Featured artist: Shannon Crees

Kos

Featured artist: Shannon Crees
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Out and about

Kos

Relationship with Marrickville

The town of Kos has been a sister city of Marrickville since 1990.

The Greek speaking community has represented one of the largest ethnic communities in Marrickville since 1961. According to the 2006 Census, 4% of the population of Marrickville were born in Greece, and Greek is the most commonly spoken language in the area after English.

Panoramic view of Kos, Greece

Geography and climate

Kos is one of the Dodecanese islands, located in the Aegean Sea. It is the third largest island in the Dodecanese, after Rhodes and Kerpathos. Kos measures 40 kilometres by 8 kilometres, and is only 4 kilometres from the coast of Turkey.

It is mainly flat, with a mountain chain running along its south coast.

Kos has a temperate climate throughout the year.

Local life and traditions

  • Sailing in Kos, GreeceKos not only boasts beautiful beaches and scenery, but well-preserved Venetian buildings, and Hellenistic and Roman ruins.
  • Nerantzia, or the Castle of the Knights of the Order of Saint John, was built in the fourteenth century and is situated at the entrance of Kos harbour. Today, the castle includes a museum, featuring altars, sculptures and inscriptions.
     
  • Kos is a tourist hub and its famous ‘bar street', which features whitewashed buildings including hotels, restaurants and nightclubs, is popular with visitors.
     
  • Tourists are also drawn to Kos' ancient attractions, such as the ruins of the Askepieion of Kos, which was erected during the first half of the third century BC as a medical treatment centre. Other archaeological sites scattered around the town include the Thermes (baths), Xysto (Hellenistic Gymnasium), Decumanus Maximus (a paved road), and Casa Romana (Roman villa).
     
  • Kos has an Archaeological Museum for ancient history buffs.

Festivals

  • The Winter Festival is held from 7-17 March, and includes music, theatre and dance performances, as well as art exhibitions and film screenings.
     
  • The Festival Hippocrateia is held in July and August. It includes a series of cultural events such as concerts by Greek musicians, performances of ancient Greek and contemporary plays, performances of traditional and modern dance, and art exhibitions.
     
  • On 7 August, the town of Kardamena holds a religious festival celebrating the birth of the Virgin Mary.
     
  • The Honey Festival is celebrated in the village of Antimahia on 24 August, where visitors can taste delicacies made with local honey.

Food and wine

Harbourside in Kos, GreeceMany of the islanders make their living from fishing, animal farming and agriculture. Local farmers grow crops including almonds, figs, olives, grapes, tomatoes, wheat and corn.

Kos features many restaurants, ranging from traditional Greek ouzeri and taverns, to international restaurants serving Italian, Chinese, Indian and Mexican food.

Recipe for Soupa Tsatziki, or cold yoghurt soup (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
  • 2 cups thick yoghurt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste

1. Lightly salt the grated cucumber.
2. Beat the yoghurt with a wooden spoon until smooth and add it to the cucumber.
3. Add garlic, lemon zest and juice, dill, mint and olive oil.
4. Stir well, adding water until the mixture is the consistency of thick soup.
5. Serve chilled.

Fun fact

Kos is famous for being the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, who was born there in around 460 BC. The island is home to the International Hippocratic Institute and the Hippocratic Museum.

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