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Mosaics at Gymnasion in Kos

 

At the exit of the excavations, or the northern entrance, under the roof, there are floor mosaics found here from the period of the reign of the Roman Empire. Interesting is the one depicting Apollo and the nine Olympic muses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne.

 

  • Each of them had a different attribute and looked after a different field. They were:

  • Kalliope - poetry, philosophy and rhetoric, its attribute was a tablet with a stylus,

  • Klio - history, its attribute was a scroll of papyrus,

  • Erato - love poetry, her attribute was Kitara,

  • Euterpe - lyrical poetry, playing the flute

  • Melpomene - tragedy and singing, therefore its attribute was a tragic mask,

  • Polyhymnia - choral poetry and pantomime, that's why she is always deeply thoughtful,

  • Talia - a comedy, so she always has a comic mask,

  • Terpsichore - a dance, its attribute was the lyre and plectrum (for plucking the strings),

  • Urania - astronomy and geometry, so it has a compass and a sky globe,

 

These figures are before and after the main theme of the mosaic, which is Paris' choice of the most beautiful goddess. So there are three women: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite, and Paris, who hands the apple to the most beautiful of them, Aphrodite.

Nymphaeum at Gymnasion in Kos

 

When the building was discovered in 1938, it was thought to be a place of worship for some Greek deities. Only later inspection revealed that this beautiful place is nothing more than a closed and built-up, but only public toilet from the 3rd century CE. The bathhouse was heavily decorated with statues, fountains and mosaics. Unfortunately, the earthquake in 469 destroyed everything. Today, you can admire beautiful Ionian-style columns, because while visiting the area, I did not know that the building, which is not interesting from the outside, hides such a miracle. Instead of being interested in the fact that everyone is peeking through the wooden lattice in the side door and standing there for a long time, I just let it go.

Jak nazwa wskazuje, jest miejscem ciekawym przyrodniczo. Stąd bowiem wypływają źródła, które zaopatrują wyspę w wodę słodką, a więc źródlaną. Miejsce jest bardzo urokliwe i przyjemne latem, bowiem liczna tu zieleń nadaje przyjemny klimat i zieloną, bardzo naturalną kolorystykę miejsca. Miejsce nie do końca jest dziełem natury. Włoscy inżynierowie zbudowali tunel transportujący wodę z naturalnego źródła.

więcej na stronie  dolina siedmiu źródeł 

Dolina siedmiu źródeł

Roman Baths in the Gymnasion area of Kos

 

There were several of them here, from different periods. Today, in total ruins, the barrel vault, i.e. in the shape of a half of a lying cylinder, the so-called Western thermal baths. The most famous mosaic floor was found here. The walls and ceiling, on the other hand, were also heavily decorated.

Historic streets of the Gymnasion area of Kos

 

The wide Via Cardo road, dating back to the 3rd century CE, leads to the excavation site. It is interesting because it is authentic. Made of amygdalopetra, i.e. travertine limestone. The grooves of the wheels of vehicles from that era are still clearly visible here. It was directed north-south and probably led all the way to the port. Today's main one was actually secondary. During the Roman Empire, Decumana was more important and broader, facing east - west, today heavily overgrown, but still visible and open to the public.

Gymnasion in Kos

 

Sports in ancient times were very important. There were exercises in various disciplines and preparation for competitions or military service. The facility included a treadmill and a bar, i.e. a training ground. Over time, it has also become a meeting place for citizens of all ages; here they could discuss, listen to philosophers or speakers.

 

With the passage of the following years, apart from sports exercises, schools were also taught here (e.g. in Athens: Likejon, the Platonic Academy). A lot of time was spent here, so entire complexes of buildings for various purposes were erected, including swimming pools and thermal baths.

 

The answer is why Gymnasion, a Greek place of sports exercises, also includes sanctuaries, thermal baths, shops and porticoes.

 

The construction of the stadium in Kos was probably started in the 4th century BC. It is over 180 meters long and 30 meters wide. It was located in a place where today you can admire several (exactly four) Doric columns. Before the minor earthquake in 2017, visitors to this place could photograph more of the grouped columns that today lie broken. Access to them was also fenced off.

Western archaeological zone in the capital of the island of Kos

 

Ancient Kos was very extensive, so far from the port there are also archaeological sites dating back to Hellenistic times. And because no one has been interested in this place since the Middle Ages and no new buildings have been built, the monuments preserved here are in quite good condition. What we can admire today is, among others (description of the sites according to the entrance from the Odeon side):

Sanktuarium Herkulesa

Świątynia Afrodyty

Insulae

Stadion Panatenajski w Atenach

Stadion Panatenajski w Atenach