Author -Gerasimos Galanos                                 

To the south of the peninsula peninsula is the small island, which is named plural, Vardiani. Near there is a rocky island called Parnissi.

It is an inconspicuous, idyllic and dry island, characterized by the elongated part to the east and the large plateau to the west, the so-called Hondris.

In antiquity the island was called Letoia or Letoea and Latoa, perhaps from an altar dedicated to the goddess Leto, mother of Apollo. The historian Loverdos writes that in the historical Meletios he meets the name, Lithia.

The name Vardiani in one version seems to be of Italian origin, perhaps because the island stands as a guard in the bay of Livadi. There is also the version the name comes from the Italian word (Guardiano) = guard-guard. Many argue that there was an outpost on the island of smugglers or pirates, ie guardia, and left her name heritage. As the historiographer Elias Aggelou Tsitselis observes, we can not exclude the case of the naming by the surname Vardanis, as in the Proceedings of the Latin Diocese of the 13 thcentury, the Parthos of Vardanis, who had timors opposite the Vardians, was mentioned as the landowner, there in the plain of Vantzs. It is well-known and historically documented that many toponyms took the name of the possessor of the earth. Opposite the Vardianians there is the place name “of Pathos”, near Tsitseleika. Also in the village of Mantzavinata there was a family of Vardani, around 1750, and it is mentioned in the code of Our Lady of the Sundays. Also, the epithet of Vardanis also refers to old floods of the Mantzavinata in 1652.

It is found in Mantzavinata and the place name Vardanata and Vardinata. According to the historian Spyros Lambros, members of the Vardani family are descendants of Armenian Vardani, who dreamed of becoming King on Tiberius II (702 AD) and was exiled to Kefalonia, where he lived for thirteen years on the island.

According to the article, the island during Roman times and much of the Byzantines should be called Pharos, and it is this island that, together with the other Meliti (Kefalonia), the Apostle Paul wrecked, going 59 m. X for Rome.

The name Pharos is related to the ancient names of Lithos, Lito, Lithia, Lato, as well as to the ancient roots of louk and lycus, such as twilight, shimmering and from all this comes the English word LIGHTHOUSE, which is a lighthouse.

The lighthouse

At the narrowest point of the Vardian Island, what looks towards the opening of the Gulf of Livadi, the Englishman Charles Napier made an imposing lighthouse. Pharos was designed by Navier engineer Kennedy in 1829, which destroyed Italian occupation troops in 1942. It was a 34 meter tall cylindrical structure with a focal height of 28 meters and showed the sailors the four-kilometer entrance of the Gulf of Livadi . In its place is another far smaller beacon to serve the ships. For many, the Lighthouse was built in 1824.

Sacred Monastery of the Virgin Mary of Evangelistria Vardianon

Elias Tsitselis informs us that there was an old monastery of Agios Nikolaos in Chondri. In the middle of the island and to the west there is (now a little naissos) on a hill, ruins of the old man’s monastery of Annunciation. The name of the founder of the monastery is unknown. The oldest date that has been found is that of 1658, when the monastery was destroyed by an earthquake and its rebuilding was undertaken by Abbot Mithrofanis Komitopoulos. The news for those years concerning the monastery, according to an old code, is that: “the monks asked for the monastery to be rebuilt and the old documents were lost and the monastery was often spoiled”. Eventually in 1660 the Doctor D. Kontarini gave permission for the monastery to be rebuilt by Daniel Katsaiitis, who together with the pre-composer Komitopoulos and others cared for the building restoration. Rebuilding does not seem to end altogether, and this is reflected in old documents in which the monks sought resources in other Ionian islands, especially in Corfu.

In 1678 a contract was signed between two Lefkadians and two Mesolongites, who wanted to renovate a “vivari” (commonly a second) winter on the island of Kefalonia to the benefit of the Vardian Monastery. Tsitselis informs us in a footnote that a fish farm has never been on the island. If it existed, it would be at Athera or Fiscardo or in Cuba.

In 1763, the priest, Parthenios Mantzavinos, gave money to the Vardian Monastery to be built in the opposite part, to the south of Paliki, in the so-called Akrotirion, part of the monastery of the All Saints. The temple was built by Meletios Mantzavinos. This location is today called “In the Holy Land”.

The year 1767 was destroyed again by earthquakes and rebuilt to the west of the old place. Abbot of this reconstruction was the founder of the monastery of Kipoura, Chrysanthos Petropoulos and who remained abbot for two years The work of the completion of the temple and the cells was carried out by the chief priest Konstantinos Mantzavinou.

The monastery was completely destroyed in 1867 by the great earthquakes, but again it was rebuilt in the temple and cells. Again, it was destroyed by the earthquakes of 1953. For a few years Priest Gerasimos Markantonatos was the leader of the Rope and a small temple was built and a small roof nearby.

The Vardiani, the small island, located south of Paliki, needs our attention and respect for us to use it properly, without property tendencies and blatant openings. The island belongs to the monastery of Kipoureas and the local church should be the one who will have the first word about his fortune. The Holy Metropolis of Kefallinia several times organized the advent of the faithful during the summer periods, in order to celebrate the celebration of the Annunciation. :

The island needs:

– Planting with suitable plants, such as oleanders, conifers and armirians.

-Use of the monastery’s place.

-Mary visits to the priests and the metropolitan during the summer months

for sequencing

– Clean the surrounding marine area.

– Creating a jetty for approaching small boats and cleaning the path to help with religious, natural and walking tourism.

Notes-Sources

  1. Athanasios Angelopoulos, Klaudiou Ptolemiou Geographical Reflection, Free Thought, Athens, May 1999.

2.Antoniou Miliaraki, Geography Political news and ancient Kefallinia , Athens, 1890.

3.Georgiou A. Petropoulos, Kefalonia’s Notarial Deeds, E. Mlessas Collection (Mantzavinata Code), Athens 1962

4 .. Theseus Tzanetatos, Practitioner of the Latin Bishopric 1264 , Athens 1965

  1. Elias A Tsitselis, Kefallinia Symcta , T. 2nd , b. 345-349.

6.Constantine Antonios Monokrousou, Archaeological Survey- The monasteries in the Prefecture of Pallis, Kefalonia , Lixouri 2008, pp. 7-20.

  1. S. Lambrou, History of Greece , vol. C, p.

Reproduced from kefalonianews.gr

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