Hippocrates Plane Tree in Kos: A Living Testament to Medical History

Journey to Enlightenment: Visiting Hippocrates Plane Tree in Kos

Nestled on the tranquil Greek island of Kos, shrouded in a sense of reverence and history, is a living monument that beckons travelers from across the globe. Hippocrates’ Plane Tree, an ancient giant, stands as an enduring testament to the roots of modern medicine and a spiritual connection to one of the world’s most celebrated healers.

Kos, a cradle of antiquity and the birthplace of the legendary physician Hippocrates, offers more than just sun-soaked beaches and crystal-clear waters. It provides a passage back in time to the roots of modern medicine and a chance to walk in the footsteps of a medical pioneer.

Hippocrates: The Father of Modern Medicine

Hippocrates monument Kos
Hippocrates monument in Kos Town

To understand the significance of the Plane Tree, we must first delve into the legacy of Hippocrates. Born around 460 BCE on Kos, he is hailed as the father of modern medicine. His teachings, philosophies, and the iconic Hippocratic Oath laid the foundations for the medical field as we know it today.

The principles of the Hippocratic Oath, which emphasize the sanctity of human life, patient confidentiality, and the commitment to do no harm, are deeply embedded in modern medical ethics. It serves as a reminder of the enduring relevance of Hippocrates’ teachings.

The Iconic Plane Tree

At the heart of Kos Town, amidst bustling markets and charming alleys, stands the iconic Plane Tree of Hippocrates. Believed to be over 2,400 years old, this majestic tree’s sprawling branches and dense canopy have provided shade to countless visitors, scholars, and healers over the centuries.

The Tree of Hippocrates is a tree of the Platanus Orientalis species, and its trunk measures almost 5 meters in width. The tree’s canopy diameter reaches impressive 12 meters and it is believed to be the largest plane tree in Europe.  The years have left the tree trunk contaminated by fungi, and insects have eaten larges pieces of the trunk, making it almost completely hollowed out. The sapwood layer has a maximum thickness of 15 cm.

Despite its age, the Plane Tree of Hippocrates continues to thrive, thanks to dedicated efforts to preserve this living relic. Protective measures, including support for its branches, ensure the tree’s longevity for generations to come.

Under the benevolent branches of the Plane Tree, it is said that Hippocrates conducted his lectures and shared his wisdom with students. These teachings formed the foundation of the Hippocratic Oath, an ethical code that continues to guide physicians today.

Holistic Healing in Ancient Kos

The Plane Tree holds special medicinal significance in the history of healthcare. It is believed to have been used in various remedies for ailments of the time. Its presence beneath the branches of the tree was considered therapeutic, as it provided a tranquil and serene setting for healing.

In addition to the Plane Tree, ancient Kos was home to the Asclepius Sanctuary. The Sanctuary was a center for holistic healing dedicated to the god of medicine, Asclepius. The lush gardens and therapeutic rituals at this sacred site offered a holistic approach to healthcare. Specifically emphasizing the interconnectedness of the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of well-being.

A Tree that Heals Through Time

For modern-day visitors to Kos, a visit to the Plane Tree is a journey through time. The serene ambiance and historical significance of the site make it a must-see destination on the island. A plaque commemorating Hippocrates’ teachings stands nearby, offering insights into the enduring legacy of this ancient sage.

Stepping into the presence of Hippocrates’ Plane Tree feels like embarking on a spiritual pilgrimage. Located in the heart of Kos Town, near the famous Castle of the Knights, it welcomes visitors with open arms. The tree, though ancient, remains vibrant and lush, as if it continues to draw energy from the very essence of healing it represents.

Hippocrates’ Plane Tree in Kos is more than just a tree. Specifically, it is a living link to the origins of medicine. Furthermore. its a testament to the enduring human pursuit of health, and a symbol of the wisdom imparted by a visionary healer. Its shade continues to provide solace, its presence inspires, and its legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of those who seek to heal. As we bid farewell to this ancient witness to history, we are reminded that the spirit of healing endures. Ultimately, the quest for knowledge and well-being is a journey that knows no bounds.

Visitor Information and Location

The Tree of Hippocrates is located in the middle of a square called Platía Platanoú, (or “Square of the Platane”) in the heart of Kos town. Specifically in front of the Loggia Mosque and opposite the fortress of Neratzia, a few meters from the sea. It is easy to get to by foot, bike, or public transportation.

There is no admission fee to visit the tree. However please be respectful of the tree and its surroundings. Do not climb on the tree or damage its branches.

Here are some tips for visiting the Hippocrates Plane Tree:

  • The best time to visit is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild.
  • The tree is located in a central location, so it is easy to get to by foot, bike, or public transportation.
  • There is no admission fee to visit the tree.
  • Be respectful of the tree and its surroundings. Do not climb on the tree or damage its branches.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use. For more info please read our Affiliate Disclosure and Privacy Policy Pages

Have any questions about Hippocrates Plane Tree in Kos? What about other Travel suggestions? Join the conversation on Instagram, Twitter or Comment below and share your thoughts!


Leave a Reply