The Beginning of Liapades.
It lies about 20 km from Corfu Town and about 6 km from Paleocastritsa on the North-West coast of Corfu in the Gyros region. Travelling from Corfu Town you need to turn left towards Gardalades and continue towards Gefira Beach outside of the village.
A community has existed on or around the site of the present village since the pre Byzantine era. This period is debated as being between the years 306 AD and 395 AD. The original settlers of the Village are believed to have come from ALIPA which is part of what is now Paleocastritsa. If you turn left at the Police Station in Paleocastritsa this takes you to what was the original port of ALIPA. The ALIPANS relied primarily on fishing to maintain their lifestyle much the same as the present people did up until fifty years ago.
During this period of history the Mediterranean was ravaged by Pirates who raped and pillaged the villages near to the coast. Some of the ALIPAN people therefore decided to move further in land. A small number of families formed a community called ALIPADES that later changed to Liapades. The reason for the change is unclear but was probably to save confusion with the original community of ALIPA.
The Liapades community is comprised of six main Corfiote families they are Agathos, Bozikis, Ghoulis, Mazis, Ninos and Pagiatis. Over the centuries Bozikis has married Agathos and Ghoulis has married Mazis. From time to time the men have taken wives from other villages so new blood has been injected into the village community.
The origins of the original settlers of ALIPA is unclear, one source has stated that he believes his ancestors came from what is now Albania. At that time the borders of the various Countries were less well defined than they are today so it is a possibility. Another source Nickos Pagiatis believes his ancestors originate from another area of Corfu. There is a village called PAGI in the North-West of the Island. PAGI lies inland from the beautiful coastal village of Afionas about 10 km from Liapades.
To maintain their connections with fishing the ALIPANS set up a fishing base at a beach called Limni which is now one of the favourite tourist attractions of Liapades it can be reached either by water or on foot. To walk to Limni it necessary to turn left off the main road from the village to Gefira Beach opposite the Athena Supermarket and just keep walking south. Limni Beach connects the Corfu mainland with a smaller island about 100 metres offshore it is unique as the beach is open to the sea on two sides. On one side of the beach the water is quite cold whilst the water on the other side is very warm. The new Liapades people supplemented their fishing by growing Grapes for wine making, cultivating Olives and the growing of vegetables for everyday use.
The flat, fertile land north of Liapades provided an ideal spot to cultivate their crops and is still used today. For many years the smaller Tavernas in the village could grow sufficient potatoes to feed their customers during the year.
The eldest son of the family is named after his Paternal Grandfather and the eldest daughter after her Paternal Grandmother. Hence the common Christian names are replicated many times within a community such as Liapades. With only six major family names it is often, therefore, hard to identify the subject of the conversation. For this reason a series Nicknames have evolved throughout most Corfiote villages and in Liapades there is an Agathos family known as “Birlis”, a Ghoulis family who are known as “Sombres”and a Pagiatis family known as “Tsaggaris”.
In Greek Tsaggaris is translated as Shoemaker hence this branch of the Pagiatis family had an ancestor who was a shoemaker. With Saint Spiridon being the Patron saint of corfu many of the eldest sons are given his name this is usually shortened to Spiros or Spiro. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see what a great advantage there is in having this nick naming system.