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Kefallinia and Ithaki: A Historical and Architectural Odyssey
  • Nicholas Patricios, University of Miami

In the book the history of these two islands begins in Mycenaean times including reference to Homer's Odyssey, the palace of this hero, and a description of the archaeological finds to date. This is followed by a depiction of the Tetrapolis of Kefallinia, the historic city of Ithaka, and Roman activity in the islands. Afterwards in the Byzantine period with the collapse of city life monasteries, described here in detail for the first time in English, became the centres of action. In the following Latin era newly created feudal barons built fortress manor houses, remnants of which can still be seen and are illustrated in the book. For strategic reasons Venice captured Kefallinia and Ithaki, as well as the other Ionian Islands, at the beginning of the sixteenth century and held on to them desperately for nearly three hundred years while the Ottoman Turks proceeded to occupy the rest of Greece. Venetian heritage in Kefallinia and Ithaki was the superb Renaissance and Baroque style mansions of the noble class, besides two castles that are still worth visiting today. After Venice fell to Napoleon Bonaparte the islands experienced twelve years of tumultuous occupation, first French, then Russian, then French again before the great powers agreed to the establishment of the United States of the Ionian Islands under British protection. Due to the energetic efforts of the first British governors of Kefallinia this island more than any other Ionian Island experienced the greatest amount of civic construction. This included roads, courthouses, a hospital, and city squares. In the book archival photographs are used to depict an imaginary tour of mid-nineteenth century Argostoli, the capital of Kefallinia. After the islands were united with Greece, mayors under the new municipal structure undertook numerous works including street lighting and planting. There are a total of 390 illustrations.

  • Kefalonia,
  • Ithaca,
  • Byzantine Thema,
  • Latin County,
  • Venetian Colony,
  • British Protectorate,
  • Greek Union,
  • Neoclassical Archtitecture
Publication Date
Rutledge Books, Inc.
Citation Information
Nicholas Patricios. Kefallinia and Ithaki: A Historical and Architectural Odyssey. Danbury, CT: Rutledge Books, Inc., 2002. See website