Angelos Sikelianos, the famous Greek lyric poet and playwright, was born on the island of Lefkas in 1884 and has since come back under the light of publicity, not for his poems, but for one of his villas in Greece’s Xilokastro, located near the city of Corinth.
Many Greek architectural styles are beautifully combined in the villa, which was owned by Greek poet Angelos Sikelianos, but has now been transformed into a public space where visitors can enjoy the stunning grounds.
The life of the great Greek poet
Sikelianos was one of the most important lyric poets of the 20th century in Greece, nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949; he highlighted national history, religious symbolism, and universal harmony.
During the German occupation, he became a source of inspiration for the Greek people, especially thanks to the speech poem that he recited at the funeral of the bard Kostis Palamas.
It was he who actually composed the letter that Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens wrote to save the lives of Greek Jews by appealing directly to the Germans. The letter was signed by prominent Greek citizens in defense of the Jews who were being persecuted.
There is no similar document of public protest against the Nazis during World War II that has come to light in any other country in Europe.
In 1907 he met Eva Palmer, who was a Greek linguist, a performer and a choreographer. They were married in the United States and moved to Greece in 1908.
Sikelianos, along with his American wife, had a beautiful villa in a location full of mature pine trees and flowers. After his death, in 1951, the Greek shipowner Spyros Typaldos bought the villa along with the land that surrounds it.
Typaldos decided to renovate the beautiful villa and bring it back to life. His plan was to make an atmospheric Italian restaurant that would operate next to his hotel which was owned by his family.
Angelos Sikelianos Villa, a place full of history and beauty
The building combines three architectural styles: The ancient Greek, the Byzantine and the Venetian. Both Eva and Sikelianos shared a passion for ancient Greece and architecture; in fact, the villa was designed by Sikelianos himself.
The villa hosted some of the most well-known Greek authors and poets such as Karyotakis, Palamas, and Kazantakis.
Even the former Greek royal family spent time there, with King Paul and his wife Frederica enjoying the Corinthian sunshine.
The villa shares a long history of people confiscating the property before it ended up in the hands of the Typaldos family. Italians and Germans took over the property during their occupations, as well as Greek guerrillas during the civil war that followed.
Today, the villa is accessible to everyone for free as the Typaldos family wanted this important chapter of modern Greek culture, a charming place full of history and magic, to be shared with the public.