Information about Kos


Kos, the island of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is an island in the Aegean.

It has a population of 30,947 inhabitants (2001 census) and is the third largest island of the Dodecanese in area after Rhodes and Karpathos and the second in population after Rhodes. The surface of the island is 290.3 with a coastline of 112 kilometers. The capital of the island is Kos, where it is also the main port of the island. It is 200 nautical miles from Piraeus.

It is an island rich in historical monuments and is of considerable archaeological and touristic interest. Today’s Kos is a modern tourist island with many possibilities in terms of accommodation, food, sports, excursions, entertainment.


The island has been inhabited since Prehistoric times. It was initially colonized by the Carians and in historical times received Dorians from Argolis. In the 7th-6th c. BC, Kos together with the cities of Knidos, Halicarnassus, Ialyssos, Kamiros and Lindos, formed the Doric hexapolis. In 500 BC it was conquered by the Persians, from whom it was liberated in 479 BC. and became a member of the Athenian Alliance. It experienced great growth in the 4th century. e.g. mainly after the establishment of the new city of Kos (366 BC) in NE coast of the island, in the place of the current capital. The father of medicine Hippocrates (460-357 BC) was born on Kos, after whose death the Asklepiion was established on the island.

It was conquered by Alexander the Great in 366 BC. During the years of the Roman Empire, the island declined, but experienced new prosperity in Byzantine times. It was plundered by the Saracens (11th century AD), passed to the Genoese, the Venetians and in 1315 to the Knights of the Order of Saint John. In 1522 it was conquered by the Ottomans, while in 1912 it fell to the Italians. On October 3, 1943 it was occupied by German troops and on May 9, 1943 it passed into the hands of the British. On March 7, 1948, the integration of the island with Greece took place.

The island of Kos was hit by earthquakes in the years 142, 469, 554 and 1933.


  • The ruins of the ancient city along with the Hellenistic and Roman buildings near the port: In this area there are parts of it Ancient Agora (4th – 3rd century BC), Grand Lodge (Tax Chamber) and other smaller arcades with sanctuaries dedicated to Dionysus, Aphrodite and Hercules. Inside the city the Conservatory (3rd century BC) well preserved with 12 stands and vaulted arcades, the Casa Romana restored Roman mansion with magnificent mosaics. Also Xysto (part of the Gymnasium) (2nd century BC) with sixteen restored columns out of the seventy that made it up in total, the two buildings that housed the Hellenistic and Roman baths and a part of the Roman road with marbles and mosaics.
  • Archaeological Museum:It is located in Eleftheria Square and includes a collection of prehistoric finds, Hellenistic sculptures and classical small statues of Aphrodite, Eros, Demeter, Hippocrates, inscriptions and mosaics with representations and architectural marble parts of temples and buildings.
  • The Castle of the Knights: Built on the right side of the port, it is the most imposing monument of the Venetian rule. It is kept in very good condition and is a classic example of an imposing defender of its time. It has a double wall and a moat. It was built in the 15th century. but it was completed in the 16th c.
  • The sycamore of Hippocrates: A huge tree with a trunk circumference of 12 meters. It is believed to have been planted
    by Hippocrates about 2400 years ago and that under the shade of this tree Hippocrates taught Medicine to his students. A bridge connects the spot where the plane tree is located with the Castle of the Knights.
  • The Asklepiion of Kos: It is the most famous spot of Kos and it started to be built in the 4th century. BC. It is located at a distance of 4 km from the city in a grove of cypress trees and it was the largest healing center of Ancient Greece. Only the foundations and a few columns are preserved from the temple of Asclepius, while columns are also preserved from the portico that allegedly housed the School of Medicine of Hippocrates. In ancient times there were hot springs with flowing thermal waters nearby.