Santa Maura (Lefkadas)
The northern tip of the island of Santa Maura (today Lefkada) is situated very close to the mainland, with only a narrow channel cutting the long strip of sand which surrounds this part of the island forming a large lagoon.
From the Diary of Charles Bush Hearn: Unmarried Charles Bush Hearn and 8month pregnant Rosa Antoniou Kassimati arrive on Santa Maura Island known today as Lefkada Island, June 25, 1849.
Today we came to the famous 500 year-old fortress, Santa Maura. Its bulky and mighty walls dominate the entrance to Lefkada Island. A lagoon surrounds the fortress. These waters are rich in plant life as well as native and migratory birds. Behind the fortress, beyond the lagoon, lays the major town of the island, Levkas. The strong walls of the fortress are earthquake proof. They have withstood the tremors over the past five centuries resulting from fortification techniques of ancient times. There are three sides to the fort with seven gun positions which are placed at seven points where the walls jut out. There are special rooms called "ammunition magazines" where ammunition is stored. The fortress is livable too. There is a model city within: houses, schools, offices and a hospital. Underground there are tanks, called "cisterns," for storing rainwater. During the past 39 years of the British Protectorate, all facilities have been modernized."
The fortress, built in the XIVth century retains memories of both Turks and Venetians. In particular there are some cannons, where the name of the manufacturer (Camozzi in Bergamo) can still be read.
The seizing of Santa Maura in 1716 was one of the few victories Venice reported in the otherwise disastrous second war of Morea.
Introductory page on the Venetian Fortresses