The Casa Romana (Roman House/Manor) is situated on Grigoriou Pemptou Street in an area that constituted the neighbourhood of aristocratic houses during the Roman period. The Casa Romana has been reopened to the public in the spring of 2015 after some extensive restoration which has effectively highlighted the different elements of this unique manor.
The Casa Romana was found and excavated right after the devastating earthquake of 1933. The island was at the time under Italian rule and the local administration decided to proceed to the full restoration of the house, a project that lasted until 1940. The site is comparable to some of the manors that can be found in Pompei, and basically dates back to the 3rd century A.D. although it was definitely built on top of the ruins of a House of the Hellenistic period as attested by some of the statues and a fresco (mosaic) with perfect representations of fish that were found inside. The statues have since been moved to the Archeological Museum of Kos where you can admire them.
The facade of the building will not seem impressive as you approach the site from the road but that should not deter you. One of the most stunning sights of the island awaits you once you pass its door. The building is composed of 36 impressive rooms while the three atriums that invariably include a fountain/pool and plush greenery are soothing sanctuaries that give you an idea of the environment in which a wealthy individual would spend his days during the Roman era. These particular openings also happen to be an essential architectural trait of the structure as they channel the necessary light to expose or reveal the hidden treasures in the more dark, secluded or withdrawn rooms that are situated in their periphery. The third atrium is by far the biggest, a space of monumental symmetry to which the added extra floor has given an altogether different and definitely interesting perspective.
Frescoes of pristine quality abound and date back to the 3rd century AD for the most part. The most incredible frescoes are to be found in the atriums where the ample light divulges their true essence. In the first atrium, a mosaic depicts a leopard rushing at a deer and a lion attacking a wild goat. The floors around the pool of the second atrium are decorated with mosaics depicting dolphins and a Nereid on a sea horse holding a torch. In the rooms next to the third atrium, the mosaics depict a tiger and a leopard.
To the east of the Casa Romana lie the ruins of the Central Thermae (Baths) or Thermae of Amygdalonas, excavated in 1934. In some spots, the mosaic floors are preserved as well as the places where the heating of the water took place.