Sanctuary of Asklepios : Michelin's recommendations
Four terraces cut into a hillside overlooking the Kos plain mark the site of this important sanctuary, which was consecrated to Asklepios (Aesculapius), the god of healing and son of Apollo. The sanctuary was built in the late 4C BC to commemorate the skills of Hippocrates and, like Epidauros, it was both a place of worship and a treatment centre served by eminent priest-healers, the Asklepiades, who formed a famous medical school. To the left of the lower terrace lie the ruins of the Roman baths. The ancient monumental entrance (propylaia) leads up to the second terrace, which was lined with porticoes enclosing the curative sulphureous waters. At the centre of the third terrace stands a monumental altar to Asklepios, flanked on the right by traces of an Ionic Hellenistic temple and on the left by a Roman temple. The former, which was originally decorated with paintings by Apelles (Aphrodite Anadyomene), contained the sanctuary treasury and the votive offerings of the pilgrims seeking cures. Note also the semi-circular seat (exedra). On the top terrace, on the same axis as the steps, stood the great temple of Asklepios. The black and white marble steps were part of a 2C BC Doric temple that was six columns wide by eleven long. The sides and back of the terrace were bordered by porticoes. There are magnificent views down over the sanctuary and the surrounding woods to the town of Kos and the sea.