It would be a shame to go to Kos and not take a little time away from the beaches and the crystal blue sea to take a look at some of the history of the Island. Those who take the ferry from Turkey cannot help but see the 14th Century fortress at the entrance of the harbour. It was built by the Knights Hospitaller as a defence against invasion.
The Knights stayed in Kos for 2 centuries and the Castle is the most impressive construction they left. It has 4 interior towers and the gun ports, battlements and bastions are still there today. It took many years to build, between 1380 and 1514 is the estimate. As a result there are a number of different architectural influences.
The museum in the northern area, originally a warehouse, has old inscriptions, altars and sculptures.
This market place was one of the biggest in ancient times. It was over half a mile long and 50 yards wide. Unfortunately earthquakes have caused damage to Kos over the years and some of the building was destroyed in 469 by one such event.
The Plane Tree of Hippocrates is in the centre of Kos. It is extremely old and supported by scaffolding. It is believed to be over 500 years old with a perimeter of around 40 feet. Cuttings have been taken for planting in many parts of the world, for example the National Library of Medicine in the United States and the Sydney School of Rural Health in Australia.
The ruins of Asklepeion, where Herodicus taught Hippocrates medicine is one a hill just a couple of miles from Kos Town near Platani village and dates back to the 3rd century BC. It has suffered due to earthquakes over the years but it is still possible to identify different rooms.
Kos Casa Romana
This Roman House is an important excavation area dating back to 2nd Century. It has wonderful frescoes and statues from the period can be seen in Kos Museum. It had 36 rooms with fountains in each of the three atriums. It is in the west of the Town.
The Roman Odeon of Kos
The Odeon close to Kos Casa Romana was found early last century and forms part of a complex also including baths and a gymnasium.
Antimachia Venetian Castle
The Castle looks down on the village and has great views out to sea. It was built in the 14th century and its walls remain in good condition. There are also 2 churches inside.