Kos - City of Greece
Kos or Cos is a Greek island in the south Sporades group of the Dodecanese, next to the Gulf of Gökova/Cos. It measures 40 km by 8 km, and is only 4 km from the coast of Bodrum, Turkey and the ancient region of Caria.
The island was originally colonised by the Carians. A contingent from Kos participated in the War of Troy. The Dorians invaded it in the 11th century BC, establishing a Dorian colony with a large contingent of settlers from Epidaurus who took with them their Asclepius cult and made their new home famous for its sanatoria. The other chief sources of the island's wealth lay in its wines, and in later days, in its silk manufacture.
In the Hellenistic age Kos attained the zenith of its prosperity. Its alliance was valued by the kings of Egypt, who used it as an outpost for their navy to watch the Aegean. As a seat of learning it rose to be a kind of provincial branch of the museum of Alexandria, and became a favorite resort for the education of the princes of the Ptolemaic dynasty; among its most famous sons were the physician Hippocrates, the painter Apelles, the poets Philitas and, perhaps, Theocritus.
The main port and population centre on the island, also called Kos, is also the tourist and cultural centre, with whitewashed buildings including many hotels, restaurants and a small number of nightclubs forming the famous Kos town "barstreet".
The ancient physician Hippocrates is thought to have been born on Kos, and in the center of the town is the Plane Tree of Hippocrates, a dream temple where the physician is traditionally supposed to have taught. The limbs of the now elderly tree are supported by scaffolding. The small city is also home to the International Hippocratic Institute and the Hippocratic Museum dedicated to him. Near the Institute are the ruins of Asklepieion, where Herodicus taught Hippocrates medicine. Kardamena is a popular resort for young British holidaymakers and has a large number of bars and nightclubs.
The main religion practiced is Greek Orthodoxy. Kos has one of the four cathedrals in the entire Dodecanese. There is also a Roman Catholic Church on the island as well as a Mosque catering to the Muslim community of Kos. The Synagogue is no longer used for religious ceremonies as the Jewish community of Kos was practically wiped out by the Nazis in World War II. It has, however, been restored and is maintained with all religious symbols intact and is now used by the Municipality of Kos for various events, mainly cultural.
Except for occasional incursions by corsairs and some severe earthquakes, the island has rarely had its peace disturbed. Following the lead of its great neighbour, Rhodes, Kos generally displayed a friendly attitude towards the Romans; in 53 AD it was made a free city.
GREECE National Bird : Dolphin
GREECE National Flower : Bear's breech