St Nicholas and the lighthouse

St Nicholas is the patron saint of fishermen and he has a chapel dedicated to him near Sappho’s Leap at the southern end of Lefkás. Saints associated with Lefkás, their churches and shrines.

There has been a temple to a deity of some kind for a long time. In the days of Sappho, it was Aphrodite trying to escape the rapturous attention of a mortal with the assistance of Apollo but the temple has long gone to be replaced by the chapel that is now there. If you wish to find out about that time visit Archeological museum In Lefkás Town.

This area was later favoured by Angelos Sikelianos, his wife Eva Palmer-Sikelianos and there friend Nikos Kazantzakis. I have told you all plenty already about those 3 characters and if I ever visit there I will be able to tell you more.

The thing about Lefkás is you can’t learn a lot online, books are better but to get an actual feel for these things, you have to see them for yourself. It’s a very Lefkádian thing as they don’t really do social media even for business purposes so if you want to communicate anything you have to see them. There old fashioned and traditional which is unusual in this modern world but also kind of nice.

From the lighthouse on the promontory called Cape Dukatos or Lefkás depending on the era in question, you can see a fabulous sunset, take beautiful pictures and enjoy the view of neighbouring Ithaka and Cephalonia.

Is there any groups of famous people in your country?

Best wishes

Angela

Kosmas of Aetolia Greek monk and historian 1714-1779

These are disposable tablecloths that cover many of the tables in restaurants around here. It’s nice that you can learn about the culture of the place your staying through such a simple gesture.

This one tells a brief history of Apolokarnanina which is the area that houses Preveza airport that you fly into to visit Lefkás.Kosmas of Aetolia-Acarnania. He founded a school in Preveza which upset the Venetians who were ruling at the time leading to his death. For a Greek perspective Cosmas of Aetolia

There are also poems by Angelos Sikelianos “The first rain” which describes the beauty rain can inspire in you when you let it touch your soul and you dance in it. ”

It says above that the poet was born in Lefkás in 1884.

It says below he was born in Lefkás in 1850 and he was the national poet of Japan. His house is still there in Kithera.Lefkada Hearn There is also an Aristotle Valaoritis poem, biographical information and another poem. e

He is the second part of my Famous Greeks series.

Pavlos Santorinis

Theodore Stephanides

Other series include Greek poets, authors, Musicians, Rural villages in Lefkás and Foreigners who have become interested and or benefited Greece in some ways. All the links can be found here Series links.

Do you have any simple gestures like to help inform visitors to your country?

Best wishes

Angela

Wilhelm Dorpfeld German archeologist and historian 1852- 1940

He is the founder of the scientific approach to archeology for he came up with the theory of stratigraphy which is the recording of strata to enable you to use the objects found in the correct manner. He is however most famous here for his Bronze Age excavations that took place

from 1900-1910 Tombs near Nidri

and he was the originator of the thought that Lefkás was Homer’s Ithaka. Displayed below is the Odyssey boat but here it’s in the harbour on Meganisi.

I have even watched a BBC4 program where they went in search of the physical evidence based on passages from the Odyssey itself ending in Lefkás with a trip on the boat in the picture which I have been on and it’s very informative. Dörpfeld did many evacuations in the area including Meganisi

Meganisi
Meganisi

but anything more than hearsay cannot really be proven which is unfortunate. I think the modern conclusion to the theory is that it is Ithaka that Homer lived on, not Lefkás despite Dörpfeld’s exhaustive efforts.

He is however commemorated on the island by having the bus stops in Nidri dedicated to his memory. This is because he believed that the bay of Nidri (this picture is also on display in the Gramophone museum Lefkás town) Nidri

Nidri

was Homer’s base for the setting of the start and end of the Odyssey. He also thought the bay of pigs was Sivota bay.Sivota

Sivota

You can also get hold of a book Wilhelm Dorpfeld in Lefkás that tells you all about himself and the work that he did on the island. I have read it and it’s quite informative. It’s the best source of information around and the black and white pictures in this post come from that book.

The picture of his grave is at Geni which is across the water from Nidri and very close to Agia Kiriaki church. He also has the honour of a street named after him in Lefkás town.

There is an Archeological museum In Lefkás Town with a room full of his finds in Lefkás town but more were destroyed by a fire that happened not long after they were discovered in the place that they were being stored nearby the excavation site.

It is quite difficult to get hold of information about him in English but the above mentioned book and museum I linked to earlier is your best bet here. You can find out more about him in the museums in Athens.

However, the majority of it is in German. I have previously come across a PHD document written by a Greek that is in English online. However, as with all things you find when your not really looking for them; there really difficult to locate when you actually need them. Wilhelm Dörpfeld founded a school of archeology in Athens so you do occasionally come across gems like that document but just like gems they are very hard to discover again after you have initially found them.

As a consolation prize here is the Wikipedia article on him

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Dörpfeld

Do you know of any little known people from your country who deserve to be more famous?

Best wishes

Angela

Saints associated with Lefkás, their churches and shrines

Lefkáda – Panagia Fanoroemeni Monastery (the Virgin Mary) is revealed on August 15th. There are many churches with the same name with the most famous in Cyprus thanks again Google. There is a monastery for her on Lefkás about 3km from Lefkás town. It includes a religious history museum, maritime museum and a zoo. The Venetians had some input to the architectural structure too. This is why it’s the best looking, most well maintained and well known monastery on the island. I am yet to visit this place but you can see many pictures online and on the Wikipedia article there is some info Lefkás but best check elsewhere as it’s rather lacking.

Lefkás town – Santa Maura 3rd May. There is a fort dedicated to her at the top most point of the island. I haven’t visited her either as it was closed the day I wanted to go.

Nidri When they have weddings here it is traditional to honk your horn all the way through the village until they get home which can be quite some distance. It is a very noisy affair as the horn is sounded whenever they feel like it so about every couple of minutes. This is every vehicle in the procession so it can be a cacophony of noise. Just like the Easter celebrations except more vibrant as this is early evening instead of midnight.

White church – This is the church on the top of the island that everyone sees and sometimes they have weddings up here. The panoramic views across the entire area are phenomenal.

Sappho’s leap – St Nicholas the patron saint of Fishermen. St Nicolas 19th December.

Geni – Kiriaki 7th July Agia Kyriaki

This is the shrine below dedicated to her and the church that is nearby. I’ve been inside too for a lovely christening but I didn’t take any pictures as there were 2 professional photographers but I don’t know if I’ll ever see the photos of that event.

As you can see I have visited some areas and not others due to there location.

Do you have any special saints that you worship where you are?

Best wishes

Angela