You are here: Home ￫ click here to EXPLORE Kos ￫ mediaeval Ottoman Italian & modern Kos ￫ mediaeval, Ottoman, Italian & Modern Kos - The mediaeval city
The mediaeval city
The mediaeval building on the corner directly to the north of the Ficus trees, is the Schlegelholz Bastion, and it marks the southern limit of the mediaeval Collachium, or walled city, built by the Knights of St. John between 1391 and 1396 against the threatened attack of Sultan ‘ (‘Thunderbolt’) Beyazit I (the same who finished his days in an iron cage after his capture by Tamburlaine). The bastion bears the coats of arms of Hesso Schlegelholz, Governor of Kos (1399–1408), and of Grand Master Juan Fernandez de Heredia (1377–96). The walled city enclosed an area south of the castle, now occupied by the Agora Excavations and the buildings adjoining the southeast corner of the harbour: its southern wall—well preserved at some points—runs along the northern side of Ippokratous Street. A reconstructed eastern gateway, incorporating ancient and mediaeval spolia, leads in from the shore promenade just north of the bastion, beside the Hospitaller-period House of Francesco Sans, built in 1514 in a style reminiscent of that of the mediaeval mansions of Rhodes , and in stone of variegated colour.
Through the gateway is a deserted area with two small mediaeval churches, separated by a funerary chapel and monument to the Thymanakis family in between, which has an inscribed fragment of ancient cornice as its western step. The small 15th century church of Aghios Giorgios to the south incorporates many ancient fragments, including a broken column protruding perpendicularly on the north side, and other decorative pieces and architraves. Inside are traces of wall-paintings and a carved and finely decorated 16th century funerary plaque in the floor. The church to the north, Aghios Ioannis, of the same period, is similarly constructed using ancient pieces: immured to the left of the west door, and set on its side, is the marble front of an ancient standing tomb or mausoleum, carved to look like a closed gate; beside it, is a piece with a scratched cross and Byzantine inscription. These churches, now isolated, were once immersed in the dense habitation and narrow streets of the mediaeval town, which was cleared after the earthquake of 1933. Just beyond Aghios Ioannis to the north are the remains of early 17th century Ottoman baths, later used as a store and deposit for salt. The bathing chamber is still clearly recognisable, but in bad condition.
Kos Island is part of the Dodecanese Island group
Mediaeval, Ottoman, Italian and Modern Kos. The mediaeval city.