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Ancient Sites of the Harbour and Market Place

Kos Island - Port LimenosThese sites are south of Platanos Square and is one of the largest archaeological sites with buildings which date back to the Middle Ages. The site is surrounded by a
fortress of the medieval city “Hora”. It consists of an ancient harbour which was protected by another wall. Inside the fortress of the harbour there was a sanctuary and a small unnamed temple. In the excavations a small portion of a building and a tower were found, as were parts of the Ancient Market and a big old Christian basilica called the Limenos Basilica. This discovery and reconstruction of these ancient findings were brought about by the Italian Archaeological Mission after the earthquake of 1933 which completely destroyed Hora and a large portion of the city. Limenos Fort The area of the harbour was outside the main wall of the city and was protected by two separate sea brackets which protected the enclosed harbour. An islet at the inset of the harbour created two narrow passageways for ships to enter. Many parts of the harbour have come to light such as the Arcade of Limenos. Large parts of the harbour were lost or trampled in the 5th century BC by the Limenos Basilica. During the Hippocrates times it was systematically quarried.
Kos - Limenos ArcadeThe western wall of the harbour was found on two pieces of land on the western part of the modern day harbour at a distance of 25 metres from the sea. The breadth was 2,15 metres and was made from almondstone. A part of the wall has been preserved and can be seen in the basement area of the hotel.
Kos - Limenos ArcadeLimenos Arcade It was considered the most ancient construction of the area(end of the 4th- beginning of the 3rd century BC). It was violated by the Limenos Basilica. The arcade was excavated at 42 metres and a part of it can still be seen today. It was part of the building made up of rectangular areas, possibly nine of them. In front of the rectangular areas there was an arcade – depth of 6,50 metres. At first the buildings capital was of Doric design, constructed from almondstone while during the Roman period they replaced the pillars which had Corinthian style and the epistyle was made of arrow design. A second storey was added at this stage. The arcade was destroyed by fire and by the earthquake in 469BC. The marble floor which was saved as well as some copper statues can be seen today at Kos museum.
Kos Island - Afrodite Pontias and Pandimou SanctuaryAfrodite Pontias and Pandimou Sanctuary The Afrodisio is dominant at the entrance of the ancient harbour and was built at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the Kos Island - Afrodite Pontias and Pandimou Sanctuary2nd century BC on a man made embankment of about 3 metres high. It was surrounded on all four sides by Doric arcades and two front entrances. The arcades were in front of an indoor yard 38 by 33 metres, with shops and storage space. In the southern part of the building there is four-pillar temple dedicated to Afrodite Pandimo and Pontia. Pandimo Afrodite was a protector of the Municipality and may have been connected to the settlement of Kos in 366 BC. She was also the protector of marriage, as the divine goddess of love, according to reports newly weds of Kos had to offer a sacrifice to the temple. Afrodite Pontia protected the sailors, fishermen, port workers and sea merchants. Reports show that sailors who worked for large vessels would offer an annual sacrifice worth 30 drachmas or the amount of 15 drachmas to the priest for their safe return. Fishermen and merchants had to pay 5 drachmas to the priest for evry ship that left the city’s port. If they forgot to pay they would be fined another 10 drachmas.
Kos Island - Hercules SanctuaryHercules Sanctuary According to sourced, Hercule’s sanctuary was founded in the 4th century BC aKos Island - Hercules Sanctuarynd had a garden, guest house and different houses. It was built at the end of the 4th century or beginning of the 3rd century BC after the shifting of the eastern ledge of the Limenos wall, upon a man-made hill in a rectangular shape. It was a temple with very simple lines 12,60x 7,50 metres and was surrounded by arcades, monuments and different entrances. It was constructed with grey-green stones, almondstones and white marble which gave the temple its two-toned colour which we found in Kos at the time.
Kos Island - Market AgoraIn the second half of the 2nd century BC and especially after the destructive earthquake in 142 AD a series of repairs and extensions were made which were connected with the protector of marriage. The temple shows Hercules having dinner with his wife Halkiopi, daughter of the King of Kos Europilos, their son Thessalos, who was the leader of the Iraklidon and a newly wed couple offering sacrifices to Hercules who was considered the protector of marriage and fertility. The worship of Hercules was of the most important in Kos, local mythology statKos Island - Market Agoraes he was a leader in Kos. His importance was shown by putting Hercules on one side of a coin.
The Market - Agora The Market place of Kos was considered one of the biggest in the ancient world. It was the commercial and commanding centre which was the heart of the ancient city. It was organized around a spacious rectangular yard 50 metres wide and 300 metres long. It began in the Northern area and ended up south on the central road (DECUMANUS) which went through the city from A-D direction. On the northern side which came into contact with the city wall towards the entrance of the harbour, a monumental entrance opened up, while on the eastern side there were shops. In the first half of the 2nd century BC the building was changed around and extended towards the interior yard. The building was destroyed in an earthquake in 469AD. In the southern end of the Market they found a round building, a Roman dome and a workshop which produced colours including the famous colour “Egyptian Blue”. Coins and treasures were found and many copper statues from Roman times. In the western side excavations led to the findings of rooms. Mosaic floors which showed beastfights, a theme which was quite popular in Kos.
Kos Island - Basilic LimenosBasilic of Limenos The basilica of Limenos is dated to 5 -6 century AD and belonged to the type of Basilica whKos Island - Basilic Limenosich had a three naved wooden roofed basilica with an atrium and baptistery. It’s considered one of the biggest basilicas in the Mediterranean. It measured 72 metres in length and 23,5 metres in width. It’s possibly one of the first buildings of the new religion in Kos, which had been consolidated from the 4th century. This was confirmed by the Bishop of Kos who took part in the works. The Basilica which was saved at the foundation stage, was built on the remnants of the Limenos Arcade and the eastern Port which were built up to create an artificial embankment, with the aim for it to hold a prominent position as a monument. For its construction, building materials from ancient monuments were used. The paved atrium had three sides which were surrounded by arcades. The western arcade was double, while the eastern side led to the three sided antenave. The main temple had a mosaic floor and was divided into three levels with granite columns which the Knights built into the gate of the Castle of Neratzia.
Kos Island - Baptistry of the Limenos BasilicaBaptistry of the Limenos Basilica 5th – 6th Centuary AD The division of the area of the Baptistry during this period, when infant baptism hadn’t been established yet, was adjusted to the ceremony of Baptism which consisted of three important phases. First, the ceremony of exorcism or excommunication of the Outer Houskos-baptistry-limenos-basilicae, then the confession of Faith followed by the divine inspiration and the smearing of the holy oil in the Chrismaria. The Baptistry of the Limenos Basilica is situated south and communicates with the south nave of the main temple through a corridor which was 5,5 metres long. The room of the divine light was circular, registered into square rooms. The walls opened into seven semi circular niches, amongst these were eight columns which were supported by a semi circle dome of the roof. In the centre of the room a cross shaped font was found with two vertical openings of one metre each. While the smaller shallow openings are in the south west side. The eastern niche was used as a Chrismario or Chrism unction while in the remaining three sides it was surrounded by rectangular corridors. In the middle of the western corridor an exterior gate opens up from which those to be baptized went through. The south corridor was for the newly baptised to receive communion dressed in white, holding the altar candles.
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