A Liapades History

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Etsiketsi
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A Liapades History

Post by Etsiketsi » Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:38 pm

For those who don't know me I have been a Member here for quite a while I just don't post as often as other members. I am willing to answer any questions I am able to regarding Liapades or anywhere in the North West of the Island or some of the Mountain Villages.

I have written a potted history of the Village and hope to update it in time. So far I have written three chapters for any one interested enough to read it. I will post them in successive posts.

Rog

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Post by Etsiketsi » Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:43 pm

Chapter 1
The Beginning of Liapades.


Where is 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.

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Post by Etsiketsi » Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:55 pm

Chapter 2
The Churches and Religion.



The Village has six Churches which on the face of it is a large number for a community of around only 1,000. This might give some insight into the religious development of the community. Most of The villagers observe the rites and rituals of the Greek Orthodox faith although other faiths do exist.

Ag. Theckley.

This is one of the Greek Orthodox Churches in the village and was first built in 1450. It was destroyed by invading Pirates and rebuilt and extended in 1936. Every year a festival is held on the church grounds on the 24th September. It is located near to a children’s playground a short distance up from the bus stop.

The church was built on the site of an Ancient Greek Temple and was the original site of the Village Cemetery.


Ag. Anastasia.

This is another Greek Orthodox Church and its origins date from 1600-1650. It is the large church located on the edge of the village square at the top of the village. In recent years it has been restored to its former glory. On 22nd December each year celebrations are held for Ag. Anastasia.

Ag. Nicholas.

This is very small church tucked away in a narrow road winding its way up to the village square and was built in 1753. The celebration for Ag Nicholas is held on 6th December.

Ag. Anastasia Romea.

This was built around 1770 by one of the Mazis family’s who were also known as `Mitseveeni` (see Chapter 1 for an explanation of this). It is located high up in the olive groves. It is only opened twice a year.

Ag Theodorus

It was first built around 1804. Every year a festival is held on the church grounds 2 weeks after Easter. It is situated near to the road to Paleokastritsa by the senior school.

Ag. Odigeetria.

This church is also the home of the Village Cemetary and was built around 1813. It is located near to the road that leads to Gefira Beach and is close to the Gymnasio one of the village schools. The celebration for Ag Odigeedtria is held on 23rd August.

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Post by Etsiketsi » Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:59 pm

Chapter 3.
The Cricketers Taverna / Liapades Beach Hotel.



For many years the more prosperous villagers had two houses. One in the village that was used during the Winter Time and another, the Katikia, that was located away from the village and close to their Grapes, Olives and Fruit Trees. This enabled them to both holiday during the summer months whilst making the task of harvesting their crops easier.

In the 1960’s Lord Glenconner, a member of the Tennant family, bought some land close to Rovinia Beach just outside the village and built Rovinia House. For this he paid the villagers 5 Drachmas per day to haul the stone required in the building. Boatloads of stone were transported from Yefira Beach to Rovinia and then manhandled up the beach to the site where Rovinia House is now sited. He was the first outsider to really visit the village in a meaningful manner.

The Cricketers Taverna began its life as a Katikia; then Nicos and Staphrula Ghoulis decided to convert it into a Taverna both as a business venture and for the benefit of the villagers. On the 1st May 1972 a big party was held to celebrate the opening of the Taverna which at this time had no name, on the day 2,000 Drachmas were taken. This may not seem a large amount of money but we have to remember that monetary values at this time were much different than they are today.

In 1972 £1 was worth approximately 72 Drachmas and for this you could buy 1 Bottle of Wine, 2 Pork Chops, and a Greek Salad it also included a tip for the waiter. An Ouzo would cost you 1 Drachma.

At the time when Greece entered into the European Union £1 was worth 450 Drachmas. Today £1 is worth 1.4 Euros and for this you couldn’t buy one of the original items on a Corfiote Menu. Whether this is a move for the better or not is open to debate.

The game of Cricket was introduced to Corfu by the British Army when it occupied Corfu in the 19 century and the game soon became popular and many Corfiote Teams were formed. A Cricket Ground was established in Corfu Town on the Esplanade opposite The Liston and many games were played on a league basis between villages on the Island.

In the year 1973 Nicos Ghoulis entertained his fist foreign visitors a group of English guests. He had a limited English vocabulary at this time, as he is proud to boast, and this was limited to his welcome which consisted of “Welcome, Jinky, Jinky”. He was proud to boast that “Every Night is like a Family Party” and this was and still is the truth. To reach the Taverna it was necessary to travel by Donkey from the village on the rough track that existed where the present day road runs.

I have attempted on numerous occasions to establish who and what the backgrounds were of the first English visitors to the Taverna. At the time, due to Nickos knowledge of the English language, which is inclined to come and go at will, was limited and this type of information is difficult to establish. By taking artistic licence I believe that the first visitors were probably Officers of the British Armed Forces.

In time news of the existence of the Taverna spread to England and Cricket Teams began to visit playing games against the local teams. They stayed at Nicos Taverna to which the name The Cricketers was later given. Amongst the players who visited The Cricketers were Bill Edrich, Bob Wolmer and the theatrical celebrities Brian Rix and Leslie Crowther. Both Brian Rix and Leslie Crowther were well known for their love of the game of cricket. Apart from the Cricketing celebrities others in the public eye also frequented the establishment among them the leader of the British Labour Party Neil Kinnock and Ted Callaghan MP.

To ensure the comfort of their visitors Nicos, Staphrula and their son Spiros allowed the visitors to occupy their own living accommodation. The family then decided to live in their village house. Over the years the accommodation was extended to cater for more and more visitors. Many of them are still visiting the establishment. In time when Spiros took responsibility for the management of the Taverna he added the Liapades Beach Hotel. In 1988 (the year of my first visit) the Swimming pool was added.

Today when mingling with the guests it is not unusual to discover that many of them have been visiting the Hotel / Taverna for over twenty years. Some of us have been guests for many more years. This I hope you will agree is a testament to the quality of the service and the general friendliness of the Ghoulis family, their staff and the villagers of Liapades.

You can be guaranteed hospitality of the highest order from all of the local people and to ensure that you enjoy your visit to the full I have always found that if you offer the respect to Liapades Villagers as you would expect from others then it will be returned tenfold.

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