This is the 2nd oldest in Greece with only the one in Corfu being older. It took part in the 1864 union of Greece, the 1896 Olympics, the 1906 intercalculated games and in 1983 was awarded by the Academy of Athens.
There has been a famous conductor in the past called Nikos “Morinas” Thanos. He was born on Lefkás in 1930 and he was the leader of the Orfeas Music and Literature Club of Lefkáda, the Philharmonic Society of Lefkás, the Philharmonic Society of Amfilohia which is nearby and the mandolin orchestra of “Apollon” in Karya on the island.
He also has a maritime museum in the basement of the Faneromeni monastery. It contains his handmade ships and tools. There is 60 in total and there is a variety of styles from British, Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Chinese.Other museums in Lefkás
There is also a youth band festival here in the summer but when I went past I couldn’t find any opening hours. When I looked online it said it’s open 5-10pm which is very unusual.
It does however have the street it’s on named after itself so that’s handy.
Today I went to the gramophone museum and it’s really a guy’s memorial to his family as there is a picture of his parents on the wall and himself when he was a young man. It also has pictures of Aristotle Onassis, Jackie Kennedy, Maria Callas along with Angelos Sikelianos as an older man and Aristotle Valaoritis.
There is a working gramophone which he will demonstrate and the older peg version which you also get to try for yourself.
He has dramachas on display and it’s quite quaint. It reminds you of an antique shop all of these objects from yester year.
He also has syrtaki cds and one of traditional Greek music which costs €5 euros but since his English is not all that good you think that is the price of admission. It’s pretty much the only place you get to buy traditional music here though so it’s worth supporting him. He does says on his sign outside that if it’s not open call the number and he will come immediately to open up. I was initially skeptical of this because of the speed of Greek life but it may be true. However you would only know this information if you can read Greek and the reply will most likely will also be Greek so not much help to the average tourist. By the way it’s open 10-2pm and 7-10pm but don’t count on it as the first time I went at 1:30pm and it was most certainly shut with no one in sight to open up for customers.
Along with the purely Greek sign there is a small display of traditional ladies dresses with one from 1900’s and the other from 1920’s.
Upstairs in the music room at the top of the folklore museum in Lefkás town there is a picture of her along with Aristotle Valaoritis who was involved with many Lefkás town newspapers that previously existed and Angelos Sikelianos.
There is a Wikipedia article on her to fill in the details of her life. Agni Baltsa.
Other series include Greek Poets, Painters, Authors, Musicians, Museums, Famous Greeks, Greek islands, Rural Villages in Lefkás, specific Greek fields of interest and foreigners with an interest in Greece. All the links can be found here Series links.
He was a scholar and a folklorist responsible for the creation of the folklore museum in Lefkás town. He was born in Kavalos on the island which is near to Sfakiotes so the folklore museum there is also named after him.
The folklore museum is a continuation of the history of Lefkás from where the Archeological museum In Lefkás Town finished. As you may recall I said previously that there was a big gap in the history of Lefkás from when the Romans left until the Venetians turn up in the 15th century. Other museums in Lefkás details other aspects of Lefkadian life but these are based outside of Lefkas town.
The folklore museum covers the period from the Venetians in the 15th century, through the Ottoman Empire, French, British and finally when they are free to rule themselves. There is also Santa Maura fort Lefkás if you wish to see the result of these battles.
At the start, it documents the newspapers, geography and men’s occupations like the ball game they used to play which is like boules. It also talks about the activities of the market place or the special events of Easter and Faneromeni which is coming up on Monday 17th June.
The emphasis here though is very much on female life as the are drawers upon drawers of women’s clothes, there is household linen and how it was made in the first place, carpets, examples of food that they ate including information about wine, olive oil, Eglouvi lentils and bread.
It also shows upstairs the setup of a typical bedroom and dining room. There is a loom on display that they would have used so that clothes could be woven. It details the different types of dresses worn by a girl, a bride and a woman as well as Sunday dress. There differences between rural and urban ladies are listed on the wall with what was expected of both. It also talks about the dowry that went with a girl upon marriage.
In the very last room is a music room with pictures of Aristotle Valaoritis, Angelos Sikelianos and Agni Baltsa. This is to complement the bouzoukis you see in the entrance hall. For related musical posts see here:
This is an artwork by Zois Rombotis that is in the National Gallery in Lefkás town.
1st and 2nd Delphic festivals were held in 1927 and 1930 and they were festivals of the arts. These celebrated art, plays, poetry, music, dance and fashion. Not just Lefkádian styles but they had input from all over Greece as were the patrons who attended.
These were instigated by Angelos Sikelianos and his wife Eva Palmer-Sikelianos. They were however such a huge undertaking in terms of organisation, promotion and financial cost that the burden proved too much for them. Since there was little state funding in those days, that they had to file for bankruptcy after the second one. This is why they have never been reinstated. Considering how popular they were, how well connected they were and with the amount of money that they must have had at their disposal with only have 1 child, you gotta think are there other forces at work here?
Eva had to return home to the United States to try to acquire funding for more festivals due to the bankruptcy but was never permitted to leave again while her husband was alive due to political tensions and her own leanings. There is something slightly dodgy about this yet this is exactly what is written on the wall. There isn’t an explanation so your just left to wonder how such a thing could happen.
It was so painful for the pair to be separated that he got there marriage annulled so he could get married again with her consent yet she never did. Neither had any more children. The family tree is on the wall though. It is through them that some of the exhibits are there.
There is lots more information about both festivals in the Angelos Sikelianos museum situated in their house in Lefkás town. It was their pet project after all. If it wasn’t for the many donors who contributed to the museum, it probably wouldn’t still be there.
This is a very interesting place to visit if your interested in the prehistory of Lefkás. It also covers the findings of the excavations of Wilhelm Dörpfeld even better than the Fagotto book that I mentioned previously Wilhelm Dörpfeld.
In this museum it goes into detail about the ancient and goddesses (Apollo etc) that were worshipped on the island and how Lefkás became associated with Sappho and unrequited love. It explains the temple that was once there and how the inhabitants worshipped female deities.
In another room it details the lengths that they went to in order to honour their dead. It contains grave goods and headstones along with descriptions of the different styles of graves.
In the main room it contains information about the basics of Greek life like bread, wine, oil, fishing, weaving, music, houses and coinage (trade). It also includes interesting language facts and all sorts of other things that you can’t find out anywhere else.
In the last room it houses all the finds from the Dörpfeld excavations along with an examination of the time period that they relate too.
It takes the average person less than an hour but I spent an hr and a half because I read everything in sight. It also costs €2, is closed on Tuesdays and you can’t take the leaflet away.
I know I’m making this sound so dull but I was fascinated by the content. It gave me a lot of insight into why Lefkás had a lot of settlements and activity for a vast period up until the Roman period. After the building of Nikopolis which I will talk more on after I have been, the decline was evident especially when the battle of Actium happened. This was a famous sea battle between Cleopatra and the Roman Empire.
After that Lefkás disappears from history for approx 800 years. It’s only when the Venetians turn up that things start happening again but that’s beyond the scope of the museum.