Odeon of Kos - History and Facts | History Hit

Odeon of Kos

Kos, Aegean, Greece

The Odeon of Kos dates back to the second or third century and would have served as a Roman theatre.

About Odeon of Kos

The Odeon of Kos was a venue for public sessions of the senate as well as musical and spoken competitions and displays. It is located in Kos Town, Greece, and dates back to the second or third century.

History of Odeon of Kos

The Roman Odeon in Kos Town was built in the 2nd or 3rd century AD by the Romans. and was consequently damaged by an earthquake in 142AD, after which it was repaired by Emperor Antoninus Pius (137-161AD.)

It is located in the south western quarter of what was the Roman city of Kos, which is home to aristocratic properties such as the Casa Romana, as well as to the south of the processional thoroughfare (Decumanus maximus).

Along with the Gymnasium and Roman Baths, the site was discovered in 1929 by an Italian archaeologist, then restored during a period of Italian occupation. The Odeon would have been able to accommodate 750 spectators.

Its overall construction rests on square-built pillars, which would have created an artificially sloping landscape. The first nine rows of seats are made out of marble, and were reserved for the most important of spectators. Behind the marble rows are five further rows made out of granite which were reserved for the common classes.

Odeon of Kos Today

Today, several of the Odeon’s original rows remain, so it is certainly possible to imagine how the site would have looked in its heyday.

Beyond the original rows, the Odeon of Kos has also undergone restoration and the site is in excellent condition, even though it is no longer all original. There are also the remains of a Roman gym and bathhouse nearby. Indeed, one of the main advantages of the complex is that many important sites are concentrated in the same area, meaning they can all be comfortably visited in a short amount of time.

Along with other Roman sites in Kos, such as the Nymphaeum of Kos and the Casa Romana, the Odeon of Kos is well worth a visit when staying on the island.

Getting to Odeon of Kos

From the centre of Kos, the Oden is a 5 minute walk via the Pisandrou and Leof. Grigoriou V roads. Equally, it is a short car ride via the same route.


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