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The Asklepieion of Kos. ( This is the Greek spelling, but there are several adaptations of it )
If you enjoy history,architecture or both,The Aslepieion will interest you.
If beaches,jetskis,girls and clubs interest you more, then this article is unlikely to interest you whatsoever!
The Asklepieion is probably the largest ancient monument on the island of Kos.
The origins of which are said to date back to the 3rd century BC.Sadly this magnificent site has been facelifted by earthquakes,several times since.
The site you see today was excavated in 1902,unearthing the true scale of what you see before you now.
Part of the early structure is a temple dedicated to Apollo. The Romans got in on the act too and the Asklepieon shows remnants of early Roman baths.
The real claim to fame of this site,is that it was used by the physician,Hippocrates as a medical and teaching centre.
It seems every man and his dog have been snooping around here at one time or another.The Crusaders and the Turks have all left their mark at various times through history. Indeed the whole island of Kos, has endured a turbulent and often violent history,even up to WW.II. Historians will find plenty of intrigue here.
If you intend to visit the site, buy a tourist book for about 5 to 6 euros and spend a little while researching some facts first. This helps to put what you see before you,into a much better perspective.
So What about the Asklepieion itself?
The site is awesome! The scale of the place is massive ( You need to be moderately able bodied, to see the site in all it's spleandor) There are some large and steep steps to encounter.
Once you arrive here, the peaceful nature of the place surrounds you,there is an air of timelessness here.
There is a forest behind the site, you hear the wind rustling through the trees and the sound of birdsong leaves you with a feeling of tranquility.The site is dotted with cypress trees.For me at least,I get a feeling of where I belong in history when I come here.All the things you can read about in text books, you can touch and feel here,it's a humbling experience indeed!
Notwithstanding the shear scale of the Asklepieion, the views that can be seen from here, are out of this world. On a clear and haze-free day, you can see for considerable distances over the Turkish coastline,just a few miles away.
You can see right into Kos town about two miles away. You almost feel that you are standing in an oil painting, the scenery is just so beautiful.
If you are nosey (like me), you could do worse than take a camera ( of sorts) and a decent pair of binoculars too,if you have any. If you don't take some, you will wish you had!Conducted tours of the site can be had from numerous tour operators,if that's what you desire. I think the gate fee, is about 5 euros to enter the site.
A word of warning, do not take pictures of Greek military installations. You may get your equipment siezed, or worse ,you could end up in the Slammer. No Kidding!
It's hard to describe in words, the grandness of the Asklepieion as it has so much to offer, both for the historian and the sightseer too.
There is but one 'main'(A) road that connects Kos town with the rest of the island and from this road you can reach the Asklepieon. There is a village called Platani,from which you can turn right when approaching from the west or turn left when leaving Kos town, there are some small and easily overlooked signs saying 'Asklepieio'
From this main road,you need to keep your wits about you, when turning across oncoming traffic,because the road is something of a madhouse! It's a cross between the Indie 500 and the Canonball run!
If you do decide to visit the Asklepieion you would probably need to allocate a couple of hours at least.There is a small refreshment area on site, where you can buy light meals. If you visit here in a hurry, you will probably regret it later. Use a spare day from your holiday and enjoy this place for all it's beauty.
Pictures of Asklepion, Kos
Asclepion of Kos
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