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Rock of Lord Byron

Rock of Lord Byron, Interesting Places on Kefalonia, Kefalonia Travel GuideRock of Lord Byron, Interesting Places on Kefalonia, Kefalonia Travel GuideRock of Lord Byron, Interesting Places on Kefalonia, Kefalonia Travel Guide

Back to Top of Rock of Lord Byron PageLord Byron in Kefalonia

Lord Byron reached Kefalonia at the beginning of August 1823 and stayed in Metaxata until the end of the year. He had come to further the cause of Hellenic freedom and he did not expect this would be an easy undertaking when he accepted the London Greek Committee's invitation to represent them. Byron was not a diplomat nor had he the necessary training but he resolved to do his utmost.

Back to Top of Rock of Lord Byron PageJournal in Cephalonia by Lord Byron

Metaxata Cephalonia Sept 28 1823

'On the sixteenth (I think) of July, I sailed from Genoa in the English brig Hercules: Jno Scott, Master. On the 17th, a Gale of wind occasioning confusion and threatening damage to the horses in the hold, we bore up again for the same port, where we remained four and twenty hours longer, and then put to sea, touched at Leghorn, and pursued our voyage by the straits of Messina for Greece. Passing within sight of Elba, Corsica, the Lipari islands including Stromboli, Sicily, Italy, etc., about the 4th of August we anchored off Argostoli, in the chief harbour of the Island of Cephalonia.'
'In the island of Cephalonia, Colonel Napier commanded in chief as Resident, and Col. Duffie the 8th, a King's Regiment then forming the Garrison. We were received by both these Gentlemen, and indeed by all the officers, as well as the Civilians, with the greatest kindness and hospitality, which, if we did not deserve, I still hope that we have done nothing to forfeit, and it has continued unabated, even since the Gloss of new Acquaintance has been worn away by frequent intercourse.'

Back to Top of Rock of Lord Byron PageRock of Lord Byron

'If I am a poet, I owe it to the air of Greece.' This is the translation of the Greek inscription of the plaque at the site of Lord Byron's rock.

Lord Byron's rock in Lakythra village is on a high vantage point with panoramic views of the Livatho area and sea. Next to the rock is another inscription in Greek with English transation. (Click on the picture to enlarge and read).

To find the spot, turn into one of the tiny lanes near Byron's Pizza in Lakythra.

The view is still panoramic but the airport has made an impact on the scenery since Byron's time.

Back to Top of Rock of Lord Byron PageFirst poem by Lord Byron in Kefalonia

Lord Byron made his first entry in his Journal in Cephalonia on 19th June 1823.
'The dead have been awakened - shall I sleep?
The World's at war with tyrants - shall I crouch?
The harvest's ripe - and shall I pause to reap?
I slumber not; the thorn is in my Couch;
Each day a trumpet soundeth in mine ear,
Its echo in my heart- '
end of column

Back to Top of Rock of Lord Byron PageLord Byron lived in Metaxata

Lord Byron stayed in a house in Metaxata near the present day bust of Byron and local church of Metaxata.

In spite of a generous offer from Napier, Lord Byron decided not to stay in Argostoli and moved to the village of Metaxate 10 kms out of town. He moved to a house with wonderful views over to the Ionian sea.
The first floor of the house had a five rooms and a kitchen with an exterior stone staircase leading to an arched landing. The lower floor was mainly used for storage. This house was destroyed in the 1953 earthquake and replaced by a similer house facing the same way.
Sitting on the verandah on the landing of the stone staircase of his house in Metaxata, Lord Byron was inspired by the beautiful village and wrote of the islands, mountains and sea 'with a distant outline of the Morea between the double azure of the waves and skies.'
Byron was serene and content. In his Journals in Cephalonia he wrote to Kennedy 'I like this spot although I do not know the reason and I would not like to leave. Here of course there are not many attractions, neither in the comforts of my house nor the melancholy view of the Black Mountain. There are no contacts with educated persons, nor are there any beautiful women. Yet in spite of all I would like to linger because I feel more satisfied and time passes more pleasantly than ever long before.'

Back to Top of Rock of Lord Byron PageIn the footprints of Lord Byran

Today the village of Metaxata, which was once the seat of the archbishops of Kefalonia, is still a small and charming village with the addition of some new complexes which have been constructed and are advertised through real estate agents.

Lord Byron was fond of horseback riding and rode along the country lanes of the Livatho area sometimes to Keramies, to Dorizata and to Trapezaki. Riding westward brought him to the village of Lakythra from where he would enjoy wonderful views across to Zakynthos island one way and to the island of Dia and its picturesque monastery in the other direction. Lord Byron would admire the stunning sunsets from this location. He would also ride to a seaside windmill south of the village of Svoronata to enjoy the magnificent view.
Byron stayed on Kefalonia for four months before departing to Missolonghi to help the Greek cause where he caught a fever and died.
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