The Castle of Neratzia in Kos island (photo)

Castle of Neratzia Kos is a beautiful island of the Aegean, which is famous for its endless beaches, its incomparable natural beauty, vegetation and abundant water,

ancient and medieval monuments and the imposing buildings of the Italians, that characterize Kos and reveals their manifold aspects of history.

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations, since it is the third largest island. Apart from the Asklipio of ancient times in which Hippocrates, the father of medicine, taught, and the ancient town, important role in the history of the island played the Venetians, who built and Castle of Neratzia , which dominates the port of Kos.

Anyone who visits the island can not fail to visit it, as is so well preserved that travels back to the times of knights.

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According to the Ministry of Culture it is located at the entrance of Kos harbour, on a promontory which in Antiquity was an island; it was joined to the land with a bridge which survives to this day (Foinikon St. Bridge). It consists of two concentric baileys. The inner one has four corner towers, of which the SE has been incorporated into the outer bailey wall. The outer bailey is more massive, with bulky bastions on the four corners, and has battlements with embrasures. A wide moat separates the two baileys and is crossed by a ramp supported on arches.

The castle was constructed with locally quarried stone and the masonry incorporates numerous decorated architectural elements (columns, inscriptions, epistyles, bases etc.), derived from the ruins of the ancient city. Several heraldic slabs are also mounted on the walls.

Over the main gate has been set a Hellenistic frieze with masks and garlands. The roofing of gates (main gate, Carmadino Gate) consists of granite columns placed horizontally side-by-side; they probably came from the Early Christian basilica of the harbour.

We know from travellers? accounts that the inner bailey must have been built before the end of the 14th century, when Ottoman sultan Bayazid I was growing more aggressive. Nevertheless, the oldest surviving part of the castle is the round tower immediately to the left of the ramp connecting the two baileys and bears the arms of grand masters Jean de Lastic (1437-1454) and Jacques de Milly (1454-1461). The outer bailey is later in date; its construction began under grand master Pierre d?Aubusson around 1495, was continued by Emery d?Amboise and completed under Fabrizio del Carretto in 1514.

Between the inner and outer bailey, on the north side, stood a Hospitaller building (storehouse) which was restored during the Italian occupation of the island in the first half of the 20th century and today shelters the exhibit of ancient architectural members of Kos. It is open to visitors and also serves as a temporary display of altars, sculptures and inscriptions.

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