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Kefalonia or Cephalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest of the
Ionian Islands The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including th ...

Ionian Islands
in western
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed ...

Greece
and the 6th largest island in Greece after
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, : , : '','' ) is the largest and most populous of the , the largest island in the world and the largest island in the , after , , , and . Crete rests approximately south of the Greek mainland. It has an ar ...

Crete
,
Euboea Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια ; grc, Εὔβοια ) is the second-largest List of islands of Greece, Greek island in area and population, after Crete. It is separated from Boeotia ...

Euboea
,
Lesbos Lesbos or Lesvos (, also ; el, Λέσβος, Lésvos ) is a Greek island located in the northeastern Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated embayment A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly conn ...
,
Rhodes Rhodes (; el, Ρόδος, translit=Ródos ) is the largest of the Dodecanese The Dodecanese (, ; el, Δωδεκάνησα, ''Dodekánisa'' , literally "twelve islands") are a group of 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the sout ...

Rhodes
and
Chios Chios (; el, Χίος, Khíos ) is the fifth largest of the Greece, Greek list of islands of Greece, islands, situated in the northern Aegean Sea. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait. Chios is notable for its exports of Mast ...

Chios
. It is also a separate regional unit of the
Ionian Islands The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including th ...
region. It was a former Latin Catholic diocese Kefalonia–Zakynthos (Cefalonia–Zante) and short-lived
titular see A titular see in various churches is an episcopal see The seat or ''cathedra'' of the Bishop of Rome in the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdi ...
as just Kefalonia. The capital city of Cephalonia is
Argostoli Argostoli ( el, Αργοστόλι, Katharevousa: Ἀργοστόλιον) is a town and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands (region), Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the mun ...

Argostoli
.


History


Antiquity


Legend

An ''
aition An origin myth is a myth Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. The main characters in myths are usually gods, demigods, or supernatural humans. ...
'' explaining the name of Cephallenia and reinforcing its cultural connections with Athens associates the island with the mythological figure of
Cephalus Cephalus (; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). Ancient Gre ...
, who helped
Amphitryon Amphitryon (; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: M ...

Amphitryon
of
Mycenae Mycenae ( ; grc, Μυκῆναι or , ''Mykē̂nai'' or ''Mykḗnē'') is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric Prehis ...

Mycenae
in a war against the
Taphians In Homeric Greece, the islands of Taphos (Τάφος) lay in the Ionian Sea The Ionian Sea ( el, Ιόνιο Πέλαγος, ''Iónio Pélagos'' ; it, Mar Ionio ; al, Deti Jon ("our sea")) is an elongated bay A bay is a recessed, co ...
and
TeleboansIn Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of the ...
. He was rewarded with the island of
Same Same may refer to: * Sameness or identity Places * Same (Homer), an island mentioned by Homer in the ''Odyssey'' * Same (polis), an ancient city * Same, East Timor, the capital of the Manufahi district * Samé, Mali * Same, Tanzania * Same Dist ...
, which thereafter came to be known as
Cephallenia Kefalonia or Cephalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece and the 6th largest island in Greece after Crete, Euboea, Lesbos, Rhodes and Chios. It is ...
. Kefalonia has also been suggested as the
Homeric Ithaca 324px, A reconstruction of Greece.html"_;"title="Homeric_Greece">Homeric_Greece._Modern_Ithaca_can_be_seen_to_the_west Ithaca_(;_Greek_language.html" "title="Greece">Homeric Greece. Modern Ithaca can be seen to the west">Greece.html" ;"title="Hom ...
, the home of
Odysseus Odysseus ( ; grc-gre, Ὀδυσσεύς, Ὀδυσεύς, OdysseúsOdyseús, ), also known by the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken ...

Odysseus
, rather than the smaller island bearing this name today. Robert Bittlestone, in his book ''
Odysseus Unbound Image:Cephalonia and Ithaca elevation.jpg, 400px, Paliki, Kefalonia (Cephalonia) & Ithaki (the traditional Ithaca): click map to show scale — Homer said Ithaca was "low-lying" ''Odysseus Unbound'' (2005), by Robert Bittlestone with the assistanc ...
'', has suggested that
Paliki Image:Lixouri paliki.jpg, 300px, The peninsula from southeast Paliki ( el, Παλική) is a peninsula and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands (region), Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform ...
, now a peninsula of Cephalonia, was a separate island during the late
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
, and it may be this which Homer was referring to when he described Ithaca. A project which started in the summer of 2007 and lasted three years has examined this possibility. Kefalonia is als
referenced
in relation to the goddess
Britomartis Britomartis ( grc-gre, Βριτόμαρτις) was a Greek goddess Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin m ...
, as the location where she is said to have 'received divine honours from the inhabitants under the name of Laphria'.


Middle Ages

In the late
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, Cephalonia was part of the
Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire. Each province was ruled ...
of
Achaea Achaea () or Achaia (), sometimes transliterated from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southe ...
. Ecclesiastically it was a suffragan of the Metropolis of Nicopolis (the eparchy of Epirus I). The four ancient cities of the island survived into
late antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Inst ...
, with Samos probably as the island's capital. Following the loss of the bulk of Italy, and the expansion of the Muslims into the Western Mediterranean, the island became a strategically important base of operations for the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
in the area, blocking Muslim raids into the
Adriatic The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest a ...

Adriatic
and serving as a bridge for expeditions in Italy. Already from the 8th century, it was the centre of the namesake
theme Theme or themes may refer to: * Theme (arts) In contemporary literary studies Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation Evaluation is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated eleme ...
of
Cephallenia Kefalonia or Cephalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece and the 6th largest island in Greece after Crete, Euboea, Lesbos, Rhodes and Chios. It is ...
. At the same time, the capital was moved to the Castle of Saint George, a more well-protected site in the island's interior.
Mardaites The Mardaites ( el, Μαρδαΐται) or al-Jarajima ( syr, ܡܪ̈ܕܝܐ; ar, الجراجمة / ALA-LC ALA-LC ( American Library Association - Library of Congress) is a set of standards for romanization, the representation of text in other wri ...
were resettled in Cephalonia to serve as marines, and political prisoners were sometimes exiled there. The loss of
Byzantine ItalyByzantine Italy was those parts of the Italian peninsula under the control of the Byzantine empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provi ...
in 1071 diminished Cephalonia's importance, and its administration passed from a military ''
strategos Bust of unnamed ''Strategos'' with Hadrian.html"_;"title="Corinthian_helmet;_Hadrian">Corinthian_helmet;_Hadrianic_Roman_copy_of_a_Greek_sculpture_of_c._400_BC ''Strategos'',_plural_''strategoi'',_ Corinthian_helmet;_Hadrianic_Roman_copy_of_a_G ...
'' to a civilian judge ('' krites''). Its main city was besieged by the
Italo-Normans The Italo-Normans ( it, Italo-Normanni), or Siculo-Normans (''Siculo-Normanni'') when referring to Sicily Sicily ( it, Sicilia ; scn, Sicilia ) is the in the and one of the 20 of . It is one of the five and is officially referred to a ...
in 1085, and the
Venetians Venetian often means from or related to: * Venice, a city in Italy * Veneto, a region of Italy * Republic of Venice (697–1797), a historical nation in that area Venetian and the like may also refer to: * Venetian language, a Romance language sp ...
plundered the island in 1126. Cephalonia was captured during the
Third Norman invasion of the Balkans Third or 3rd may refer to: Numbers *3rd, the ordinal form of the cardinal number 3 *fraction (mathematics), , a fraction that is one of three equal parts *Second#Sexagesimal divisions of calendar time and day, ¹⁄₆₀ of a ''second'', or ¹⁄ ...
in 1185, and it became part of the
County palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos #REDIRECT County Palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos The County Palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos existed from 1185 to 1479 as part of the Kingdom of Sicily The Kingdom of Sicily ( la, Regnum Siciliae, it, Regno di Sicilia, scn, Regnu di S ...
under the
Kingdom of Sicily Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, ente ...

Kingdom of Sicily
and Venetian suzerainty, until its last Count
Leonardo III Tocco Leonardo III Tocco (after 1436 – before August 1503) was the last ruler of the Despotate of Epirus, ruling from the death of his father Carlo II Tocco in 1448 to the despotate's fall to the Ottoman Empire in 1479. Leonardo was one of the last ind ...
was defeated and the island conquered by the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
in 1479.


Venetian rule

Turkish rule lasted only until 1500, when Cephalonia was captured by a Spanish-Venetian army, a rare Venetian success in the Second Ottoman–Venetian War. From then on Cephalonia and Ithaca remained part of the Stato da Mar of the
Venetian Republic The Republic of Venice ( it, Repubblica di Venezia; vec, Repùblega de Venèsia) or Venetian Republic ( it, Repubblica Veneta; vec, Repùblega Vèneta), traditionally known as La Serenissima ( en, Most Serene Republic of Venice, italics=yes; ...
until its very end, following the fate of the
Ionian islands The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including th ...

Ionian islands
, completed by the capture of
Lefkas Lefkada ( el, Λευκάδα, ''Lefkáda'', ), also known as Lefkas or Leukas (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to ...

Lefkas
from the Turks in 1684. The
Treaty of Campoformio The Treaty of Campo Formio (today Campoformido) was signed on 17 October 1797 (26 Vendémiaire VI) by Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone di Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a ...
dismantling the Venetian Republic awarded the Ionian Islands to
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...
, a French expeditionary force with boats captured in Venice taking control of the islands in June 1797. Because of the liberal situation on the island, the Venetian governor Marc'Antonio Giustiniani (1516–1571) printed Hebrew books and exported them to the whole eastern Mediterranean. In 1596 the Venetians built the
Assos Castle The Assos Castle ( el, Κάστρο της Άσσου, translit=Kastro tis Assou) is a Venetian fortification on Cephalonia Kefalonia or Cephalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest o ...
, one of Cephalonia's main tourist attractions today. From the 16th to the 18th centuries, the island was one of the largest exporters of currants in the world with
Zakynthos Zakynthos (also spelled Zakinthos; el, Ζάκυνθος, Zákynthos ; it, Zacinto ) or Zante meaning "amazing and loving" (, , ; el, Τζάντε, Tzánte ; from the Venetian form) is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Any ...

Zakynthos
, and owned a large shipping fleet, even commissioning ships from the Danzig shipyard. Its towns and villages were mostly built high on hilltops, to prevent attacks from raiding parties of pirates that sailed the
Ionian Sea The Ionian Sea ( el, Ιόνιο Πέλαγος, ''Iónio Pélagos'' ; it, Mar Ionio ; al, Deti Jon ("our sea")) is an elongated bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, suc ...

Ionian Sea
during the 1820s.


French, Ionian state period and British rule

Venice was conquered by France in 1797 and Cephalonia, along with the other Ionian Islands, became part of the French département of
Ithaque Ithaque (; French for Ithaca) was one of three short-lived French departments of Greece. It came into existence after Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prom ...
. In the following year, 1798, the French were forced to yield the Ionian Islands to a combined Russian and Turkish fleet. From 1799 to 1807, Cephalonia was part of the
Septinsular Republic The Septinsular Republic ( el, Ἑπτάνησος Πολιτεία, Heptanēsos Politeia; it, Repubblica Settinsulare) was an oligarchic Oligarchy (; ) is a form of power structure A power structure is an overall system of influence between ...
, nominally under the sovereignty of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, but protected by
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...
. By the Tilsit Treaty in 1807, the Ionian Islands were ceded back to France, which remained in control until 1809. In 1809 Great Britain mounted a blockade on the Ionian Islands as part of the war against Napoleon, and in September of that year they hoisted the British flag above the castle of Zakynthos. Cephalonia and Ithaca soon surrendered, and the British installed provisional governments. The treaty of Paris in 1815 recognised the
United States of the Ionian Islands The United States of the Ionian Islands ( el, Ἡνωμένον Κράτος τῶν Ἰονίων Νήσων, Inoménon-Krátos ton Ioníon Níson, ; it, Stati Uniti delle Isole Ionie) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece An ...
and decreed that it become a British protectorate. Colonel Charles Philippe de Bosset became provisional governor between 1810 and 1814. During this period he was credited with achieving many public works, including the Drapano Bridge. A few years later Greek nationalist groups started to form. Although their energy in the early years was directed to supporting the
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...

Greeks
in the revolution against the Turks, it soon started to turn towards the British. By 1848, calls for ''
enosis ''Enosis'' ( el, Ένωσις, , "union") is the movement of various Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country ...
'' with Greece were gaining strength and there were skirmishes with the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
in
Argostoli Argostoli ( el, Αργοστόλι, Katharevousa: Ἀργοστόλιον) is a town and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands (region), Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the mun ...

Argostoli
and
Lixouri Lixouri ( el, Ληξούρι) is the main town on the peninsula of Paliki in the island of Kefalonia Cephalonia or Kefalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά or ), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest of the Ionian Islands i ...
, which led to some relaxation in the laws and to freedom of the press. Union with Greece was now a declared aim, and by 1849, a growing restlessness resulted in even more skirmishes with the British, which were suppressed by the island's governor, . Cephalonia, along with the other islands, were transferred to Greece in 1864 as a gesture of goodwill when the British-supported Prince William of Denmark became .


Union with Greece

In 1864, Cephalonia, together with all the other
Ionian Islands The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including th ...

Ionian Islands
, became a full member of the Greek state.


World War II

In
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the island was occupied by Axis powers. Until late 1943, the occupying force was predominantly Italian, the 33rd Infantry Division ''Acqui'' plus Navy personnel totalled 12,000 men, but about 2,000 troops from
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
were also present. The island was largely spared the fighting, until the
armistice with Italy The Armistice of Cassibile was an armistice signed on 3 September 1943, and made public on 8 September, between the Kingdom of Italy and the Allies of World War II, Allies during World War II. It was signed by Major General (United States), M ...
concluded by the
Allies An alliance is a relationship among people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying ...
in September 1943. Confusion followed on the island, as the Italians were hoping to return home, but German forces did not want the Italians' munitions to be used eventually against them; Italian forces were hesitant to turn over weapons for the same reason. As German reinforcements headed to the island the Italians dug in and, eventually, after a referendum among the soldiers as to surrender or battle, they fought against the new German invasion. The fighting came to a head at the siege of Argostoli, where the Italians held out. Ultimately the Germans prevailed, taking full control of the island. Approximately five thousand of the nine thousand surviving Italian soldiers were executed in reprisal by the German forces. The book ''
Captain Corelli's Mandolin ''Captain Corelli's Mandolin'', released simultaneously in the United States as ''Corelli's Mandolin'', is a 1994 novel by the British writer Louis de Bernières, set on the Greek island of Cephalonia Cephalonia or Kefalonia ( el, Κεφαλο ...
'' by Louis de Bernières, which was later made into a film, is based on this event. While the war ended in
central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both ...

central Europe
in 1945, Cephalonia remained in a state of conflict due to the
Greek Civil War The Greek Civil War ( el, ο Eμφύλιος όλεμος}, ''o Emfýlios'' 'Pólemos'' "the Civil War") was fought between the Hellenic Army The Hellenic Army ( el, Ελληνικός Στρατός, Ellinikós Stratós, sometimes abbrevi ...
. Peace returned to Greece and the island in 1949.


Earthquake of 1953

Cephalonia lies just to the southeast of a major active fault zone, where the
Eurasian Plate The Eurasian Plate is a tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface Earth is the third planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is ...
meets the Aegean Plate at a
transform boundary A transform fault or transform boundary, sometimes called a strike-slip boundary, is a fault (geology), fault along a plate boundary where the motion (physics), motion is predominantly Horizontal plane, horizontal. It ends abruptly where it conne ...

transform boundary
. The island itself is affected by a series of active
thrust fault A thrust fault is a break in the Earth's crust, across which older rocks are pushed above younger rocks. Thrust geometry and nomenclature Reverse faults A thrust fault is a type of reverse fault Reverse or reversing may refer to: Arts ...

thrust fault
s, which are responsible for the continuing uplift. A series of four earthquakes hit the island in August 1953, and caused major destruction, with virtually every house on the island destroyed. The third and most destructive of the quakes took place on 12 August 1953 at 09:24 UTC (11:24
local timeLocal time may refer to: * Local mean time ** Apparent solar time * Local time (mathematics) * Local time in the Lorentz ether theory {{disambiguation ...
), with a magnitude of 6.8 on the
Moment magnitude scale The moment magnitude scale (MMS; denoted explicitly with or Mw, and generally implied with use of a single M for magnitude) is a measure of an earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surfa ...
. Its
epicentre The epicenter, epicentre () or epicentrum in seismology Seismology (; from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to ...

epicentre
was directly south of the southern tip of Cephalonia, and caused the entire island to be raised higher, where it remains, with evidence in water marks on rocks around the coastline. The
1953 Ionian earthquake Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day ma ...
disaster caused huge destruction, with only regions in the north escaping the heaviest tremors and houses there remaining intact. Damage was estimated to run into tens of millions of dollars, equivalent to billions of
drachma The drachma ( el, δραχμή The drachma ( el, wikt:δραχμή, δραχμή , ; pl. ''drachmae'' or ''drachmas'') was the currency used in Greece during several periods in its history: # An Ancient Greece, ancient Greek currency unit ...
s, but the real damage to the economy occurred when residents left the island. The majority of the population left the island soon after, seeking a new life elsewhere.


Recent history

The
forest fire A wildfire, bushfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an unplanned, unwanted, uncontrolled fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction ...

forest fire
of the 1990s caused damage to the island's forests and bushes, especially a small scar north of Troianata, and a large area of damage extending from Kateleios north to west of Tzanata, ruining about of forest and bushes and resulting in the loss of some properties. The forest fire scar was visible for some years. In mid-November 2003, an earthquake measuring 5.3 on the
Richter magnitude scale The Richter scale – also called the Richter magnitude scale and Richter's magnitude scale – is a measure of the strength of earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Ear ...
caused minor damage to business, residential property, and other buildings in and near Argostoli. Damages were around
The euro sign () is the currency sign A currency symbol or currency sign is a graphic symbol used as a shorthand for a currency's name, especially in reference to amounts of money. Usage When writing currency amounts, the location of the sym ...

€
1,000,000. On the morning of 20 September 2005, an early-morning earthquake shook the south-western part of the island, especially near Lixouri and nearby villages. The earthquake measured 4.9 on the Richter magnitude scale, and its epicentre was located off the island at sea. Service vehicles took care of the area, and no damage was reported. From 24–26 January 2006, a major snowstorm blanketed the entire island, causing extensive blackouts. The island was recently struck yet again by another forest fire in the south of the island, beginning of 18 July 2007 during an unusual heatwave, and spreading slowly. Firefighters along with helicopters and planes battled the blaze for some days and the spectacle frightened residents on that area of the island. In 2011 the eight former municipalities of the island lost their independence to form one united municipality. After losing its role as the capital of the island in the 19th century, Lixouri lost also its role as a seat of a municipality after 500 years. The Technological Educational Institute of the Ionian Islands closed one faculty in Lixouri and one in Argostoli. In January 2014, an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the
Richter magnitude scale The Richter scale – also called the Richter magnitude scale and Richter's magnitude scale – is a measure of the strength of earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Ear ...
left at least seven injured. There are reports of minor injuries and some damage to property," said the Foreign Office, on its website. "The airport remains operational but there may be some disruption to port services."


Archaeology

In the southwestern portion of the island, in the area of
Leivatho Leivatho ( el, Λειβαθώ) is a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands (region), Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2019 local government reform it is part of the municipality Argostoli, of which it is a municipal unit. I ...
, an ongoing
archaeological field survey In archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologists also draw from biolo ...
by the Irish Institute at Athens has discovered dozens of sites with dates ranging from the
Palaeolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek wikt:παλαιός, palaios - old, wikt:λίθος, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory distinguished by the original development of stone too ...
to the Venetian period. Cephalonia is extremely interesting archaeologically; finds go back to 40,000 BP. Without doubt, the most important era for the island is the Mycenaean era, from approximately 1500BC to 1100 BC. The archaeological museum in Cephalonia's capital, although small, is of great importance due to its exhibits from this era. The most important archaeological discovery in Cephalonia (and indeed in Greece) of recent decades is that, in 1991, of the Mycenaean
Tholos tomb A beehive tomb, also known as a tholos tomb (plural tholoi; from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country lo ...
at the outskirts of Tzanata, near
Poros Poros ( el, Πόρος) is a small Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its pop ...
in southeastern Cephalonia (former Municipality of Elios-Pronni) in a setting of
olive trees The olive, known by the botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit o ...

olive trees
, cypresses and oaks. The tomb was erected around 1300 BC; kings and highly ranked officials were buried in such tombs during the Mycenaean period. It is the largest tholos tomb yet found in northwestern Greece, and was excavated by archaeologist Lazaros Kolonas. The size of the tomb, the nature of the burial offerings found there, and its well-chosen position point to the existence of an important Mycenaean town in the vicinity. In late 2006, a Roman grave complex was uncovered as the foundation of a new hotel was being excavated in
Fiskardo Fiskardo (Greek language, Greek: Φισκάρδο, also ''Fiscardo'' or in the past ''Viscardo'') is a village and a community on the Ionian Islands, Ionian island of Kefalonia, Greece. It is part of the municipal unit of Erisos. It is the north ...
. The remains date to the period between the 2nd century BC and the 4th century AD. Archaeologists described it as the most important find of its kind in the Ionian Islands. Inside the complex, five burial sites were found, including a large vaulted tomb and a stone coffin, along with gold earrings and rings, gold leaves that may have been attached to ceremonial clothing, glass and ceramic pots, bronze artefacts decorated with masks, a bronze lock and bronze coins. The tomb had escaped the attention of
grave robbers Grave robbery, tomb robbing, or tomb raiding is the act of uncovering a grave (burial), grave, tomb or crypt to steal commodities. It is usually perpetrated to take and profit from valuable artefact (archaeology), artefacts or personal property. A ...
and remained undisturbed for thousands of years. When the tomb was opened the stone door easily swung on its stone hinges. A Roman theatre was discovered very near the tomb, so well preserved that the metal joints between the seats were still intact. A dissertation published in 1987 claims that
Saint Paul Paul the Apostle,; el, Παῦλος, translit=Paulos; cop, ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; he, פאולוס השליח; – AD commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Hebrew name Saul of Tarsus,; ar, بولس الطرسوسي; el, ...
, on his way from Palestine to Rome in AD 59, was shipwrecked and confined for three months not on Malta but on Cephalonia. According to
Clement of Alexandria Titus Flavius Clemens, also known as Clement of Alexandria ( grc, Κλήμης ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς; – ), was a Christian theologian #REDIRECT Christian theology #REDIRECT Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Chr ...
, the island had the largest community of Carpocratians, an early Gnostic Christian sect, because
Carpocrates Carpocrates of Alexandria was the founder of an early Gnostic Gnosticism (from grc, γνωστικός, gnōstikós, , 'having knowledge') is a collection of religious ideas and systems which originated in the late 1st century CE among Jewis ...
lived on the island.


Population: historical evolution

In the
ancient period Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0
"History"
from ...

ancient period
, the people lived in four cities on the island. Krani, Sami, Pale and Pronni formed a federation called "tetrapolis". In more recent times the population reached 70,000, in 1896, but declined gradually in the 20th century. The great
1953 Ionian earthquake Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day ma ...
forced many people to leave the island.Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer's Ithaca'' – excerpt
Robert Bittlestone, Cambridge University Press, 2005. Page relating the account of a local to the 1953 great earthquake.
Many of those who left moved to Patras or Athens, or emigrated to America and Australia, following relatives who had left the island decades before. In the same period people from poorer areas of Greece such as Epirus and Thrace came to the island. The population has hovered between 35,000 and 42,000 since then; in the 2011 census, it was 35,801. Most of the indigenous people of Cephalonia have surnames ending in "-atos", such as the Alexatos (
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
: Αλεξάτος) families, and almost every settlement on the island has a name ending in "-ata", such as
Metaxata Metaxata ( el, Μεταξάτα) is a village in the southern part of the island of Kefalonia Kefalonia or Cephalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western ...
, Chavriata, Frangata,
LourdataLourdata is a village on the south coast of Cephalonia Cephalonia or Kefalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά or ), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, ...
, Favata, Delaportata and others.


Ecclesiastical history

In 1222 the Frankish Crusaders established the Diocese of Kefalonia–Zakynthos (Cefalonia–Zante in Curiate Italian), which survived their rule and even the Turks. In 1919, the residential see was suppressed but immediately transformed into a
titular bishopric A titular see in various churches is an episcopal see The seat or ''cathedra'' of the Bishop of Rome in the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical juri ...
of Kefalonia (Cefalonia in Italian). The territory and title were merged into the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Corfu–Zakynthos–Kefalonia. In 1921, this was also suppressed, never having had an incumbent.


Geography

The main island of the regional unit is Cephalonia and has a size of 773 km2 (300 mi2), with a population density of 55 people per km2 (140/mi2). The town of
Argostoli Argostoli ( el, Αργοστόλι, Katharevousa: Ἀργοστόλιον) is a town and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands (region), Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the mun ...

Argostoli
has one-third of the island's inhabitants.
Lixouri Lixouri ( el, Ληξούρι) is the main town on the peninsula of Paliki in the island of Kefalonia Cephalonia or Kefalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά or ), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest of the Ionian Islands i ...
is the second major settlement, and the two towns together account for almost two-thirds of the prefecture's population. The other major islands are: Petalas Island and Asteris Island, but they are uninhabited. Cephalonia lies in the heart of an earthquake zone, and dozens of minor, unrecorded tremors occur each year. In 1953, a massive earthquake destroyed almost all of the settlements on the island, leaving only
Fiskardo Fiskardo (Greek language, Greek: Φισκάρδο, also ''Fiscardo'' or in the past ''Viscardo'') is a village and a community on the Ionian Islands, Ionian island of Kefalonia, Greece. It is part of the municipal unit of Erisos. It is the north ...
in the north untouched. Important natural features include Melissani Lake, the Drogarati caves, and the Koutavos Lagoon in Argostoli. The island has a rich biodiversity, with a substantial number of endemic and rare species. Some areas have been declared a site in the European Union's Natura 2000 network.


Mountains

The island's highest mountain is Mount Ainos, with an elevation of 1628 meters; to the west-northwest are the
Paliki Image:Lixouri paliki.jpg, 300px, The peninsula from southeast Paliki ( el, Παλική) is a peninsula and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands (region), Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform ...
mountains, where
Lixouri Lixouri ( el, Ληξούρι) is the main town on the peninsula of Paliki in the island of Kefalonia Cephalonia or Kefalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά or ), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest of the Ionian Islands i ...
is found, with other mountains including Geraneia (Gerania) and Agia Dynati. The top of Mount Ainos is covered with Abies cephalonica, fir trees and is a natural park. Forestry is rare on the island; however its timber output is one of the highest in the Ionian islands, although lower than that of Elia in the Peloponnese. Wildfire, Forest fires were common during the 1990s and the early 2000s, and still pose a major threat to the population.


Capes

*Cape Agios Georgios: approximate coordinates *Cape Kounopetra *Cape Atheras: north-western corner of island


Flora

Most of the Ainos mountain range is designated as a National park, National Park and is covered with the unique species of Greek fir (Abies Cephalonica) and black pine (Pinus nigra).


Fauna

Cephalonia is well known for its endangered loggerhead sea turtle, loggerhead turtle population, also known as the Caretta caretta turtle, which nests on many of the beaches along the south coast of the island. The turtles can also be seen in the waters of
Argostoli Argostoli ( el, Αργοστόλι, Katharevousa: Ἀργοστόλιον) is a town and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands (region), Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the mun ...

Argostoli
harbour, in Koutavos Lagoon, while walking on De Bosset Bridge. A small population of the endangered Mediterranean monk seal, ''Monachus monachus'', also lives around the island's coast, especially on parts of the coast which are inaccessible to humans due to the terrain. Caves on these parts of the coast offer ideal locations for the seals to give birth to their pups and nurse them through the first months of their lives. The most famous breeding ground in Cephalonia is a cave on Foki beach, located on the north-east coast near
Fiskardo Fiskardo (Greek language, Greek: Φισκάρδο, also ''Fiscardo'' or in the past ''Viscardo'') is a village and a community on the Ionian Islands, Ionian island of Kefalonia, Greece. It is part of the municipal unit of Erisos. It is the north ...
. The European pine marten also inhabits the island. Over 200 species of birds have been spotted on the island.


Climate

Cephalonia has hot, sunny summers and mild rainy winters. During winter it can occasionally snow on the mountain peaks of the island's mountain ranges. The winter months can experience up to 156 mm of rainfall, resulting in high levels of humidity on the island. Winter temperature on Kefalonia average at 14-15 C the day and fall at night to an average of 8-9 C. During the summer months there is usually little to no rainfall. Rain in the summer can usually be seen, but the dry air prevents it from being felt as it is evaporated before it reaches the ground.


Economy

Wine and raisins are the oldest products exported, being important until the 20th century. Today fish farming and calcium carbonate are most important.


Agriculture

The primary agricultural occupations are Selective breeding, animal breeding and olive growing, with the remainder largely composed of grain and vegetables. Most vegetable production takes place on the plains, which cover less than 15% of the island, most of which is rugged and mountainous, suitable only for goats. Less than a quarter of the island's land is Arable land, arable. Until the 1970s, most Cephalonians lived in rural areas, while today, two-thirds of the population lives in urban areas, with the other third in rural towns and villages close to farmland. The island has a long winemaking tradition and is home to the dry (wine), dry, white lemony wines made from the Robola grape.J. Robinson ''Jancis Robinson's Guide to Wine Grapes'' pg 158 Oxford University Press 1996


Olive oil production

Olive oil production is a major component of Cephalonia's economy. Until the 18th century, the quantity of olive oil produced on the island just covered the needs of the residents. However, the pressure of Venice, Venetian conquerors' for olive plantation, especially after the loss of Peloponnese and
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, : , : '','' ) is the largest and most populous of the , the largest island in the world and the largest island in the , after , , , and . Crete rests approximately south of the Greek mainland. It has an ar ...

Crete
, resulted in increasing the production to such a degree that the first exports to Venice began. Before the 1953 Ionian earthquake, there were 200 oil presses operating on the island; today, there are thirteen. There are over one million Olive, olive trees on Cephalonia, covering almost 55% of the island's area. Olive oil is very important to the island's local, agricultural economy. "Koroneiki" and "theiako" are the two main varieties cultivated on the island, followed by a smaller number of "ntopia" and "matolia". Kefalonian olive oil has a green tone, a rich, greasy touch, and low acidity.


Tourism

Tourism to Cephalonia started in the early 19th century. The Greek royal family, royal family of Greece sent their children in the summer
Lixouri Lixouri ( el, Ληξούρι) is the main town on the peninsula of Paliki in the island of Kefalonia Cephalonia or Kefalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά or ), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest of the Ionian Islands i ...
, in the early 20th century, but the island was not discovered by most tourists until the 1980s. Cephalonia is a popular holiday destination for many Italians, due to its proximity to Italy. Two cultural attractions, the fishing villages of Fiscardo and Assos kefalonia, Assos, and other natural attractions, including Melissani Cave, Melissani underground lake, Drogarati cave and Myrtos Beach, Myrtos beach, have helped popularize Cephalonia. The film ''Captain Corelli's Mandolin (film)'' (2001), filmed on the island, made Cephalonia more widely known. Listed in ''The Daily Telegraph'' as one of the 20 Mediterranean islands you must visit in your lifetim


Culture


Monasteries and churches

Across the broader island, two large monastery, monasteries are to be found: the first is that of Haghia Panagia in Markopoulo to the southeast, and the other lies on the road between Argostoli and Michata, on a small plain surrounded by mountains. This second has an avenue of about 200 trees aligned from NW to SE, with a circle in the middle, and is the monastery of Saint Gerasimus of Kefalonia, patron saint of the island, whose relics can be seen and venerated at the old church of the monastery. The monastery of "Sissia" was probably founded by Francis of Assisi, it was destroyed in 1953 but the ruins still exist. Although much of the island was destroyed by earthquakes, many notable churches all over the island have survived, some dating back to the renaissance. The ornaments of the churches are influenced by Venetian manierism.


Music

The Ionian Islands have a musical tradition called the Ionian School (music), Ionian School. Lixouri has the Philharmonic Orchestra (since 1836) and Argostoli the Rokos Vergottis Conservatory. Richard Strauss visited Lixouri some times where he had an affair with the pianist Dora Wihan (born Weiss). The Ionian Islands also developed a distinctive culture primarily as they did not experience Ottoman occupation, instead having ties to Venice, and musically drew from Italian influences, and Western Harmonics. This evolved into a unique musical style among the Greeks, the Cantada (Serenade) very similar to the Latin/Spanish/Italian Cantar (to sing). The Cantadas are an example of the Ionian music. Cantadas are still very popular and can be heard even today.


Literature and film

The novelists Nikos Kavvadias (1910–1975) and the Swiss (1917–2010) spent parts of their life on the island. Andreas Laskaratos was a satirical poet and wrote about the society in the town of Lixouri. Lord Byron wrote parts of "Prelude" and "Don Juan" in Livatho. Perhaps the best known appearance of Cephalonia in popular culture is in the novel ''
Captain Corelli's Mandolin ''Captain Corelli's Mandolin'', released simultaneously in the United States as ''Corelli's Mandolin'', is a 1994 novel by the British writer Louis de Bernières, set on the Greek island of Cephalonia Cephalonia or Kefalonia ( el, Κεφαλο ...
'', by the English author Louis de Bernières. The book is believed to have been inspired by the village of Farsa, Greece, Farsa, just outside Argostoli. The love story comprising the theme of the book is set before and after the Massacre of the Acqui Division, Acqui Division massacre, during the Second World War. Captain Corelli's Mandolin (film), A film adaptation was released in 2001. During filming there was lively debate between the production team, Local government, local authorities as well as groups of citizens, as to the complex historical details of the island's Anti-fascism, antifascist resistance. As a result, political references were omitted from the film, and the romantic core of the book was preserved, without entering complex debates about the island's history. In 2005, Riccardo Milani made his TV film, ''Cefalonia'', also about the massacre, with music by Ennio Morricone.


Museums

* Korgialeneios Museum (under the Korgialeneios Library) in Argostoli * Kosmetatos Foundation in Argostoli * Archaeological Museum of Argostoli * Iakovatios-Library (and museum) in Lixouri * Museum in Fiskardo * Kefalonia Natural History Museum


Higher education

* Ionian University, Argostoli Campus (Department of Food Science and Technology and Department of Department of Digital Media and Communication) * Ionian University, Lixouri Campus (Department of Ethnomusicology ) * National Merchant Navy, Merchant Marine Academy, Argostoli * The Music School of Kefalonia – Rokos Vergotis Conservatory, Argostoli


Sport


Baseball

* AINOS Kefalonia


Cycling

* AINOS Kefalonia podilatikos omilos 26710-25029


Football (soccer)


Other sports

* Nautical Racing Club of Kefalonia and Ithaca * Natura & Pet – Veterinary pharmacy


Transportation


Harbours and ports

There are five harbours and ports in the prefecture: four main harbours on the island, Sami, Cephalonia, Sami, a major port with links to Patras and Ithaca; Poros, in the south, has ferry routes to Port of Kyllini, Kyllini; Argostoli, in the west, is the largest port, for local boats and ferries to Zakynthos, Zante and regularly to Lixouri; Fiskardo, Fiscardo, in the north, has links to Lefkada, Lefkas and Ithaca. There is room for about 100 small boats in Argostoli, where the port stretches 1 kilometre around the bay, while Lixouri is situated across the bay from Argostoli, on the Lixouri peninsula. There is a road connection to the rest of the island, but driving from Lixouri to Argostoli involves a detour.


Roads

The first larger roads were built by the British in the 19th century. In the 20th century asphalted roads were built, and since 1995 almost all streets connecting villages and beaches are covered with asphalt. Since c. 2000 the Lixouri bypass was built and a four lane street south of Argostoli was constructed. Some important roads include: *Greek National Road 50, commonly Argostoli-Sami Road *Argostoli-Poros Road *Argostoli-Fiskardo Road (with link to Lixouri). *Road linking Poros and Sami


Public transportation

The ferry between Argostoli and Lixouri goes every hour and every half-hour in the season. There are a few bus lines serving the more rural areas of Kefalonia, but often only two times a day. The KTEL (Greece), KTEL bus cooperation offers services from Lixouri, Poros and Argostoli to the mainland.


Airport

Cephalonia has one airport, Kefalonia Island International Airport, named Anna Pollatou (International Air Transport Association, IATA: EFL, International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO: LGKF) with a runway around . in length, located about south of Argostoli. Almost every scheduled flight is an Olympic Air route, flying mainly to and from Athens, although there is an Ionian Island Hopper service three times a week calling at Cephalonia, Zakynthos, Zante and Lefkada, Lefkas. In summer the airport handles a number of Charter airline, charter flights from all over Europe. In December 2015 the privatisation of Kefalonia Airport and 13 other regional airports of Greece was finalised with the signing of the agreement between the Fraport, Fraport AG/Copelouzos Group joint venture and the state privatisation fund. "We signed the deal today," the head of Greece's privatisation agency HRADF, Stergios Pitsiorlas, told Reuters. According to the agreement, the joint venture will operate the 14 airports (including Kefallinia International Airport) for 40 years as of autumn 2016.


Administration

Cephalonia is a distinct regional unit of the
Ionian Islands The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including th ...
region, and since 2019 it consists of three Communities and Municipalities of Greece, municipalities:
Argostoli Argostoli ( el, Αργοστόλι, Katharevousa: Ἀργοστόλιον) is a town and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands (region), Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the mun ...

Argostoli
,
Lixouri Lixouri ( el, Ληξούρι) is the main town on the peninsula of Paliki in the island of Kefalonia Cephalonia or Kefalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά or ), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest of the Ionian Islands i ...
and Sami, Cephalonia, Sami. Between the 2011 Kallikratis Programme, Kallikratis government reform and 2019, there was one single municipality on the island: Cephalonia, created out of the 8 former municipalities on the island. At the same reform, the regional unit Cephalonia was created out of part of the former Cephalonia Prefecture. The seat of administration is
Argostoli Argostoli ( el, Αργοστόλι, Katharevousa: Ἀργοστόλιον) is a town and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands (region), Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the mun ...

Argostoli
, the island's main town. The municipality of Argostoli consists of the following municipal units (former municipalities): *
Argostoli Argostoli ( el, Αργοστόλι, Katharevousa: Ἀργοστόλιον) is a town and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands (region), Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the mun ...

Argostoli
* Eleios-Pronnoi *
Leivatho Leivatho ( el, Λειβαθώ) is a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands (region), Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2019 local government reform it is part of the municipality Argostoli, of which it is a municipal unit. I ...
* Omala, Greece, Omala The municipality of Sami consists of the following municipal units: * Erisos * Pylaros * Sami, Cephalonia, Sami The municipality of Lixouri coincides with the former municipality
Paliki Image:Lixouri paliki.jpg, 300px, The peninsula from southeast Paliki ( el, Παλική) is a peninsula and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands (region), Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform ...
. The regional unit has an area of 786.575 km2. The Cephalonia regional unit also includes a number of uninhabited islands of the Echinades group. They are administered by the municipal unit of Pylaros. The most significant are as follows:


Notable people and residents

; Antiquity *
Cephalus Cephalus (; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). Ancient Gre ...
, hero-figure in Greek mythology, Patriarch of all Kephalonians (Cephallenians) *
Odysseus Odysseus ( ; grc-gre, Ὀδυσσεύς, Ὀδυσεύς, OdysseúsOdyseús, ), also known by the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken ...

Odysseus
of Ithaca, king of the Cephalonians * Epiphanes (gnostic), Epiphanes was born on Cephalonia in the late 1st century or early 2nd century to Carpocrates (his father), and Alexandria of Kephallenia. He is the legendary author of ''On Righteousness'', a notable Gnostic literary work that promotes communist principles. * Gaius Antonius Hybrida, the uncle of the famed triumvir Mark Antony and co-consul of Cicero, who was exiled to Cephalonia in 59 BC. ; Middle Ages to 1800 * Juan de Fuca (Ioannis Phokas) (1536–1602), captain and explorer * Constantine Phaulkon (1647–1688), adventurer, first counsellor to Narai, King Narai of Ayutthaya * Giacomo Pylarini (1659–1718), doctor who gave the first smallpox inoculation outside of Turkey and contributed to the later development of vaccination against smallpox, by Edward Jenner. * Ilias Miniatis (1669–1714), clergyman, writer and preacher. Born in Lixouri * Leichoudes brothers, founders of the Slavic Greek Latin Academy in Moscow * Andreas Metaxas (Greek: el, Ανδρέας Μεταξάς) (1786 – September 19, 1860), prime minister of Greece born on the island of Cephalonia. * Spiridonos Louzis (Greek: el, Σπυρίδωνος Λούζης) (c. 1741–1815), Greek scholar, diplomat, politician and naturalized ambassador of Prussia. * Petros Melissinos Greek: el, Πέτρος Μελισσηνός)(c. 1726–1797) was a General of the Army of the Russian Empire and was widely considered the best Russian artilleryman of the 18th century. ; 1800 to recent past * Giovanni Carandino, also known as Ioannis Karandinos (Greek: Ιωάννης Καραντηνός) was a Greek mathematician and translator of the major French mathematical works in the early 19th century. * Panayis Athanase Vagliano, Greek: el, Παναγής Βαλλιάνος a.k.a. Panaghis Athanassiou Vallianos, (1814–1902) was a merchant and shipowner, acclaimed as the father of modern Greek shipping. * Georgios Bonanos, sculptor * Nikolaos Xydias Typaldos (1826–1909), painter * Photinos Panas, (January 30, 1832 – 1903) ophthalmologist, born on the Greek island of Cephalonia, Spartia. In 1860 he obtained his medical degree at Paris. He was the first professor of ophthalmology at the University of Paris, and in 1879 established the ophthalmology clinic at the Hôtel-Dieu de Paris. * Ioannis Metaxas (April 12, 1871 – January 29, 1941), General, appointed Prime Minister of Greece between April and August 1936, and dictator during the 4th of August Regime, from 1936 until his death in 1941. * Marinos Antypas (1872–1907), lawyer and journalist, one of the country's first socialists * Christian Zervos 1889–1970) art collector, writer and publisher * Mikelis Avlichos (1844–1917) Greek Anarchist ; Recent past to present * Giorgos Kalafatis (1890–1964), founder of Panathinaikos A.O., his family descended from Dilinata of Cephalonia * Spyridon Marinatos (1901–1974), archaeologist * Antiochos Evangelatos (1903–1981), composer and conductor * Dimitrios Loukatos (1908–2003), folklore, folklorist-anthropology, anthropologist and specialist in Greek folklore. * Nikolaos Platon (1909–1992), archaeologist * Nikos Kavvadias, Nikos Kavadias (1910–1975), poet and author * Gerasimos Arsenis, Gerasimos D. Arsenis, (1931– ) politician, former minister of Finance, Defense and Education. * Antonis Tritsis (1937–1992), politician, mayor of Athens * Archie Karas (1950–), a Greeks, Greek Gambling, gambler known for turning a ten thousand dollar loan into million dollars before losing it all * Gerasimos Danilatos, Gerasimos D. Danilatos, physicist and inventor of environmental scanning electron microscope * Athanassios S. Fokas, Department of Applied mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Theoretical physics, Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge * Richard Wright (musician), Richard Wright (1943–2008) from 1984 to 1994, keyboard player with Pink Floyd * Dionisios Vlachos (1964–present), chemical engineer, inventor and director * Anna Pollatou (1983–2014) a rhythmic gymnast; she won a bronze medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics. *Tasia Theoharatos Katapodis (1959 - current); First generation, Greek-American banker, who graduated from Vanderbilt University as the sixth woman in its 147 year history to be Student Government President / First woman named Regional President of a U.S. based bank (Truist Bank) in Atlanta, Georgia. Her parents were born in Komitata, Erisos, Kefalonia and immigrated to the U.S. after the 1953 Great Earthquake on the island.


Gallery

File:Antipata-church.jpg, Church in Russian style, Antipata File:Kefalonia Fae375.jpg, Facade of Evangelistria church File:Druipsteengrot op Kefalonia.JPG, Drogarati cave File:Kefalonias capital (2174702875).jpg, Port of Argostoli File:Kefalonia Fae010.jpg, Street of Fiskardo File:Blick auf Assos.jpg, Assos File:Bell tower of the Monastery of Agios Gerassimos.jpg, Belltower of the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos File:Illari-soullaroi-st.marina 01.jpg, St. Marina in Soullaroi (Illari) File:Pissara and pine-nut salad.JPG, Salad from Cephalonia (local name "pissara")


In popular culture

Cephalonia is the home of Kassandra and Alexios, main characters of the videogame ''Assassin's Creed Odyssey'' (2018). The 1994 novel ''
Captain Corelli's Mandolin ''Captain Corelli's Mandolin'', released simultaneously in the United States as ''Corelli's Mandolin'', is a 1994 novel by the British writer Louis de Bernières, set on the Greek island of Cephalonia Cephalonia or Kefalonia ( el, Κεφαλο ...
'' by Louis de Bernières, and the Captain Corelli's Mandolin (film), 2001 film adaptation of the same name, are primarily set in Cephalonia.


See also

* Sacred snakes of Cephalonia


References


Further reading

* ''Acta Archaeologica'', volume 73/2 (December 2002) is a special issue dealing with the archaeology of Kephallenia. * * * *


External links


Kefalonia Useful Information (PDF)

Municipality of Elios-Pronni



International Airport of Kefalonia

About Kefalonia
{{Authority control Cephalonia, Islands of Greece Islands of the Ionian Islands (region) Regional units of the Ionian Islands (region) Septinsular Republic Territories of the Republic of Venice Populated places in Cephalonia