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Other Important Archeological Sites
Hippocrates and his magnificent impact on medicine is the beginning but not the end of your journey into the island‘s cultural heritage. Below you can find a list of the most important archeological sites of Kos Island:
- The Castle of the Knights of St. John (Kos Town)
- Casa Romana (Kos Town)
- The Archaeological Museum of Kos (Kos Town)
- The Ancient Town (Kos Town)
- The Ancient Agora (Kos Town)
- The Odeon (Kos Town)
- The Western Excavation (Kos Town)
- The Castle of Antimachia (Antimachia Village)
- Basilica of Agios Stefanos (Kefalos)
- The Odeon (Kos Town)
The “Castle of Kos” also known as the “Castle of the Order of the Knights of St. John” is the most important medieval fortification in Kos Island. It was built in two phases and its construction was completed in approximately 130 years.
The first phase in which the inner walls of the castle were constructed begins some years before the end of the 14th century, around 1380 A.C. and the second phase in which the castle took its present form ends at the beginning of the 16th century, approximately at 1514 A.C.
The fortification was constructed by the Knights Hospitallers, to defend the island from the increasing attacks of the Ottoman Empire. The Castle initially was forming a second island, due to a moat which was separating it from Kos Island and the two were only communicating through the Castle’s bridge, which was lifted in case of a siege.
Kos Castle was constructed with local masonry and stone and ruins of Ancient Hellenistic monuments. The Coat of Arms of Grand Master De Milly and Grand Master De Lastic which built the castle throughout the 15th century are still visible on the entrance of the castle.
Today the old armory of the Castle is used as a small museum exhibiting a number of sculptures, altars and old inscriptions.
Casa Romana is a magnificent example of an ancient house from the Roman and Hellenistic period of the island and a very important excavation area. It dates from the 2nd century A.C. and it is a fine example of the mansions existing on Kos Island, during that period. It hosts a number of fine mosaics of exceptional detail and a number of decorative statues and magnificent frescoes.
Casa Romana was built on top of a pre-existing Hellenistic mansion by the Romans and it presents important similarities with mansions found in Pompeii, south Italy during that era.
The monument is exceptionally preserved and after a restoration period which was completed at the end of 2015 it is a must see attraction of Kos Town.
Located very close to Casa Romana this well preserved Odeon was built during the Roman era of the island and more specifically during the 2nd century A.C.
The Odeon is constructed as an amphitheater in line with the Hellenistic paradigm and host 18 rows of seats. The first 9 rows preserve the original marble. The excavation which took place at the beginning of the 20th century revealed among other findings, the floor of the theater, the wings and the orchestra pit. Statues which were found in the excavation are today exhibited in the museum of Kos.
Exactly opposite the Odeon you can visit other important archeological sites such as, the Gymnasium and the Roman Baths. These important monuments along with Casa Romana are easily accessible, creating a very interesting archeological walk to the history of Kos.
The Archaeological Museum of Kos
The Archeological Museum of Kos, exhibits findings of the methodical excavations which took place at the beginning of the 20th century.
You can admire a large collection of ancient statues dating from the Hellenistic years, until after the Roman period of Kos.
Impressive Hellenistic and Roman mosaics, marble busts of Hippocrates and Alexander the Great are exhibited, next to numerous statues from the excavation of the Odeon, the Casa Romana, the Western archeological site, the Ancient Market and the Altar of Dionysus.
The Museum is located in the central square of Kos Town (Eleftherias Square) in a neoclassical building created in 1935.
The Castle of Antimachia
Built in a remote location close to the Airport of Kos, the Castle of Antimachia is the second Medieval fortress created by the Knights of Saint John. It was built during the 15th century and it was completed in 1494. The date is engraved on an inscription right above the main gate of the castle and the coat of arms of the Grand Master d’ Aurbusson is visible.
Inside the fortifications two churches are very well preserved. One is the church of Aghios Nikolaos built in the 16th century and the second is the church of Aghia Paraskevi built in the 18th century.
The Castle offers an unforgettable view of the coastline of Kardamena.