Kourkoumelata

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The calamity of the earthquakes of 1953 completely destroyed the idyllic village of Kourkoumelata, much as almost every village in Kefalonia. When the island was cleared of the debris and reconstruction started, it was the dawn of a new age. But, even though the earthquake was an overturn for the rest of Kefalonia, for Kourkoumelata, it was a rectification… The Vergotis family, one of the wealthiest families on the island and which was descended from this particular village, decided to make an unheard of before for the time donation. They would rebuilt the village, under the condition that this would be undertaken according to the rules of aestetics and infrastructure.

So the village was rebuilt with the financial support of Georgios Vergotis, a great benefactor of the island, who distributed the newly built houses to landowners, re organized and reconstructed the village according to the times neoclassical architecture. Reconstruction was based on models of Swiss country settlements and made the village a model. At a time when there was no water and electricity program in any village in Kefalonia, Kourkoumelata had electricity and running water! Great amounts of money went into not just rebuilding the village, but, according to specialists, to transforming it into “the most perfect rural settlement in Europe”-as mentioned in the 1960 issue of “Eptanisiaki Protochronia”. For this project, Georgios Vergotis had the support of his brothers, Andreas, Panagis and Stefanos and his nephew, Rocco Ger. Vergotis. After reconstruction, the new village looked like a Swiss one in style and settlement organization.

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