Lefkada with a history that goes back centuries is of great historic interest. Although it belongs to Ionian islands, the close distance from Aitoloakarnania, made it vulnerable to Turkish. So it had a different historic route from the rest Ionian islands.
According to tradition, Lefkada was named after the White shores and rocks of Lefkata cape.
Lefkada is inhabited since Neolithic Age. Her history started from the end of the 7th century, when Korinthians came to the island. Until then Lefkada was united to the shores of Aitoloakarnania through a narrow isthmus, which was cut by Korinthians. From time to time Lefkada evolved to a trade center.
Lefkada participated in the sea battle of Lefkada, in the battle of Platees and the Peloponesean war.
In 338BC Macedonians, with king Fillips, Great Alexander’s father, conquered the island.
At the beginnings of the 2nd BC Romans took up the island.
During Byzantine period Lefkada stayed unknown.
In 1293 Nikiforos, the archon of Epirus’ Despotato, gave the island as a marriage portion to Ioannis Orsinis. The castle town was built then in order to protect people from pirates. A little later was built inside the castle the church of Saint Mavra, from which the castle was named.
In 1479 Turkish possessed the island. Lefkada is the only Ionian island under the Turkish possession.
In 1684 Venetians conquered Lefkada. They transferred the capital from the castle of Saint Mavra to its current position. It is the time that the island flourishes spiritually, culturally and financially.
In 1797, Napoleon Bonapart catalyzed the Venetian State and Ionian islands were held by French.
In 1810, English prevailed in Ionian sea.
In 1815, after the Convention of Paris, Ionian Islands became independent. The so-called “United State of Ionian Islands”, which was under English commission. In 1864, Ionian Islands adjusted to the rest of Greece.
In 1953 a severe earthquake leveled the whole town. But people rebuilt it and made it one of the most cosmopolitan tourist resorts with international fame.
Worthwhile mentioning is that many great personalities of our latest history were born there. Like Aristotle Valaoritis, Angelos Sikelianos, Spyrous Zabelios, Nikolaos Svoronos and the national poet of Japan Lefkadios Hern or Iakoumi Koizoumi.