|CLick Image Map||Kos Information|
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Kos is a lima bean shaped island in the Aegean,
a mere 200 meters from the Turkish coast. This is one of the closest islands of any
of the Aegean islands to Turkey and as a result shows the remnants of the Turkish influence on the island.
The island is said to be the island of Hipocathries and boasts a tree where he taught medicine (which is 200 years to young for this to have happened). Hipocathries is not the only contribution to the medical profession of the island. This island was said to be where Achepeletes was born and one of his two sanctuaries (Epidauros was the other) was found here. Achepeletes was the god of Medicine and his sanctuary was a place where pilgrims went for healing. Because of this it was a major pilgrim site and known throughout the Mediterranean. There are impressive Greek and Roman ruins essentially built side by side (which means the Romans did not destroy but assimilated the island.) More on these sites on their individual pages.
Because of its location Kos has seen the brunt of every major invader that has gone through the Mediterranean. (Much of the history of the region involves various powers moving east or west, destroying or assimilating all in their paths.) Greeks, Romans, Persians, French, Venetians and Turks have all laid claim to Kos. As a result there are well-preserved ruins of all of these people. Greek temples. Roman theaters and shrines. Turkish baths and mosques. French castles. Unfortunately there has been one more invader. The tourist! I somehow managed to avoid taking pictures of the mass of umbrellas lining every sandy beach. The millions of people wandering the tourist area. However, these people have destroyed almost any Greek Heritage of the island. English is the main language. I shocked people by speaking Greek. Only once did I feel like I was in Greece, and that was in the agora, for evening pasado watching kids play soccer. The Greeks seem to be cooking the goose that laid the golden egg on this island. People complain that it's over crowded and not as beautiful as Turkey. That's because it has allowed the tourist operators to destroy the native culture of the island.
I did enjoy seeing the ruins though. And it was fun going out at night and watching the backpackers party. It was an interesting detour, one that I most likely would not make again. However, here are the photos that show the once natural beauty of the island. Comments to