KOS



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Kos - Antimachia and the West of the Island - Antimachia, Mastichari and Kardamaina - Antimachia

Antimachia
The central road of the island, which runs virtually at sea level for the first 17km west of Kos, rises over 100m onto the volcanic plateau before reaching Antimachia. 800m before the village is a road to the south, signed to ‘Kastro’, for Antimachia Castle (unrestricted opening).
   Some castles give the impression of verticality, others—like Antimachia—of horizontality. This is a wide castle in a wide landscape, designed to accommodate and protect a large number of people and livestock against a protracted siege. It sprawls, but it still does not fail to give and impression of forceful unity: in 1457 it with stood a 20-day siege by Mehmet the Conqueror. Arriving by road from the northwest, it is hard to appreciate that the site of the castle is on the crown of a ridge which drops steeply to the coastal strip: with such natural protection to its south, it needed its heaviest constructed defences to the north. The original walls are of the 14th century—erected between 1337 and 1346, shortly after the Knights of St. John first arrived on Kos, during the mastership of Helion de Villeneuve: but they have been significantly strengthened by a continuous talus reaching three-quarters of the way up their height as well as by a massive semicircular redoubt protecting the north west entrance, added in 1494. Below the machicolations above the entrance, are the arms of the Grand Master, Pierre d’Aubusson (1476–1505), who carried out both of these improvements and repaired the walls after the earthquake of 1493.
  
The interior is bleak—a sea of rubble remains, as of a densely inhabited town: streets, houses, churches, threshing circles and cisterns. The central building, ahead inside the gate, was used by the Turks after 1523 as a mosque: there are the vestiges of a minaret on its southwest corner. The other two buildings within the enceinte which are still integral and roofed are both churches contemporary with the construction of the castle, built with the sparseness of line and form characteristic of their military founders. To the east is Aghios Nikolaos with the arms of Grand Master del Carretto and the date 1520 on its west façade, added probably a century after the erection of the church. In its northwest corner, wall paintings are faintly preserved. An impressively spacious cistern lies just to the north. The larger, late 14th century church of Aghia Paraskevi­ beyond, possesses greater architectural interest in its decorated apse outside and ribbed vaulting inside: it also conserves vestiges of wall-paintings on its west wall. The castle’s beetling south walls look across to Nisyros and Tilos, although the sightlines for the purposes of signalling from here to the Knights’ Castle at Mandraki on Nisyros are all but blocked by the profile of the island of Giali­, which lies in between.

   The spreading, modern village of Antimachia (21km from Kos), occupies the site of its ancient predecessor; in its main square is a typical village house, decked out as a small Museum of Local Folklore, and opposite is a re stored windmill—one of many that once caught the wind on this long central ridge of the island. The village is al most equidistant from its two harbours on the north and south coasts, at both of which the visible remains of large Early Christian communities can be seen: one of the re markable characteristics of Kos is the presence of numerous, large, Palaeochristian basilicas, built by the water’s edge at many points around the island.


Kos Island is part of the Dodecanese Island group
Antimachia and the West of the Island - Antimachia, Mastichari and Kardamaina - Antimachia


Random information you might what to know about Kos Island
Principal points of interest
Ancient Cos general Information

 

access

Kos Island, Greece.

By air: Kos has an international airport in the centre of the island at a distance of 23 km from Kos Town, with twice daily connections from Athens by both Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines, and charter arrivals from many destinations in Northern Europe. There are also local (Olympic)flights three times weekly to Astypalaia, Leros and Rhodes.
   By boat: There are daily services by catamaran (Dodecanese Express), and four times weekly by car ferry (F/B Nisos Kalymnos), plying the route between Rhodes, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros, Patmos (& Samos – ferry only): to Piraeus and Rhodes, Blue Star Ferries run four times weekly ferries, and GA Ferries (who include Nisyros, Tilos and Symi en route) three times weekly. The faster Flying Dolphin services link Kos also with the smaller Dodecanese Islands between Samos in the north and Rhodes in the south, and run daily in summer. From Kardamaina on the southeast coast there is a daily connection with Nisyros throughout the year, weather permitting.

Kos Travel Guide

eating

Kos Island, Greece.

In the town centre, for inexpensive and genuine fare, with good fresh, local wine, the small taverna Kriti (just below the steps northwest of the central church of Aghia Paraskevì) on Ypsilantou Street is reliable and convivial: while, nearby, the Kafeneion Aenaos in front of the Deftedar Mosque, opposite the Central Market building, makes a proper Greek coffee. Many of the most interesting and enjoyable places to eat, however, are a little out of the centre; for a delightful rural, courtyard setting, the Taverna Ambavris (in Ambavris, 1 km along the road south (left) from just beyond the Casa Romana /Roman House as you approach it from the centre of town) is to be recommended; while at the crossroads in Platani, (1.7 km from the port along the road to the Asklepieion), Ali"s is a Turkish restaurant with some good quasi-Turkish dishes, very popular with locals for Sunday lunch. To Palaio Pyli, 1 km below Palaio Pyli, has good fish, hospitable welcome and a good sunset view. With comparable sunset view, home-grown wine and home-made traditional dishes, the quiet and friendly -Taverna Panorama (2.5 km up the Asfendiou road from Zipari) in a family house and garden, is highly recommended. It is perhaps the most genuine place on the island to eat.

Kos Travel Guide

further reading

Kos Island, Greece.

Susan Sherwin-White’s Ancient Cos – an Historical Study etc. (the most authoritative and detailed study of the island in Antiquity); Vassilis Colonas, Italian Architecture in the Dodecanese Islands (Olkos Press, Athens, 2002), for the buildings and architectural ideas of the Italian occupation; the Hippocratic Corpus, selected and translated as The Medical Works of Hippocrates, by Chadwick and Mann (Oxford, Blackwell).

Kos Travel Guide

lodging

Kos Island, Greece.

Outside of the tourist complexes, the most comfortable place to stay in Kos is at the Kos Aktis Hotel (T.22420 47200; www.kosaktis.gr) which is stylish and modern, and has a good restaurant; it is conveniently and centrally placed near the castle, and all its rooms have balconies overlooking the shore towards the Turkish coast. The price is moderate to expensive. For the hospitality, friendliness and helpfulness of the owner, the family-run Hotel Afendoulis (T.22420 25321, fax 25797), just in from the shore to the south of the centre on Evripidou Street, is a pleasant guest-house, but with basic rooms (inexpensive).

Kos Travel Guide

practical info

Kos Island, Greece.

85 300 Kos: area 287sq km; perimeter 112km; resident population 26,379; maximum altitude 843m.
Port Authority: T. 22420 26594–7 & 24185.
Travel and information: Panos Tours, T. 22420 23078, fax 28068.

Kos Travel Guide

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