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Kos Page 4

Beaches near Kos Town

greece greek islands kos cos dodecaneseThere are two beaches near town, both very clean but overcrowded.

The city bus goes to the less crowded beach at Lampi at the northern tip of Kos and Psalidi (3km) to the south. The bus also goes to Aghios Fokas (8km), just where the south coast begins. Or get your own scooter and head to the more remote Embros Therma (13km), due south of Kos town where the hot springs make the water a few degrees warmer and the HOT volcanic sand is dark gray. (picture left)

The Asklipion

greece greek islands kos cos dodecaneseFour km west of  Kos Town and reachable by city bus, lies the Asklipion (Tu-Sun, 8:30-3, fee), discovered by the German archeologist Herzog (not to be confused with Werner Herzog, the film director, who made Signs of Life on Kos in 1966).

The archeologist Herzog followed the description of ancient Roman historian Strabo and discovered this very important Sanctuary of the Healer Asklepios in 1902. Certain restorations have been undertaken by various parties including the Italians while in control of Kos. You can see signs of restoration on the re-erected columns. In fact 95% of these columns are not original.

greece greek islands kos cos dodecaneseAsklepios was the Healing God of the ancient Hellenic world and was served not by priestesses but by a initiated group of Priest Doctors called the Asklepedia, of which Hippocrates was a member. This group kept its inner working secret, but its basic tenants were that good clean water, plenty of fresh air and a pleasing environment without stress would go far in curing disease. Their symbol was the same twining snake used today by modern western medicine. Snakes were considered sacred intermediaries between the living and the dead because they were often found in cemetery holes. They had a taste for the mice used regularly for grave offerings. The fact that rodents carried fleas and that fleas carry diseases like plague may have had something to do with it, too. Most common individuals' houses had a sacred hearth and accompanying hearth snake which lived in a special little hole. Snakes were also believed to instinctively search out hallucinatory and healing herbs which were also part of the therapy along with dream visitations of the healing God himself.

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