Turkey 2016–Part 24— Kos the Town

kos1 In some ways Kos is like a much smaller version of the Greek island of Rhodes, with the same sort of quaint town and shops, and ruins. Here, as on Rhodes the Knights of St. John had a center, and helped build a castle. They were called Hospitallers because they were dedicated to the care of the ill. The group is named after John the Baptizer not the apostle John, and they seem to have been formed in Jerusalem somewhere around 1000 A.D. You still see evidence of their presence on Kos, including especially at the castle. kos2 Here’s their emblem on the castle wall, kos3 And above the doorway entrance into the castle….kos4kps5 kos14Interestingly, there is an inscription about Herod the Tetrarch in the castle. The island however is far more famous for its association with Hippocrates and as an ancient place of healing, including a massive Asclepion (see the next post). For now, we will focus on the agora in the city, and the general ethos of the city, which is quite beautiful…. our tour guide this time will be Mr. Bouganvillia, and here he is…..kos6 Notice his two eyes, nose, and mouth, and his little collar with a flower. :) kos7 Everything grows on these islands, including gigantic Ficus trees….kos9kos20 There is an impressive Greek Orthodox Church near the townsquare….kos16kos10 The church is dedicated to a local saint I’d never heard of before…..kos11kos12 The blue domes are visible from the market….kos13 Nearby are quaint houses and shops….kos17kos18 Here is the so-called tree of Hippocrates….though it is only about 600 years old….where legend has he imparted his medical wisdom. More on him in a future post about the Hippocratic Association. kos19

The ancient agora is worth a visit. kos21kos22kos23kos24kos25kos26kos27kos28kos29kos30kos31

You have to go out of town however to reach the Asclepion ruins, and it’s our next stop. kos32