This listed (I wasn’t previously aware they was any here) 19th century building was first used as a neo-classical mansion for the Zoulinos family from 1888-1906. It then was used to house the Lefkás branch of the National Bank of Greece before it finally became the National Library. It was founded by Panos Rontogiannis. This library is unusual as not only does it have Greek books but it also has English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Danish and Swedish books. This is indicated on the spine for easy reference and there are labels on the shelves to show what section you are in. There is also a map to assist you..
On the initial staircase there are pictures of what I would call the most famous Lefkadians according to how much you can find out about them, the relative ease and there presence. These are Angelos Sikelianos, Lefkáda Hearn, Aristotle Valaoritis and Ioannis Zampelios. I have written posts about all 4 of them. Series links.
On the staircase between the floors are pictures of 12 apparently Famous Lefkadians but when I tried to ask the lady twice about them but I couldn’t get through to her.
Due to the location of the pictures it’s very difficult to capture them as the walkway was blocked off when I visited. Probably to avoid damage to the pictures as some of them are likely quite old. I’m also going to do a separate post about famous Lefkadians as there are many statues and memorials in which I can only find basic data on but still they deserve to be talked about. They were important enough to have some kind of memorial so I’m going to write about them if only briefly.
The Post Byzantine Art museum upstairs has a room for the Virgin Mary, a room for Christ and a room for the Apostles. It has books in each of these as well as many pictures. There is description about the role this figures have played in island life and how they have been depicted. There are also a bishops costume from Russia along with pictures in a very similar style from 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.
This is a list of all the blogs that I have so far reblogged because I keep being invited to blogging awards but frankly I don’t have the time to fill these out. I’m very sorry and I hope this appeases you all.
Here in Lefkás I can read Greek at a suitable level to get by and this includes some social media posts too. This is a great achievement for me.
However, this does not extend to a cashier wildly gesticulating her arms about in the guise of some kind of transfer. She was pointing in the direction of the cabbages that I had bought but since I’d already paid and they were already in bags I had no clue what she wanted. I said to her that I didn’t understand but my fatal error was that I said this in English. This causes them to lose all interest in you and then the transaction is done after a cursory goodbye.
It’s so sad that this happens after I had been polite by greeting her and even giving her money after she told me the total in Greek. I didn’t know the word for cabbage since you so rarely get them here but those that are interested google says it’s λάχανο.
It’s disappointing that the only time that the young populace lose the power of speech, is when they are confronted by an English person. They (the English) have tried to learn your language (Greek) but you have used something unknown to them. Suddenly being more interested in your colleague doesn’t help the situation as you clearly wanted to communicate something but were too bloody stubborn to explain! It’s called customer service. Just because I’m English does not entitle you to pretend that you don’t understand me. I know you do so please help me out next time. I don’t need to learn your language but I have because I wanted to. Don’t make me regret my decision.
For the longest time I had an irrational fear of offending people with my language skills. To this day I don’t speak if I can get away with it. This is due to my childhood but also many subsequent incidents. However, this does not mean I am incapable of speech or that I don’t understand other people when they speak. I’m slowly overcoming all of my childhood fears about being inadequate and growing into the adult I’m meant to be. If I can do it then surely everyone else can also accomplish all that they set out to do. It just takes time and patience as well as hard work. These are not always around in a great abundance. Therefore we have to make the most of the resources we have. With the desire to change you can achieve much more than just having the talent for something. Attitude and motivation are key factors here.
This is inspired by one of Bogdan ‘s many questions on the blog over at Pointless Overthinking . You should check out the daily question that turns up about 6pm. It may vary where you are but it’s always at the same time without fail. It’s one of the constants of blogging here on WordPress along with several articles by Cristian Mihai as he does have 4 blogs.
Efi has some very good posts to read but I thought since it’s the weekend you guys in the blogosphere deserve a respite from the intense intellectual stimulus I have subjected you all to so far. So here is Eli chilling out with a bit of Greek mythology added in for good measure;)
I am also in Greece right now so the blogging schedule and my ability to contribute to this might change quite drastically. The content may too.
I will be spending a lot more time outside away from technology and the internet isn’t as reliable over here as it is in the UK. I will also be doing a lot of physical work so I doubt I will have the energy to contribute here either. This is just to let you know that I haven’t forgotten, dropped off the face of the planet or anything else you might think has happened to me.
Hoping to still keep in contact with you all although on a reduced schedule.
Last night I got chucked in at the deep end in terms of understanding fluent fast colloquial Greek speech. It is so much easier to understand when the speakers have a good command of the language so both there accent, manner of speech and grammar are on top form. I spent an throughly enjoyable couple of hours listening even though I mostly knew the content of the stories already. I think this helped along with English interludes and the occasional picture.
I still have much to learn here but I have most definitely crested that hill and I saw a picture recently that said that if your thinking of giving up remember that the fruit is the last thing to grow on a plant. Ie it takes a very long time to see your efforts being rewarded but when they do it’s so sweet.
Thankyou for all your efforts and keep going as you will get there!