The Roman Odeon of Kos in the Dodecanese region is a fantastic historical site that dates back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The Romans built this odeon and other notable constructions, including the Gymnasium and the Roman baths. All these structures are situated east and west of the Casa Romana, a part of the Ancient Town, and several excavation areas surround them.
One of the main advantages of visiting this complex is that it houses several significant places, which visitors can comfortably explore during a single walk without wasting time or spending too much money. It’s easy to find your way into the Roman Odeon of Kos, and it’s a free location that you can explore on your own time.
We visited the Roman Odeon of Kos in the summer of 2021 when we went on a cruise of the Greek islands with the fantastic crew of Running on Waves. Kos was one of the most historical spots we stopped, where we visited the impressive Plane Tree of Hippocrates, among other places.
How old is Roman Odeon of Kos?
The Roman Odeon of Kos dates back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Although the Roman Odeon has undergone restorations, the first nine rows of seats are still the original marble ones reserved for important citizens of the time. After these rows, the odeon has five rows of seats made of granite, which were meant for regular people. Today, the odeon boasts a total of 18 rows of seats.
The floor, wings, and orchestra pit are other parts of the odeon found in excellent condition during an early 20th-century excavation. Additionally, several statues have been discovered, making the site an exciting destination for art and history lovers.
The Romans built several other odeons and amphitheaters throughout their empire, and they were known for their famous arenas, with the Colosseum being the largest. These amphitheaters were the centers of entertainment in Rome, where people gathered to watch fights between enslaved people, criminals, prisoners of war, and sometimes even battles between humans and wild animals.
Although the Romans are credited with inventing these spectacles, they were highly influenced by the Greeks, one of their conquered nations. The Greeks had a rich theater culture, and the Romans borrowed many concepts.
The Greeks built unique precincts with semi-circular rows of sittings where actors would perform outdoors. They were very related to this type of art, as they pioneered the tragedy concept, elaborating intricate myths expressed in many tales.
In the cultural exchange between Greece and Rome, the Romans borrowed many essential facts of Greek culture and used them for their benefit. The ruins of these places, such as the Roman Odeon at Kos, are the available remains of these times, and they serve as a reminder of the rich cultural exchange between these two nations.
Whenever you visit Kos, remember to spend some time at the Roman Odeon of Kos since this is a living piece of history that captures the ancient splendor of the Romans and Greeks.
It is a must-visit site for anyone interested in art and history, and its impressive structures and artifacts provide a glimpse into the past. The odeon is well-preserved, making it an excellent destination for those who want to explore and appreciate the wonders of ancient history.
When you visit the Roman Odeon of Kos, don’t forget to go round the ruined theater to see a giant mosaic on the floor. Also, one exhibition under the rows tells a bit about the place, its history, and how it was excavated. It’s worth checking out.
You can find more information on the link and map below.
Free and Fascinating: A Day at the Roman Odeon of Kos – A Hidden Gem of the Dodecanese
Leof. Grigoriou V 51, Kos
853 00, Greece