The island of Kefalonia has an energy that pulls you... and the lighthouse of Saint Theodoroi near Argostoli is no different. We pass the lighthouse every day on the Lady O and my pre-recorded message tells our guests all about it. 'On your left you will see...'
But the lighthouse is very easy to get to by foot, sitting halfway between Lassi and Argostoli and the views are well worth it, with beautiful beaches and coves along the way.
People come morning, day and night to marvel at it's structure and take memorable photos.
And the sunset...WELL!
The lighthouse is a popular spot with the locals and tourists, who often sit on one of the benches to watch the sun go down, or sit on the rocks drinking a can of beer. You'll see couples smooching, others alone reflecting and despite the many visitors and people often in each others way while they wait to take photos, it's a place of tranquility.
In fact at any angle at any time of day the lighthouse looks beautiful
|Drone Photo by James Brook|
|Photo taken by Dennis Vandoros on the Lady O|
It's a masterpiece x 2!
I say x 2 because the lighthouse that stands today is not the original!
This is common knowledge to the locals and those who do their homework, but otherwise there is no way of knowing this as there is no historical information sign to tell you about it.
The lighthouse of Saint Theodoroi just outside of Argostoli, the capital of the island is a circular structure with 20 columns and its tower is 8 m tall. The building has a rather simple and Doric architectural style, while its focal plane is 11 m. It was originally built in 1828 by Charles Napier who was the British Administrator who ruled at the time.
But the devastating earthquake in 1953 destroyed the lighthouse and many other stunning buildings, monuments and churches.
Like a beautiful woman hiding her pain and anguish, Kefalonia hides her suffering well
(me trying to be poetic!)
(me trying to be poetic!)
Although there are abandoned villages and houses scattered about giving a hint of the destruction that occurred in the earthquake, there were a few wonderful people who sacrificed much of their life to restore Kefalonia to her former glory...hiding the tragedy and healing her pain (me trying to be poetic again!).
One of those people was Takis Pavlatos a local civil engineer who rebuilt the lighthouse in 1960 according to its original architectural design. In fact Takis had designed, supervised and contributed to most of the reconstruction of Kefalonia, Ithaca and Zakynthos after the earthquake, including many churches and he wrote the first Greek anti-seismic regulation in 1959. He received three awards by the Academy of Athens.
Takis offered his services for free!
On the lighthouse itself there is a stone plaque (written in Greek) in-scripted with the names of all the stone carvers that contributed to the rebuild of the lighthouse. At the bottom if you look closely you will see Takis Pavlatos name, faded. He passed away at the age of 88. Having dedicated so much of his life to the island he loved and having left such a great legacy, it's a little tragic his name is barely readable.
meaning Free or Given
Today the lighthouse still works and as well as being a popular location for the locals and tourists, it is also a favourite spot for wedding photos...You can see why.
|Photo taken by Vasilis Loukatos|
Cephalonia Conceirge Wedding Planner
However as well as Takis faded name, there are two things that make me a little sad when I go to the lighthouse and that is the graffiti (although every now and then she is given a lick of paint) and the rubbish. Unfortunately as Kefalonia becomes increasingly popular this is becoming more of an issue.
So if you visit, admire this magical historical place, sit, chill, reflect, take your photos....but please put your rubbish in one of the bins or take it with you.
And your photo is your memory, no need to leave your mark on the lighthouse...
Because that would be another tragedy and Kefalonia has already had her fair share!
Written by Eleni Nicolaou