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Kefalonia's Churches, Monasteries & Museums

Places of interest

Melissani Lake full story...

Drogarati Cave full story...

Kefalonia Museums full story...

Kefalonia Churches full story...

Agios Gerasimos full story...

Agios Gerasimos

Agios Gerasimos - The patron saint of Kefalonia

Agios Gerasimos is the patron saint of the island. On its feast day, the monastery is swarming with pilgrims. According to tradition, he was born in Trikala of Corinthia and was a member of the famous Notaras family. He became a monk and spent twelve years in the Holy Land and five years in Zakynthos. He came to Kefalonia in 1560 and stayed in the cave of the same name, south of Argostoli. Later, he founded the monastery and took residence there until his death on the 16th of August, 1579. Two years later, on the 20th October, 1581, his relics were placed inside the monastery. He was canonized in 1622. At the courtyard, there is a big plane tree and a well, which is said to have been dug by the saint himself. Inside, there is a trap-door where he is said to have spent the greater part of his life. On the 16th of August and the 20th of October, big festivals and processions take place. Many miracles are connected to the saint's relics and icon.

The Monastery of Our Lady Themata

Built during the 11th century nearby the village of Agia Efimia, in the middle of a verdant forest, on the slopes of the second highest mountain of Kefalonia, Agia Dinati. According to popular stories, the people of the island where praying the miraculous icon of the Virgin Themata (meaning “matters” in Greek) to ask solutions for their problems.

The Monastery of Panagia Atrou

Panagia Atrou

The Monastery of Panagia Atrou is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is standing at an altitude of 500 meters, on the top of a green hill, a few kilometers of the village of Poros. First built during the 8th century, it is the oldest monastery of Kefalonia and is supposed to have been destroyed and rebuilt 17 times. The monastery celebrates its feast day on the 8th of September.

The Church of the Virgin Mary Lagouvarda

Situated in the village of Markopoulos, the church of the Virgin Mary Lagouvarda was built on the site where a monastery used to stand and which had been destroyed by the Turks. Urban legend says that in 1705 the monastery was attacked by pirates and the frighten nuns prayed the Virgin to be changed into snakes in order to escape from the cruelty of the pirates. Their prayers where answered and, at the sight of the snakes, the pirates ran away; since then, the nuns-snakes return each year to the monastery, bringing good luck and prosperity to the village. This legend explains the phenomenon that happened every August the 15th, on the Virgin Mary’s feast day: a large number of harmless snakes come around the monastery just for this day and then disappear.

Ancient Sami

Fanentes Church Bell

The town of Sami is built at the foot of the Agioi Fanendoi and Palaiokastro hills. Excavations have brought to light parts of the two citadels and the Cyclopean fortification walls of the ancient city which stood north of the present town. It had fortification walls with 22 entrances, was 3,400 acres in length, and 377.6 acres in area. The excavation site also includes parts of an ancient aquaduct, traces of an ancient theatre, buildings, a part of a Roman edifice known as "Rakospito", and three 3d century BC tombs. There are also numerous findings on display in the Archaeological Museum of Argostoli. Ancient Sami was a prosperous and powerful town. It was founded by Agaios, son of Arkadia's king Lykourgos. It had been settled since the Paleolithic times. During classical and Hellenistic times Sami flourished because of the growth of trade and the exploitation of mount Ainos' timber. Thucydides speaks of the four cities of Kefalonia of which Sami was one. The citadels were built during the Hellenistic period. Ruins of ancient Sami are also preserved in the contemporary town of Sami.

The Archaeological Museum

In the chambers of the Archaeological Museum of Argostoli, one can admire findings during excavations on the island. Some of the exhibits are the findings from the Mycenaean Tums of Mazarakata and Metaxata, sculpts, pots from the prehistoric and the post-mycenaean era, tombstones, coins, seals, small objects and copper weapons. The exhibits are dated back to geometric and the ancient era, the classical period, the hellenistic, the roman period and the byzantine era. The most significant of the exhibits are a bronze head of the 3rd century BC and the sign "Tripis Damatri Ke Kora " of the 6th - 7th century BC, dedicated to goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone. The sign was found in the location of ancient Krani.

Korgialenio Historical and Folk Museum

Korgialenio Historical and Folk Museum is situated in the center of Argostoli. It was established in 1966, in an area of 300 sq. m. The Museum exhibits the local costumes, furniture and embroidery of Kefalonia. Other exhibits includes heirlooms and other ecclesiastic items, pictures, paintings, maps, manuscripts, coins, jewels, silver and metal craft works and much more. In a special chamber in the museum's basement, the Historical Archives of Kefalonia display historical manuscripts from the 16th-19th centuries, depicting several historical periods. The building also houses the Library of the same name.

The Ecclesiastical Museum of Apostle Andreas of Milapedia

The museum is housed in the buildings of the Monastery of Milapedia, in the village of Perata. It contains an interesting and rich collection of ecclesiastical exhibits.

The Natural History Museum

Established by the Society for the Protection of the Environment of the islands of Kefalonia and Ithaca, the Natural History Museum is located in the village of Davgata. This museum was founded in order to preserve the natural environment of Kefalonia and Ithaca and make people care about it and protect it. Precious and interesting information about the fauna and flora of both islands are presented.

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