About Kos ............Visiting and Holidaying on the Greek Island of Kos............ Kos Asklepeion

Kos Temple of Apollo2 Kos Temple of Asklepeion Asklepeion_terrace Asklepeion asklepeion2 Pan

The Asklepieion

The Asklepieion, (Asclepeion) is found on the slopes of Mount Dikeos south east of Kos Town, it dates from the mid 4th century BC when the first temple was erected on what is now the 2nd level of the site, the construction extends in a north-south direction. up and down the hill-side
There are a number of Asklepieion (healing sanctuary) to be found throughout Greece, the Asklepieion on Kos being the most well known.
The Asklepieion replaced earlier settlements on the same site sacred to Apollo Kyparessios, these were also believed to be associated with healing.
As a temple for a religious cult (Asklepian), The Asklepeion was a healing sanctuary, and considered to be a holy place, its activities being carried out by priests. Although a center for healing, the fact that it was considered a holy place, meant that births and deaths were not permitted within its confines.
Constructed on four levels with three terraces,the upper terrace was the location of the great Temple of Asklepios, and occupies the site of the Sacred Wood.


The first and largest terrace of the Asklepeion was originally bordered on three sides by a portico, here was the location of the medical school, none of the portico remains today, much of the stone being remove by the Knights of Rhodes to build Kos Castle. The rear retaining wall is however still very much intact. The wall supports niches that would have been treatment rooms with statues to the relevant gods associated with the treatment being dispensed. In the center, a flight of 30 steps leads up to the second terrace. East of this central staircase is the mineral water spring, with water spouting from a barely recognisable sculpture of Pan. West of the central stairway are other mineral springs, and a small temple, and statue of Nero as Asklepios. Along the external walls, is the site of the Temple of Venus and two underground chambers, where it is thought that venereal diseases were treated.
Opening all year round, entrance to The Asklepeion is 4 Euro (2013),there are a number of free entry days 6 Mar, 5 Jun, 18 Apr, 18 May, Last weekend of Sept, 27 Sept and all Sundays between 1 November and 31 March.


To the left and the right of the original altar on the second terrace, are ruins of two smaller temples. The oldest to the west the temple of Asclepius and to the east with some restored columns, the temple to Apollo. At the center rear of the temples a flight of steps leads to the upper terrace, east of these central steps are curved Exedra with small niches that held ornamental statues to the west the ruins of the priest's accommodation.