Today's Lefkada town dates to 1684 when the Venetian Morosini 'advised'
the inhabitants of the castle to settle outside its walls. The great seismic activity
of those years and the limited economic means of the Lefkadiots played a decisive
role in the architecture of the houses. The type of house which prevailed in the
new capital was the small, mainly two-storey, timber-framed house with a wooden
balcony and tiled roof, and narrow lanes running in between the houses.
The upper floor was usually constructed of wood and mud and the lower floor of stone, creating in this way an anti-earthquake structure, unique in the world. With the passing of the years and the regular earthquakes, the inhabitants would rebuild their houses with the same materials, taking care that the upper floor was light and covering it with metal sheeting which they would paint in various delicate colours. This technique is still used today and there are many houses in the centre of town which still have this metal sheeting.
The upper window-shutters are movable and painted in a strong green or blue colour. There are no clear influences from Venetian architecture in Lefkada, as in Zakynthos and Corfu and the Venetians did not contribute to the building of the town. The old mansions and the ornate town houses had fireplaces and were built on large plots of land with gardens and splendid outer gates. One typical such house is the celebrated home of Zoulinos family, which today houses the Public Library and Collection of Post-Byzantine Icons of the Septinsular School. The visitor will be able to see many of the traditional houses of Lefkada, such as the home of Skiaderesi family with its pretty balconies, on Dorpfeld Street, in amongst the tourist and other shops.
This extract is cited April 2004 from the Prefecture of Lefkada URL below, which contains images
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