Kos The Harmylio

A beehive tomb compound of the Hellenistic period was discovered at the Pyli settlement. It was dedicated to Harmylos, a local hero and creator of the regal lineage of Harmylians. Its floor is rectangular in shape and has rows of 6 graves on each of its two long sides. This shows that it was meant to be used as a family mausoleum. The façade of the building was decorated by a marble Ionic arcade. In recent years the church of the Holy Cross was built over the monument. The walls of the church were largely built using parts of the tomb compound.

Palaio Pyli

Palaio Pyli is located southeast of the modern village of Pyli, 300 meters above sea level, at the western foot of Mount Dikaios. It has enormous walls in the north and in the west. The settlement has many derelict houses, the Kastrianon Monastery, a fountain and a Turkish bath from the Ottoman period, cobblestone streets and watermills. The houses are of considerable size, they are built with stones and most of them have small doors and rectangular windows. A bit further down the mountain at the Kyparissi area, there is a small shrine that was built in the 4th century BC and was dedicated to Demeter and her daughter. Small statues of Demeter, Persephone and Hades were found in the shrine along with a statue pedestal with engravings and are now on display in the museum of Kos.


The church of Taxiarches is located at the southwestern side of Palaio Pyli. It was built during the byzantine period and expanded to the west during the period of the Knights’ rule. The murals inside the church dating from the 14th to the 17th century are very interesting. Tombs have been located both in the narthex and the nave of the church.


A temple of Apollo Pythaeus dating back to the early Hellenistic period was discovered during excavations at the beach of Kardamena. Oblations to other deities as well (Zeus, Athena, Hermes, Hecate, Leto, Castor and Pollux, etc) were found inside the temple. The theater of the ancient municipality of Alasarna was situated above the shrine. Up until the 7th century AD this area was constantly inhabited. The raids of Arab pirates forced the residents to move inland to safer locations later. Ruins of a basilica from the early Christian period were discovered west of the temple during the excavations at the beach. It was dedicated to Agia Theotita and dates back to the 5th century.

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