Lefkada a great history behind a small island
Lefkada island owes its name to the white cliffs on its southernmost cape, Lefkata. Here is where legend states that the poetess Sapfo took her own life because of her
unfulfilled love for Phaon.
The Corinthians first dredged in the mid-seventh century BC separates the island from Akarnania. However, access is easy, because of the floating bridge which connects the two shores of the channel.
Over the centuries, passed from Lefkada, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines after the Franks and the Venetians, and somewhat more recently the French and English. Finally, Lefkada integrated with Greece in 1864.
The History from the 12th Century until Today
1204: The island was incorporated into the Despotate of Epirus.
1294: Despot Nicephorus I married his daughter Maria to Giovanni Orsini, giving her Lefkada
as a dowry.
1331-1362: The island was captured by the Angevins.
1357: Villagers on Lefkada rose up against Gratianus Zorze.
1362-1479: The family passed into the hands of the Tocci family.
1479: The island was captured by the Ottoman Turks.
1502-1503: Lefkada was temporarily under Venetian rule.
1503-1684: Recaptured and ruled by the Turks.
1684-1797: The island returned to Venetian rule with a short break (1715 – 1716) when the Turks recaptured it. The island capital was moved from Kastro to the Amaxiki plain, the location of the current day capital.
1797: The island was conquered by the French Republicans.
1798-1807: Russian – Turkish domination. In 1802 it joined the Ionian State, the first, small,
semi – independent Greek state under Russian and Turkish “protection”.
1807-1810: Lefkada was conquered by the Imperial Army of France.
1810: It passed to the English who integrated it into the Ionian Island State.
1819: The villagers of Lefkada revolted and people from the island participated in the 1821 Revolution.
1864: Integrated into Greece proper along with the other Ionian Islands.
During the English domination, the Greek language became official, new road networks were built and the town’s water supply was organized and improved. The official English occupation didn’t last for long but the English Protection of the Ionian Islands lasted until 1864. During the English rule and Protection, Lefkada and the other Ionian Islands helped the rest of Greece which was still under Turkish rule.