Wandering in Lefkada’s picturesque alleys
Once upon a time Lefkada was a colony of Republic of Venice. For this reason, the picturesque alleys of the town are part of its Venetian architecture. Although Lefkada was under the Ottoman empire for over 200 years from 1479 to 1684, it was the Venetian rule that affected the habits and traditions of its inhabitants. In particular, Lefkada became officially Venetian in 1718 with the signature of the Treaty of Passarowitz. Earlier the Doge of Venice Francesco Morosini and his fleet captured the island from Ottomans during the Morean War. Later, the Venetians built the town based on the architecture model of their own cities. The buildings usually surround the main market road which also happens to be the heart of the town.
In addition, the orientation of the streets and alleys is vertical to the main market road. For this reason, the ventilation of the town is possible from all wind directions keeping the air clean and fresh.
In 1825 a big earthquake devastates the town. In particular, that time from 1815 to 1864 Lefkada and the other Ionian islands were a protectorate of the United Kingdom. After that natural disaster the locals managed to rebuild the whole town according to the British anti-seismic specifications. For example, the ground floor construction of the buildings is made from stone while the upper floors are made from wooden light structures. Additionally wooden beams support the light upper floors directly from the building’s foundations. Outside the houses, metal sheets from tin, painted with different colors, protect and cover the wooden upper floors. Hence the whole town has a unique colourful and very romantic appearance.
Recommended walks in Lefkas town
Of course, a walk in the picturesque alleys crossing the main market street is the first thing you should do in the town. However, you should also visit the Archaeological museum and Lefkadios Hearn Cultural center at the end of west waterfront called Angelou Sikelianou. Both of them are in the same building and have valuable exhibits from Doerpfeld`s excavations. There are also photos from the life of Japan’s national writer Lefkadios Hearn. Furthermore, you will discover some interesting museums and churches in the alleys of the historical center of the town. For example, the Folklore Museum is located in an alley behind Agios Spyridon church, close to the town’s main square. In particular, it is a classic old British mansion that really worths a visit for its interesting exhibits.
Also, Angelos Sikelianos museum is another one which was the house of the national poet. It is in an alley close to the main street as well. In particular, it is a very interesting museum with exhibits from the poet’s personal life who lived in Agios Nikolaos islet close to Lefkada. There you will see personal letters and photos of the famous Greek poet including manuscripts from his entire life. Finally, the public library and Agios Nikolaos, an old venetian church in the main street, worth your visit too. In the end of your walking tour a stop for a local sweet and coffee in the central square is highly recommended. With all that said, you are always welcomed to Lefkada. The poets island with the incredible turquoise waters!