Visiting the Asklipieion on Kos

In case you are wondering what the Asklipieion is, we didn’t know that either. But, as it turned out, the Asklipieion is a really large temple/medical school structure where already Hippocrates worked and taught. I didn’t even know that he was from Kos, on the other hand I haven’t studied medicine and swore his oath. So no shame in that. Visiting the Asklipieion though is really a big deal, no matter if you are a doctor or not.

three tiered temple and school structure @Asklipieion

The Asklipieion lies on the way to Kos city, almost all the way to the east. It took us about an hour to get there from Kefalos. After getting our ticket we walked along a shaded path to arrive at the temple structure. This lower level had a large portico, the adjoining arcades had rooms for the sick people. On this level two subterranean rooms had been found, probably used to house lepers or people with STDs.

arcades with headless statues propped up in front @Asklipieion

The second level had some pillars left to see, the rest of some temples in Ionic and one in Corinthian order. But this was also the treatment area, which included pools with water from Mount Dikaios (the highest on Kos).

one of the temples on the second level @Asklipieion

detail from the second level @Asklipieion

the second level from above @Asklipieion

The third level housed in former times a big marble temple of the Doric order. It was dedicated to Asklipieion.  You can still see the altar, which has been reused by Christians after the temple was abandoned in the 5th century. This was deducted by a symbol on the altar.

altar on the third level @Asklipieion

What I liked best though was the shade on top. Resting for a couple of minutes underneath some trees while looking more temple structures was really necessary after walking around in the sun.

resting in the shade @Asklipieion

The Asklipieion was huge structure. But all of that erected long after it saw worship from even before Hippocrates. The famous doctor taught and worked here in the 5th century BC. Only  after his death the Asklipieion started on the form we can still see today. And no wonder the old Greek built it here, you have a wonderful view from the top. Yours, Pollybert

view from the top @Asklipieion

Let me know what you think

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