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Kos, Knight's Castle.

Castles Align: Unearthing a Navigational Artifact of the Knights Hospitaller

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What you are about to discover is essentially a lost crusader’s artifact left by the Knights Hospitaller. I found it hidden in the hills of Kos many years ago and only now have I managed to simplify the observation enough to condense it into an article. Kos is a Greek island mentioned in Homer's  Iliad when a unit of “Koans” fought on the side of the Greeks in the Trojan War. But this discovery is not a weapon, a priceless treasure or a lost relic, it’s all three.

Mythical and Archaeological Kos

In classical Greek mythology Merops was the founder-king of Kos, the Greek island in the Dodecanese island chain in the southeastern Aegean Sea, off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. This is why "Meropian Kos" was listed in the 7th-century Homeric hymn to Delian Apollo; “the island was visited by Heracles.” ( Iliad ii.676)

Archeologists know the ancient market place of Kos as one of the biggest in the ancient world and mythologists hold it as the legendary birthplace of the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, marked by a tree beside the Asclepeion in Kos.

The Island’s Castles

Because Kos is located so strategically, it is somewhat predictable that a network of four Medieval castles were built on the island: Nerantzia (Neratzia), Antimachia, Old Pyli and Kefalos, the largest being Nerantzia, the Castle of the Knights of the Order of St. John in Kos.

The castle of Nerantzia along with the castle of Saint Peter on the opposite coast of Ancient Alicarnasus (today's Bodrum Castle) controlled the sea way towards the Holy Lands during the period of the crusades.

Nerantzia Castle (Hospitaller period).

Nerantzia Castle (Hospitaller period). (Chris Vlachos/CC BY 3.0)

Nerantzia means ‘castle of the sour orange tree’ and is the most important part of the fortifications constructed on the island by the Hospitallers in 1315. Situated on a promontory, which was once an island during the Venetian occupation, the castle took about 130 years to build.

This enormous rectangular shaped castle had 4 high corner towers and was secured with two fortified curtain walls. A wide moat (ditch) separated the two curtain walls which are connected only by a single inclined road on the eastern side of the castle. Various architectural elements from the ancient city of Kos and the Asclepeion were used in the construction of the castle. Many of these can still be seen today embedded in the castle’s walls.

Nerantzia Castle, Kos.

Nerantzia Castle, Kos. (PaterMcFly/CC BY 3.0)

The oldest remaining part of the castle is the circular tower to the left of the draw bridge, and it bears the blazons of two Grand Masters of The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, also known as the Order of Saint John, Order of Hospitallers, Knights Hospitaller: De Lastic (1437 - 1454) and De Milly (1454 - 1461). The exterior precinct is behind the interior, its construction began in 1495 by the Grand Master D' Aubusson, was continued by D' Amboise and completed by Del Carretto in 1514. 

Coat of arms in the Castle of the Knights of Saint John on Kos. (Ad Meskens/CC BY SA 3.0)

Coat of arms in the Castle of the Knights of Saint John on Kos. (Ad Meskens/CC BY SA 3.0)

The largest stronghold on the island was Antimachia Castle, also built in the 14th century by the Knights Hospitaller and central in the island’s network of four castles - which included those at Kos, Pyli, and Kefalos. Situated at the center of the island of Kos, southeast of the village of Antimachia, it controlled the vastly important navigational passages and trade routes between the islands of Kos and Nisyros. We will come back to this function later.

Entrance to the castle ruins near Antimachia on Kos island. (Greece) (JD554/CC BY SA 3.0)

Entrance to the castle ruins near Antimachia on Kos island. (Greece) (JD554/CC BY SA 3.0)

This castle survived an earthquake in 1928, and during the Ottoman siege of 1457 “15 knights and 200 locals” fought heroically against “16,000 Turkish troops, resisting attacks for more than 20 days.”

The Byzantine Antimachia Castle. (CC BY SA 3.0)

The Byzantine Antimachia Castle. (CC BY SA 3.0)

Inscribed on a cartouche above the second of the double entrance doors, once again, are the arms of the Grand Master d'Aurbusson and the date of 1494. It was only one year later, in 1495, that this Masonically inclined Grand Master began building Nerantzia Castle further north in Kos. This was most certainly a man with a plan, which we will soon reveal.

Palio Pyli is an abandoned village in the municipality Dikeos and this dominant hilltop-castle was originally a Byzantine structure built in the times of the Macedonian dynasty (9th century AD - 11th century AD) inside a vast walled city.

Situated 3-4 kilometers (1.86-2.49 miles) away from the modern village of Pyli and approximately 17 kilometers (10.56 miles) from the city of Kos, the castle ruins are situated in an extremely strategic location on the northern slope of the island mountain chain - overlooking Marmari, Tingaki, the salt lake Alykes, and with views of the nearby islands of Pserimos and Kalymnos and onwards to the shores of Asia Minor. Historians recorded that when the knights of Saint John seized the island in the 14th century, they “enforced the fortifications on the castle in order to enhance the islands defensive properties.”

Pyli Castle commands a 360-degree view of the entire northern part of Kos Island. (Public Domain)

Pyli Castle commands a 360-degree view of the entire northern part of Kos Island. (Public Domain)

A Knights Hospitaller Project

What we have discovered so far is that between 1494-5, Grand Master D' Aubusson rebuilt and strengthened three castles. This in itself is a rather unremarkable statement. However, I will now present you with I regard as a very provocative cartographic observation and I will refrain from offering a reason as to this remarkable occurrence until after you have seen the graphic.

To some, ancient aliens will unquestionably have had a hand in this, while others will hold it as being intricately connected with powerful Earth energies and that the castle building Knights had some kind of control over these alignments. All three castles are in a perfect alignment to an accuracy of 200 meters (656.17 ft.) on the ground.

Kos Castle, Pyli Castle, Antimachia Castle form a perfect alignment with the rugged outcrop in the Kefalou Ko Wildlife Reservation. (Author provided)

Kos Castle, Pyli Castle, Antimachia Castle form a perfect alignment with the rugged outcrop in the Kefalou Ko Wildlife Reservation. (Author provided)

What we have here is a Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitaller attempting to fortify an entire island. Signal men standing at each of the three castles, and the hilltop in the Kefalou Ko wildlife reservation which guards the seas to the south, could have raised the alarm if pirates appeared on the horizon - and within a few minutes, fire and mirrors could have caused the knights to race from the villages to their three castles and the island could have been locked down.

I will present the dynamics of this observation in greater detail in an expanded paper on the Ancient Origins Premium Site in May, and I will sign off leaving you and your own interpretations of this alignment.

You might find it very revealing to open Google Maps and extend this Hospitaller castle alignment north east and south west…it would appear Grand Master D' Aubusson might have spiritualized this alignment, but that really is another story for another day.

Pierre D' Aubusson. (Public Domain)

Pierre D' Aubusson. (Public Domain)

Top Image: Kos, Knight's Castle. Source: Nikater/CC BY SA 3.0

By Ashley Cowie


Iliad ii.676, from "Kos, the city of Eurypylus, and the Calydnae isles.”



Forgive me, an alarm would just bring those in the field into the castle. I don't see that a signalling chain as particularly novel at this time, compared to say the traveller cheque.
What is the system of navigation to which you refer?

ashley cowie's picture


Ashley is a Scottish historian, author, and documentary filmmaker presenting original perspectives on historical problems in accessible and exciting ways.

He was raised in Wick, a small fishing village in the county of Caithness on the north east coast of... Read More

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