The island of poets
Beautiful Lefkada island has a rich culture and tradition. Besides amazing beaches, Lefkada certainly has a lot more to offer. Lefkada is often called an island of poets, since the island is the birthplace of two important national poets of Greece, Aristotelis Valaoritis and Angelos Sikelianos. Now in the capital you can visit the new modern museum dedicated to the poet Angelos Sikelianos. This innovative museum was nominated for the European Museum of the Year 2020 Award.
Poet Angelos Sikelianos
Angelos Sikelianos (1884-1952) was one of the greatest modern-Greek poets. In his poetry he combines Romanticism, Symbolism and Realism. His poetry is under the influence of Greek civilization, the European litarature, and the environment of Lefkada. His first collection of poems was Alafroiskiotos or ,The light shadowed’. Other well known poems are Prologue to Life, Mother of God, and Delphic Utterance. It is worth mentioning that he was nominated for a Nobel Prize in the literature for several times.
Sikelianos devoted himself also to theatre. He and his life companion Eva Palmer founded Delphic festival.The art festival gained international intention. Visitors could enjoy in ancient theatre, music concerts and folklore exibitions. Delphic festival took place in the ancient theatre and stadium of Delphi. The Delphic idea and the spirit of antiquity actualized in 1927 and 1930.
The opening of the museum
The Museum opened its doors to the visitors in October 2017, in the house where the poet was born and lived. The National bank of Greece bought the house, after which was renovated and transformed into museum. This modern museum displays the work and life of the poet in a unique way. The materials related to poet’s work were gathered from different institutions and collectors from all over the Greece. In the museum you will find answers related to Sikelianos poetry, origins of his work, his role in Delphic festival. One part of the museum is devoted to his private life, specifically to two women that he loved, Eva Palmar and Anna Kampanari.
Content of the museum
The museum-house has two storeys, having each room with different theme. On the ground floor you will find a layout drawing of the entire building and information desk. As you are approaching to first floor you will face the large picture of the poet on the wall, followed by his voice. The first room depicts influence of various persons to his literary work. The second room exposes recitals and texts from his poets and editions. In the following room you can see hronologically the most important events and works in his life.
Next room shows entire work of Sikelianos, displaying editions from the floor to the ceiling. Since he was co-founder of Delphic festival, one room is dedicated to Delphic idea and creation of this festival. The last room portrays poet’s intimate life and his relationships with Eva and Anna.
In the museum you will also see the video, in which you can hear the recital from his poem. Museum exibits the clothing of his wife Anna, such as her wedding dress and hand made clothes. You can observe also many other materials, namely photographs, editions, telegrams, correspodence and manuscripts.
Museum Angelos Sikelianos is open during the week, from Tuesday to Friday from 9h–15h. On Saturday 10h to 14h, and 17h to 20:30h. The museum is not open on Monday and Sunday. Admission is free.
In the garden of the museum there is an open space, ideal for events in the summer period, like open theatre.
Other memorable places of the poet
In the park Bosceto (the garden of poets) in the city centre, there is a statue of Angelos Sikelianos. Also near the park, the street that leads to Cultural Center of Lefkada has the poet’s name.There is one more place that keeps memory of the poet. Angelos lived many years on the small islet Agios Nikolaos with his family, where he used to write. The stunning islet with long sandy beach is located close to the entrance of Lefkada island. On this miniature island there is only one building, the chapel of Saint Nicolaos. You can easily visit this place with a small boat from Lefkada town or with an organized private cruise.