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Kefalonia History

kefalonia history and famous places

Kefalonia's' history is quite fascinating and dates back many centuries. However this section is dedicated to the kefalonia of recent historical times, here we will look at Kefalonia in the past couple of centuries. The island was home to some beautiful classical mansions and sadly with most of It's churches and buildings destroyed in 1953 when the Ionian Earthquake struck, little remains of the wonderful architectural .
Argostoli area
The Orphanage
This building is located on the left in a slightly elevated situation overlooking the Argostoli lagoon, on the coastal road to the finari area.
The building was owned by the family of John Sanders (last consulate of Great Britain). In 1930 the building became the Sotir Orphanage and was home to some 100 children who had no parents. The board of governors successfully managed to secure the donation of the building from the British government to enable the orphaned children to be housed When the 1953 earthquake struck donations from the people of Britain and Malta assumed the full expenditure for the building, this saved the Greek government the burdensome outlay. Today the orphanage is still up and running.
Argostoli Hospital
Before 1953 the original building stood near the waterfront of the town,. Located towards the end of Argostoli towards the Finari area. It was a grand and spacious. The hospital was extended by adding new wings this was funded by a grant which was left in the will of the great benefactor of Kefalonia Panagis Vallianos, following his death in 1902 in London. The hospital went on to develop with new laboratories and advanced medical tools, it offered electrotherapy and spa treatments. The hospital was finally completed in 1912 with the new wings. A large statue of Panagis Vallianos can be seen in Argostoli main square.
Vallianeios Agricultural School
This splendid building was located on De Bosset Street in Argostoli. Inspired by Panagis Vallianos this was the place for both the young men and women of Kefalonia to learn about the different methods of farming. The school specialized in model plantations and select animal breeding. At the end of the school year the students obtained certificates in various studies such as Beekeeping, Tree Pruning and Olive Tree cultivation to name a few. The school supported a soil analysis laboratory and supplied farmers with agricultural chemicals and knowledge.
The Stavros Metaxas Family Mansion
The ground floor of this grand classical building was the base for the National Bank of Greece, until it was bombed in 1943 during the Italian-German fighting. Later it was demolished by the earthquake of 1953.
The Halda Mansion
This beautiful two story mansion house was the home of Dr Aristos and his family. Built in 1900 with funds from the families business based in India. This home had fifteen rooms lavishly decorated by the Italian Percoleze painters. The fresco ceilings displayed wonderful artistic landscapes and beautiful pictures adorned the staircases. The hallways were very long, certainly big enough for children to ride their bycles. During WW2 (1941-1943) the house was used as the garrison headquarters for the Italians, the Germans and finally the Partisans. While the house was under occupation the family re-located to a country house away from Argostoli. Businesses also used the ground floor of the mansion, these included the National Bank of Greece, the Central Bank of Greece and other small franchises who used the remaining space. In 1953 the earthquake left this splendid building in ruins, although not completely destroyed, however following the two banks request the mansion had to be knocked down by army engineers so the banks to salvage the vaults. The building may still be standing today if these requests were not made.
The Grendilinis Mansion
Grendilinis Mansion which is now know as the Focas-Cosmetatos was designed by the architect Ziller and built in the beginning of the 19th century. It is probably the only pre earthquake house that is fully intact which stands in Argostoli. Only the ground floor remains with the families coat of arms displayed over the entrance door. The house can be found in the palm lined street just around the corner from the Ionian Plaza Hotel on the main square.
Drapano Obelisk Kolona*
Built and once adjourning the Drapano bridge the obelisk sits rising up from the sea. This monument is made from carved rocks and was erected back in 1813 at the same time as the building of the Drapano bridge. There is a plaque built into the walls of the monument and read in four languages, Greek, English, Italian and Latin. The obelisk is a token of gratitude from the Kefalonia government to Great Britain. It reads; To the glory of the British Nation by the Cephaloniots.The small walkway which connected the obelisk to the bridge has now gone.
Tambakika Tannery
This leather processing factory stood proudly at the end of the Drapano Bridge. (probably where the water park stands now) It was founded by the Stivas family in Argostoli in 1880. The factory produced soles and vaketes* In the 1940s shoes were all handmade.

Kefalonia Resorts
Aghia Efhemia

Kefalonia Beaches
Lassi beaches
Lepeda beach
Xi beach
St Thomas beach
Avithos beach
Lourdas beach
Horgota beach
Petani beach
Ammos beach
Ammes beach
Trapezaki beach
Atheras beach
Spartia beach