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AEGEAN ISLANDS

The ancient stadium of Xysto

Pisandrou Street, P. Tsaldari Street and Grigoriou V Street surround the stadium. Ruins dating back to the Mycenaean period and a tomb from the Greek Dark Ages were discovered southwest of the church of Agios Panteleimonas. Two ancient paved roads cross the archaeological site. The first one started at the ancient port leading to the gymnasium of Xysto and the second one is parallel to Grigoriou V Street heading from east to west. The gymnasium of Xysto was the biggest of the ancient town. Today only 17 restored columns exist out of 80 that the gymnasium used to have. The name of Xysto (=done by scraping) comes from the habit of the athletes to scrape off the oil that they anointed their bodies with before the game. Baths and a pool that was made waterproof using strong mortar were built in the premises during the Roman period. The Western Thermae, a building of the Roman period with mosaic floors, is located near the gymnasium. A restored building of the Hellenistic period stands opposite the Thermae. It was thought to have been a shrine dedicated to the nymphs, due to its elegance when it was simply used as public changing rooms.

North of the second paved road the Small House stands out among the ruins of ancient dwellings. It was built after 142, but the mosaic that was discovered on its floor depicting the abduction of Europa by Zeus (transformed into a bull) comes from an earlier period.

 

THE ODEON

It was discovered during excavations by the Italian archaeological school in 1929 and is in relatively good shape. It has 14 rows of benches with an aisle separating the first 9 from the other 5. It seems that the aisle was used to divide first class from second class seats. Many ancient pieces of art were discovered very close to the Odeon. The marble statue of Hippocrates that is now on display at the museum of Kos is one of them.

CASA ROMANA

Casa Romana was a Roman villa of the architectural style of Pompeii that was built over the ruins of a previous villa of the Hellenistic period. It was discovered southeast of the Odeon in 1933, was restored and furnished with a roof. It had three atriums. Mosaics with depictions of animals and sea life were discovered on the floors of the first and the second atrium respectively. The third one is surrounded by two lines of columns and has the architectural style of the “Rhodian arcade”.

 

Info

Only a few meters east of Casa Romana, on the opposite side of Grigoriou V Street, you will find remnants of an altar dedicated to Dionysus and dating back to the 3rd century BC.

 

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