ZIPARI AND TINGAKI
Six and a half kilometres west of Kos, along the island’s main road, is the village of Zipari, an important centre of population in Early Christian times with remains today of two basilicas from that period.
First, Aghios Pavlos. (500m before the central junction in Zipari, and just before an ‘Argos’ filling-station (right), a track south leads back and down through fields to the site.) The most impressive part of this late 5th century basilica, is the square baptistery which still stands to the original height of the pendentives (c. 7m) which once supported its cupola. The building had a marble floor with sunken font, and decorated walls: but the growth of vegetation makes this, and the patches of mosaic which adorned the floor of the basilica, hard to see without concerted clearing.
Second, Kapamas. On the edge of Zipari is a second basilica, referred to as ‘Kapamas’ from the name of the area where it is found. (In the centre of the village, a road south (left) leads to the cemetery and turns sharp right past a football pitch: the ruins are in front and below.) The three-aisled plan of the church is clear, with a well-pre served, 5th century baptistery standing to the southeast. In the centre of the circular interior is a cruciform font, with two smaller ones in the two corners of the west side.
A kilometre beyond Zipari, a right turn leads to the north coast resort of Tingaki. The road west along the shore from here finishes at a small brackish lagoon, exploited throughout history as a source of salt. This is an atmospheric place at any time, but is at its most beautiful when dotted with the colourful greater flamingo who winter on the waters here. The surrounding wetlands are a refuge for the Fan-tailed warbler and Stone-curlew, with the much rarer Slender-billed curlew and Red breasted geese present also as occasional visitors. The area of Tingaki is also home to the island’s Gypsy community.
Two kilometres west from Zipari, the main island road splits into two carriageways for a short distance, so as to accommodate the ruined arches of a Roman aqueduct in the space in between.
Kos Island is part of the Dodecanese Island group
Zipari and Tingaki.