KOS



redline

Kos - The Odeion and Casa Romana area

The Odeion and Casa Romana area
These two buildings are the most conspicuous standing remains of the ancient town—as well as the most substantially modified and reconstructed by the Italian archaeologists of the 1930s. They are both on Grigori­ou V Street, across from the point at which you entered the Western Archaeological area. The ancient city’s main theatre lay to the south of here, and this small Odeion, of the 2nd century bc, had a different purpose. It served for small musical gatherings, poetry readings, and political meetings. It was always an intimate space—originally roofed, decorated inside with statuary, and embellished with a polychrome marble floor in opus sectile. The original marble seating of the cavea has been extensively re stored with modern additions in similar stone. The building had a compact rectangular exterior, and the spacious and well-constructed undercrofts, or tabernae, beneath the seating area were also exploited in a practical use of valuable space in a crowded city centre. Not far from here (left side, 500m along the road to Ambavri­s, which heads south from the junction 200m east of the Odeion) and considerably overgrown, are the meagre remains of the city’s theatre proper, built originally in the 2nd century bc and restored in the 3rd century ad: the site has never been properly examined or cleared and remains difficult of access.
   Three hundred metres further east along Grigori­ou V Street is the so-called Casa Romana which has recently been restored. This was a splendid, patrician city residence, rebuilt in Roman times on the foundations (still visible at the lowest courses of masonry) of an earlier Hellenistic house destroyed in the earthquake of 142 ad. At 2,400sq m in area, it occupied a whole block of the city, and has a spaciousness which makes an abiding impression on the visitor. All of its finer mosaics were removed and taken by the Italians to the newly restored Grand Master’s Palace in Rhodes , where they now decorate rooms of a wholly different character: the few that remain here still give a sense of their sophisticated quality, nonetheless. Virtually no surface of the interior was originally left undecorated: this decoration was not just in wall-painting (as in the houses of Pompeii) but with the much more expensive revetment in precious coloured marbles, of which some dusty vestiges still remain.
  Everything here displayed the wealth of the owners from the moment you entered: on the small platform in the floor opposite the main entrance, would have stood the strong-box of the owner, containing the gold or coin with which he paid his workers and rewarded his clients, protected night and day by janitors. The southern half of the house (left of entrance) is occupied by an airy,
peristyle hall where the columns rise the full height of the building; at its southern end, and looking across it, is the tablinum, the principal reception-room of the house. Private baths for the owner and his guests are adjacent in the southeast corner. In the opposite, northwest corner, beyond the kitchens, is the north-facing triclinium or dining room looking across a fountain in the centre of the peristyle to an elaborate and decorated nymphaeum opposite. Water, and the sound of water, was fundamental to the plan of the house. Few other examples in the Aegean area give a better sense of the sumptuous dwellings of the rich in the late Hellenistic and Roman periods. 

   The next insula or block east of the house is occupied by the 3rd century ad Central Baths, the largest of the public thermal complexes, with its hypocaust system well-preserved and visible. Cos was well endowed with public baths.

 


Kos Island is part of the Dodecanese Island group
The Odeion and Casa Romana area.


Random information you might what to know about Kos Island
Ottoman aqueduct
The archaeological Museum

 

Rating: /5 ( Votes)

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

Book your Trip to Greece

ferry

advertisements