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Kos is one of the Greek Islands in the south Sporades group of the Dodecanese. It is found just off the coast of the Southern line of Turkey and is a popular island to visit both on a Greek holiday or even as a day trip from Turkey. The most populated area of the island is Kos Town and the population is only around 31,000.


Just 3km from the main Kos Town is one of the islands most important and popular sites - The Asklepieion. Devoted to the god of healing this religious sanctuary was built back in 3rd Century B.C. Back in the day, it was known as a healing centre as well as a school of medicine. Now a museum you can wander through the ruins of ancient times as well as the new modern museum that has been built alongside the site.

Kos has a 15th Century Castle known as Castle of the Knights. Rather than be built on a vantage point it has actually been built in the harbour, which gave it the best vantage point to keep an eye on its nearby neighbour - Turkey.

Many people will come to visit the Hippocrates Plane Tree as many believe it is where the man himself was said to have taught his many pupils. Although plane trees are not supposed to survive longer than 200 years, this is one of the oldest one in all of Greece.

Kos was originally colonised by the Carians and in the Roman mythology, the island was said to be visited by the one and only Hercules. It was once a favourite resort attracting many, among its most famous sons were the physician Hippocrates, the painter Apelles and the poets Philitas. It is said some of the Kos locals were part of the Trojan War. At the end of the 6th century, Kos fell under Achaemenid rule but rebelled in 479. It was ruled by tyrants during the Greco-Persian War times. By the 5th century, after there was the revolt of Rhodes, Kos became the chief Athenian station in the south-eastern Aegean. Kos was later invaded by the Dorians in the 11th Century B.C., who established a Dorian colony that had a large contingent of settlers over their years under the rule. The island started to build up its sources of wealth from wines and silk.

Kos was an island of high importance as to where it sat within the Aegean, it became the naval outpost to oversee the Aegean. Special to the island, except for occasional incursions by corsairs and some earthquakes over the years, the island has rarely had its peace disturbed. Kos generally displayed a friendly attitude toward the Romans and in 53 A.D it was made a free city. The island was then to be conquered by the Venetians, who sold it to the Knights of Rhodes in 1315. Two hundred years later there was the rise of the Turks and there was a Turkish invasion that abandoned the island to the Ottoman Empire in 1523. The Ottomans ruled Kos for 400 years before it was given to Italy in 1912. The Italians surrendered it in 1943 where British and German forces took the battle to own Kos, to see the Germans victorious. By 1945 it became a protectorate of the United Kingdom, who returned it to Greece rule in 1947.