the latest geological studies seven volcanoes are located between Nisyros and Kos and one of them in the Isthmus of Kefalos is inactive today. The big explosion happened 160,000 years ago between Nisyros and Kefalos. As a result it covered half of the island of Kos, in the western part, with a layer of ash and kisiris thickness of about 30 meters. Kos’s ground fertility is a result of its volcanic origin, which had been known since antiquity and has left the proverbial phrase “whom Kos can’t nourish Egypt can’t either”.
Starting from the villages of Kos, Asfendiou, Ammaniou, Antimahia, Kardamena, Kefalos, Marmari, Mastihari, Pyli and Tingaki, then on how to get there, where to stay, what to see, where to eat and all that you need to make your stay the best ever, with a large photo gallery so that you can get a glimpse of our island’s beauties. The Marina of Kos Island officially opened on the 15th of May 2001. Located next to Kos Island’s old harbour it’s the heart of the Dodecanese islands and serves as the best sailing & cruising area in Europe! It offers a wide range of benefits such as: Pilot speedboat, WC-showers, Trolleys, Parking Lot, Bilge pump out, Sewerage pump out, Waste oil disposal, Refuse containers, Fuel station. Reception, Authorities, Info centre, Meeting room & Guests' Suites. Weather report, Internet, telephone and facsimile services are offered in the Marina's Info Centre and many more.
Kos Island’s Marina can become your own personal haven. We’ll ensure that your stay at Kos Marina is worth every moment of your time. Kos Island’s History and Mythology along with the descriptions of all archaeological sites are written by the archaeologist Sophia Ntintioumi. Kos Accommodation, Sight Seeing, Excursions, Maps and Traditions Kos Island Figulinewere created to provide the best information to the visitor. The Business Block ensures that you can find any professional service on Kos Island at any time needed and also includes a database with the most useful phone numbers. We have included interesting Links that give us additional information on the island and not only. The Events, Calendar, and Weather sections provide up to date information on everything that has to do with the everyday happenings of Kos Island. In closing we would like to point out that kosinfo.gr will continue searching for additional information to include in its pages which may be of use to the visitor and to the island’s residents. Our island which we love, now has its’ own website, created with care so that the entire world can get to know Kos Island like we do, as that island of majestic beauty, lying in the centre of the Dodecanese chain with its splendid sandy beaches, natural beauties and glorious past.
History of Kos Island
The island was originally colonised by the Carians. A contingent from Kos participated in the War of Troy The Dorians invaded it in the 11th century BC, establishing a Dorian colony with a large contingent of settlers from Epidaurus, whose Asclepius cult made their new home famous for its sanatoria. The other chief sources of the island's wealth lay in its wines and, in later days, in its silk manufacture. Its early history –as part of the religious- political amphictyony that included Lindos, Kamiros, Ialysos, Cnidus and Halicarnassus, the Dorian Hexapolis (Greek for six cities), is obscure. At the end of the 6th century, Kos fell under Achaemenid domination but rebelled after the Greek victory at Cape Mykale in 479. During the Greco-Persian Wars, when it twice expelled the Persians, it was ruled by tyrants, but as a rule it seems to have been under oligarchic government. In the 5th century, it joined the Delian League, and, after the revolt of Rhodes, it served as the chief Athenian station in the south-eastern Aegean (411–407). In 366 BC, a democracy was instituted. After helping to weaken Athenian power, in the Social War (357-355 BC), it fell for a few years to the king Mausolus of Caria. In 366 BC, the capital was transferred from Astypalaia to the newly built town of Kos, laid out in a Hippodamian grid.
In the Hellenistic age, Kos attained the zenith of its prosperity. Its alliance was valued by the kings of Egypt, who used it as a naval outpost to oversee the Aegean. As a seat of learning, it arose as a provincial branch of the museum of Alexandria, and became a favorite resort for the education of the princes of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Among its most famous sons were the physician Hippocrates, the painter Apelles, the poets Philitas and, perhaps, Theocritus.
Kos was also known as Meropis and Nymphæa. Diodorus Siculus and Strabo describe it as a well-fortified port. Its position gave it a high importance in Aegean trade; while the island itself was rich in wines of considerable fame. Under Alexander III of Macedon and the Egyptian Ptolemies (from 336 B.C.) the town developed into one of the great centers in the Aegean.
The island was later conquered by the Venetians, who then sold it to the Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes (the Knights of St John) in 1315. Two hundred years later the Knights faced the threat of a Turkish invasion and abandoned the island to the Ottoman Empire in 1523. The Ottomans ruled Kos for 400 years until it was transferred to Italy in 1912. In World War II, the island was taken over by the Axis powers. It was occupied by Italian troops until the Italian surrender in 1943. British and German forces then clashed for control of the island in the Battle of Kos, in which the Germans were victorious. German troops occupied the island until 1945, when it became a protectorate of the United Kingdom, who ceded it to Greece in 1947.
Hippocrates and The Medical School of KosHippocrates is considered by scientists to be the founder of medicine. He may have been the most important doctor of the ancient times and the best representativeof the Medical School of Kos. He was also a profound philosopher and humanitarian. He was born in Kos in 460 BC and was the son of the doctor Irakleida and Fenareti. According to tradition he was an Asclipiadi and the 20th grandson of Hercules on his mothers side and the 18th grandson of Asclipios on his fathers side. His sons Drakon and Thessalos and his son in law Polubus continued the medical tradition of the family. Following his father’s profession, he studied medicine at the Asclipio school of medicine in Kos. He studied the patients records and therapy methods. He had as teachers the paediatrician Irodiko from Silimbria and the philosophers Gorgia, Prodiko and Dimokrito. At a young age he left Kos and worked as a doctor in Thaso, Thraki and Thessalia. Pausania the traveler mentions that at the ancient temple of Apollo in Delfous, ther is a copper skeleton which was donated by Hippocrates. Soon his reputation spread all over Greece. It is said he helped the Athenians during the period of the great plague of the Peloponissos war. According to tradition he reached the gates of the Persian King Artaxerxi but then refused to offer his services. He died of old age near Larissa. Up until the 2nd century AD on the banks of Piniou there was a sign showing his grave. One of the biographers wrote that for many years bees nested on his grave and the honey which was considered therapeutic was used by mothers to help their children. Studies considered to belong to Hippocrates and the Medical School of Kos are around 60 volumes. The most important are: Aphorism, Diet related to illness, The Prognostics, Head injuries.
The development of Medical Science is connected with the evolution of philosophy in the ancient Greek world especially along the coast of Asia Minor. The foundations of Medical Science were laid during the peak of Ionic philosophy during the 5th and 6th century BC. From the 5th and 6th century BC medicine was taught at philosophical centres like Knidos and Kos. Knido was located on the Asia Minor coast close to Kos. Relations between Kos and Knido were close as both were members of the Doric sixcity Alliance. The Medical School of Knidos may have been older and paid more attention to researching the symptoms of every illness. As therapy they used to tried and tested traditional methods. At the school in Kos doctors examined the disease, taking into consideration the whole situation and looking for ways not only to cure it but to prevent it as well.
The Market - Agora
The Market place of Kos was considered one of the biggest in the ancient world. It was the commercial and commanding centre at the heart of the ancient city. It was organized around a spacious rectangular yard 50 metres (160 ft) wide and 300 metres (980 ft) long. It began in the Northern area and ended up south on the central road (Decumanus) which went through the city. The northern side connected to the city wall towards the entrance to the harbour. Here there was a monumental entrance. On the eastern side there were shops. In the first half of the 2nd century BC, the building was extended toward the interior yard. The building was destroyed in an earthquake in 469 AD.
In the southern end of the Market, there was a round building with a Roman dome and a workshop which produced pigments including “Egyptian Blue”. Coins, treasures, and copper statues from Roman times were later uncovered by archeologists. In the western side excavations led to the findings of rooms with mosaic floors which showed beastfights, a theme quite popular in Kos.