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Month: June 2023

St Dionysius Church, Zante

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Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

The church of St Dionysius is stately, Byzantine, and full of good, old school narrative frescoes: I was impressed by its Creation of the World. The frescoes give away that this is a recreation of a Byzantine-style original. Icons were brought back to Byzantine styling in the 20th century, but frescoes were not revived. The […]

A palace out of place

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Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

As you head further south in Zante Town, the buildings gradually scale down, the streets get dustier, the shops less touristy. And that’s hardly an unfamiliar gradient. Which is why this palatial complex of offices and luxury apartments, among those alleys, makes no sense at all. It pops out of nowhere in an otherwise sleepy […]

St Mark’s, Zante

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Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

The Solomos museum, and next to it the Catholic Church of St Mark’s. Solomos got the Central Square named after him; this square, one block back, is still St Mark’s. Even though the museum was originally an Orthodox church. It helps that the Venetians not have Orthodoxy as their state religion. Greek Catholics exist, and […]

Famous Bamboo Chinese Restaurant

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Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

Greece is a culturally conservative place overall, and there is nothing wrong with that. That includes cuisine. American fast food has been entrenched for decades. Italian cuisine is rather easy to get even in the countryside, and that includes fine dining and not just pizza. They certainly knew how to use truffle oil in Karpathos. […]

In pursuit of Zante serenades

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Posted in categories: Culture, Greece, Music

The marina street front is of course fully tourist oriented, with lots of ads for cruises to island destinations for beach lovers and nature lovers. And I had to overcome yet another prejudice that night. Because depicted is Varkarola taverna , the taverna recommended to me as the best place in town to hear folk […]

The changing icons of Zante

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Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

The icons are throughout the museum, and on the upper floor, as the placards bemoaning the earthquake cease, they are arrayed in chronological order, to tell a story. The Byzantine story may display some variation, but you would need a keener eye than mine to see it. Byzantine icons were highly stylized and highly conventionalized, […]

The frescoes of St Andrew’s Monastery, Volimes, Zante

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Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

The museum features not just entire salvaged iconostases, but an entire fresco chamber from the monastery of St Andrew in Volimes, other side of the island (built 1595). As I noted, frescoes were a feature of late Byzantine churches, which were not included in the Byzantine revival led by Fotis Kontoglou. I guess they were […]

The Post-Byzantine Museum of Zante and its narratives

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Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

In the picture, the statue of the great man in front of the new museum, in the Central Square named after him The new museum is called the Post-Byzantine Museum of Zante. Its subject matter is the period of Venetian and British rule. The 1953 earthquake is everywhere in the museum. It is as much […]

The shade of Solomos

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Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

When a small town in Greece has produced a great person, the shadow of that person weighs heavy on that town. Mostly because that town sees to it that it does. Everything in Sitia is named after the great Renaissance poet Vincenzo Cornaro. Similarly, everything in Zante is named after Greek national poet, Dionysios Solomos. […]

Antisphaerisis

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Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

There is a Hellenic coinage for tennis, antisphaerisis, although you will only ever see it in the name of sports clubs established in the 19th century. Such as the ZAOA, the Zacynthian Sporting League for Antisphaerisis. (Ζακυνθικός αθλητικός όμιλος αντισφαίρισης.) The poster helpfully adds: “Tennis for everybody!” I helped translate a Duden-style dictionary of modern […]

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