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Kos Island

Kos is one of the towns that have kept the same name for millenniums, while its exact origins are difficult to trace. According to Greek mythology, the Island of Kos owes its name to the Titan Kinnos. Long before the twelve gods of Olympus came to power, people were ruled by the sons of Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (Heaven) - the Titans. In a battle (Titanomachy) that shook the very nature of the universe, these giants struggled against the Olympian gods. The Titans-among which Kinnos- were defeated, and after the battle, fled to the Isle of Kos to seek refuge.
Another myth links the Island to Hercules, the semi-god son of Zeus. Hercules, while returning from an expedition to Troy, fell in a storm, sent to him by his stepmother Hera, who hated him very much. Five out of the six boats of Hercules were destroyed and only him and very few of his companions swan to the nearest shore, which happened to be the cape Gourniatis at Kos.

 

History of Kos

The Island’s proximity to Asia Minor and its fertile ground have made Kos an important center of many historical periods. Excavations at the cave Aspri Petra (“white stone”) of Kos have brought to light findings that indicate that the first settlement in the area of the actual town of Kos goes back to prehistoric times. More precisely, the oldest known residency derives from the early Bronze Age (2300-2000 BC). During the Minoan and Mycenaean periods, Kos flourishes and attains a crucial position in the network of commercial routes to the East. It is indicative that Koans took part in the Trojan War with a fleet of 30 ships. After the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization, the Island becomes Doric and a new period of glory starts. During this time, Kos took part in the Doric sixth city and was allied with the island of Rhodes and its three cities Kamyros, Iallysos and Lindos, as well as with Knidos and Alikarnassos.
At the end of the ancient period, Kos was conquered by Persians and was forced to take part in the Persian Wars against the Greeks. The collapse of the Persian strategy led to Kos’ accession to the Athenian Alliance- a settlement that continued until 366/365 BC, while later on, during the Roman era, the Island maintains a friendly position with the Romans.
The Isle of Kos preserves its strong presence in the following historic times, although it has been often challenged by frequent earthquakes that have destroyed the city (469AD, 554 AD). The Byzantine Empire found Kos as an important Christian center. In the 11th century the island was pillaged by the Arabs and after the conquer of Constantinople by the Fracs in 1204, the island passed to the Venice, Genoa and finally to the Knights of St. John, who constructed most of the fortresses, preserved today.
The island was under the Ottoman domination from 1523 up to 1912, when it was given to Italians, along with the rest of the Dodecanese. During the World War II, the Island passed to German occupation, from 1943 until the end of the war. From 1945, the island was under the government of British troops until 1948, when it was finally given to Greece.

 

Hippocrates - The Father of Medicine

Hippocrates was born around 460 BC on the Island of Kos. Hippocrates had set the bases of rational medicine and is considered today as the founder of Medical Science. Following the long tradition of doctors on Kos, as both Asclepieion and a famous medical school existed on the island even before Hippocrates, he achieved to classify with an excellent method all the data available about diseases and human body. Hippocrates held the belief that the body must be treated as a whole and not just a series of parts. He accurately described disease symptoms and was the first physician to describe the symptoms of pneumonia, as well as epilepsy in children. He believed in natural healing process of rest, a good diet, fresh air and cleanliness.
The oath that Hippocrates established for doctors is in use even today and bears his name (Hippocratic Oath).

 

Island Hopping

Due to its geographical position, Kos is perfect for daily tours to the beautiful surrounding islands of Nisyros, Patmos, Kalymnos, Rhodes, Leros.

Each of the islands has something different to offer to the visitor with a maximum travel time of 2 hours by hydrofoil.

An alternative option is to take a visit to Bodrum- the ancient Alikarnassos - in Turkey, which lies, just across the city of Kos. Combine two countries by travelling just 30 

 

 

Please contact NOSTALGIA TRAVEL for any information regarding local services and assistance.

For more information about the Island of Kos, you can visit the following links:

http://www.kosinfo.gr
http://www.greeka.com/dodecanese/kos/kos-history.htm
http://www.greeklandscapes.com/greece/kos/kos-history.html
http://www.greekhotel.com/dodecane/kos/kos-history/home.htm