The city of Lefkada is the capital of the homonym municipality of Lefkadas Prefecture. The city is located on the north-eastern part of the homonym island close to continental Greece to which is interconnected via the manmade bridge Santa Mavra. Entering the city one meets the lagoons Steno/Avlemon and Guras, the castle of Santa Mavra while after the bridge, to the left, is found the grove of auters where monuments of Aristotelis Valaoritis, Aggelos Sikelianos, Lefkadios Hern and Kleareti Dipla-Malamou are observed. The historic centre of the city, also known as ‘’the market’’, where traditional houses, church buildings and the graphical back streets remain set and the street in the market place create the picture of the modern city of Lefkada, today. Within the market is found the phonograph museum where records of the past like phonographs, music records, accessories, tools, several boxes, rubber stamps and old currency notes are accommodated. The city of Lefkada after the well-known earthquakes of the Ionian Islands in 1948 and 1953 has expanded to the west in the area of Neapoli (new city) close to the historic olive grove. The tremendous calamity that followed the earthquakes left many buildings destroyed while many more have been rebuilt keeping this way alive the vignette and traditional architecture of the city. In the city of Lefkada are found today a substantial number of church buildings and monasteries that represent a significant part of the historic and cultural heritage of the place such as the Faneromeni Monastery and the church of Agios Giannis Antzousis. North to the city, near the lagoon of Guras, is found the windmill of Orlof, one of the great windmills of Lefkada that survives until today.
The Castle of Santa Mavra
The beautiful castle of Santa Mavra that originates from the Middle Age is found at the entrance of the city before embarking on the manmade bridge that interconnects the island with the Aitoloakarnania region. Ioannis Orsinis built the castle in 1300 a.c. The castle’s purpose was to create an embattled camp that secures the city of Lefkada.
The lagoons Steno/Avlemon and Giras
Starting from the manmade bridge and expanding until the city’s entrance is found the small lagoon Steno/Avlemon while in a parallel position is found a bigger lagoon, that of Giras. Both lagoons accommodate rare species of the aquatic ecosystem like Caretta caretta, Ablepharus Kitabeilii, Lacerta Trilineata, Coluber Najadum, Elaphe Quatualineata, Phalacrocorax Aristotelis, Egretta Alba, Plegadis Falcinellus, Tadorna Tadorna, Larus Melanocephalus and the dominant Mugil Cephalus which is also used as a basic ingredient in the making of traditional fish products. Both lagoons are protected and members of the European Initiative NATURA 2000 for the protection of the environment.
Embaying the lagoon of Giras is the coastal zone where the coasts of Kastro, Giras and Windmills are found. The coast of Windmills is located in Fleva cove north side of the island and was named after the four windmills that were built by the British and used to crunch the wheat. Today, one of the great windmills survives, that of Orlof and functions as a dining place.
Agios Giannis Antzousis
North-west of the city of Lefkada is located the beach of Agios Giannis where many summer visitors are attracted. The beach was named after the homonym church that is found in the area that of Agios Giannis Antzousis estimated to be the oldest church that was built in Greece.
The Monastery of Faneromeni is assumed to be the patroness of the island of Lefkada and the holly and miraculous picture is saved within the ledger of the church. Within the monastery are found brassware and holly pictures as well as ancient books. Next to the Monastery are located the summer camps and the Monastery’s bookshop.
The auters grove is located at the city entrance after the floating bridge Santa Mavra. The grove accommodates the busts of famous Greek poets such as:
Lefkadios Hern / Yakoumo Koizoumi (1850-1904): An important man of letters from Lefkada who brain-drained to Japan and made the country of the rising sun and its culture well known to the west. The poet is regarded the National auter of Japan.
Aristotelis Valaoritis (1824-1879): top lyric. His poetry vibrates by his love for the Nation, the freedom and his admiration for the 1821 revolution fighters. He represented Lefkada in the Ionian Parliament for many years where with a group of radicals fought for the Union. When the dream came true, he became a Member of the National Parliament.
Aggelos Sikelianos (1884-1952): the driving force behind the Delphic idea, a great lyric poet-pundit, his catholicity dream achieved the combination into his poetry of the ancient Greek and the Christian values and this made him superhuman.
Kleareti Dipla-Malamou: poet and prose writer, the first Greek woman awarded by the Athens Academy.
Except from historic monuments, the castle, and the ancient walls, the city of Lefkada is also characterised by the traditional houses, samples of the tenement architecture in the area which discloses heavy influence from the Venetian architecture with large use of terrestrial colours. The historic city which encloses the market and the central square is surrounded by a circular road network which is used as the main road network of the city. All the back-streets within the annulus drive towards the market by starting or ending to a square where always an old church is found.