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

Kos Castle2 Kos Castle Kos Castle4 Kos Castle3 Kos Castle5 The blazons of Grand Masters

Kos Castle

The Venetians sold Kos Island to the Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes (the Knights of St John) in 1315. Construction of the castle's inner keep and battlements started around 1436 by the Venetian Governor. Much of the material used in the construction was taken from other archeological sites throughout the island, even it is believed including the ruins of Asklepeion. It is also believed that much of it came from a pre-existing Byzantine fortress that was also located on the site as well as the walls and buildings of the Ancient Agora. This is still evident today, as closer inspection of the buildings and walls reveal various irregularities in the material, partial carvings and inscriptions on stones that obviously belong somewhere else.
With the town sustaining continued attacks and improvements in the artillery used during the attacks, the outer wall and internal mote of the castle was started. Over the next 30 years various different Commanders, Grand Masters and Governors were involved in the construction. The different coats of arms of these can be seen as carvings on the castle walls.

Castle of Neratzia

The Nerantzia Castle took about 130 years to complete, and the influence of the different architecture styles is apparent throughout the construction, remnants of the old fortifications can still be seen in the center of the inner precinct. Toward the north end of the castle is the museum building which itself was restored by the Italians is located between both precincts, here you will find inscriptions, sculptures and altars.

Kos fell to the Turkish invaders in 1523, under the Turkish occupation, the Castle walls were repaired and it was kept in use, for much of this time Christians were forbidden from entering the Castle.

Entrance to Kos Castle was 3 Euro in 2013 but may increase in line with the Greek economy, however don't expect a lot for your money, it is very much a ruin and you are left to your own devices when visiting. There is very little by way of information throughout the castle, and a good guide book or an official guided tour is by far the best way to visit the site.

Castle of Neratzia

The only access to Kos Castle was from inland across a small bridge, effectively making it an island. The small stone bridge known as the 'Phoinikon' (Palm Trees) avenue, connects the outer precinct of the island castle to the square containing 'Hippocrates plane tree'. The two precincts (inner and outer) are separated by a large moat with a drawbridge.