The modern town lies on a flat plain encircling spacious Mandraki harbor and is a pleasant assemblage of low-lying buildings and shady lanes, with a skyline pierced by minarets and palm trees. The fortress, which crowns the west side of town, is a good place to begin your exploration of Kos town. Hippocrates is supposed to have taught near here, in the shade of a plane tree that is said to have grown on one side of little
Platanou Square—but this is merely legend, as the Koan capital, called Astypalaia, was at the far, western end of the island and Thucydides recounts its destruction by an earthquake. A loggia, actually a mosque built in 1786, now graces the square.