Fodor's Expert Review Asklepieion
Hippocrates began to teach the art of healing on Kos in the 5th century BC, attracting health seekers to the island almost up to the time of his death, allegedly at age 103, in 357 BC. This elaborate, multitiered complex dedicated to the god of medicine, Asklepios, was begun shortly after Hippocrates's death and flourished until the decline of the Roman Empire as the most renowned medical facility in the Western world. The lower terrace probably held the Asklepieion Festivals, famed drama and dance contests held in honor of the god of healing. On the middle terrace is an Ionic temple, once decorated with works by the legendary 4th-century BC painter Apelles, including his renowned depiction of Aphrodite (much celebrated in antiquity, it was said the artist used a mistress of Alexander the Great as a model). On the uppermost terrace is the Doric Temple of Asklepios, once surrounded by colonnaded porticoes.