KOS



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Kos - Mediaeval, Ottoman, Italian and Modern Kos - The new Market and commercial centre

The New Market and commercial centre

The harbour to the west of the castle is well-protected, intimate in size, and has an attractive waterfront with plenty of trees. To the south it is dominated by di Fausto’s Governor’s Palace of 1926–27, now the city’s Town Hall. The streets leading inland to either side of this building bring you up to Platei­a Eleftheri­as, the city’s main square marked by the conspicuous minaret of the 18th century Deftedar Mosque. This mosque has a more traditional design than its contemporary at the opposite corner of the Agora, with a low cupola on an octagonal drum surmounting its square prayer hall: its fountain and staircase are both much less decorated. The minaret has been re stored, but still preserves its fine, ornate ‘collar’ balcony. Behind the mosque to the east, and now almost entirely overgrown by bougainvillea, is what was the principal en trance into the Mediaeval walled city of the Knights, the ‘Porta tou Forou’, whose masonry, doorposts and lintel blocks are still just visible beneath the vegetation.
   The open space of Eleftheri­as Square is bounded by buildings erected by the Italians in the New (second) Urban Plan of 1934, drawn up by Rodolfo Petracco after the disastrous earthquake of the previous year: the museum to the north (whose side elevation is more original than the front), the New Market opposite it to the south (both by Petracco), and the Fascist Party Headquarters (now a cinema and theatre) in between them to the west, by Armando Bernabiti—all of them put up in 1934–35. Al ready the decorative impulse of the buildings of the 20s has been ‘purified’ and eliminated, and the severity of Bernabiti’s building is only mitigated by the fact that it is now a lively cafe. Petracco’s spacious and airy New Agora still functions as a market. In the streets that radiate from here are many other public buildings, private houses and shops, which date from this master plan.
   From the southwest corner of Eleftheri­as Square, Iphai­stou Street, which then becomes Apellou Street, leads gently uphill past cafes, shops and an Ottoman wall fountain, through the area once known as ‘Seraglio, be cause of the residence on this hill of the Ottoman Governor. Its summit (Platei­a Diagoras) is marked by the truncated minaret of a demolished mosque, with a salvaged Ottoman fountain attached to its north side. In the corner of Nisiri­ou Street behind, is the large, 17th century stone mansion of Mehmet Pasha. Its woodwork, attractively painted ceilings, and domed hamam have recently been restored and converted into the ‘Anatolia Hamam’ restaurant and bar. Two hundred metres to the northeast of here, on the corner of Makariou and Venizelou Streets, is a 19th century Ottoman mosque, the Atik Cami, now converted into offices; it has lost its minaret, but still pre serves a carved Osmanli inscription surmounted by a ‘tugra’, or Sultan’s monogram, over the gate.
   Returning to Eleftheri­as Square, and continuing east wards, Ippokratous Street follows the line (left) of the walls which were the southern boundary of the city of the Knights. One hundred and fifty metres along on the left is a neoclassical mansion occupied by the offices of the Diocese of Kos. Across the street, on the corner of Mitropoleos Street, is a small domed shrine to HacΔ± BaΕΔ± Dede, beside a building which is the seat of the offices of the Muslim Community, and occupies the site formerly of a mosque. A further 100m leads to the point where this itinerary began.


Kos Island is part of the Dodecanese Island group
Mediaeval, Ottoman, Italian and Modern Kos. The new Market and commercial centre.


Random information you might what to know about Kos Island
Casa Romana area
The hot springs at Aghia Irini

 

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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