An international bestseller which tells the story of Spinalonga, an island off the coast of Crete, the leper colony created there in 1903 and the lives of the people banished to inhabit it's rocky shores until 1957 when the last people left the island.
I read the book several years ago and had always hoped to visit Spinalonga myself one day. During our recent to trip to Crete I was able to tick that box on my wish list and what an amazing place "The Island" is.
We took a small ferry boat across from the town of Plaka which is how the lepers were transported to their new lives.
I imagine the scenery looked very similar then as it did on the morning we made the trip.
After arriving on the island the lepers were led through a short tunnel under the Venetian fort into the main street of the colony. This is the view they would have seen as they came out into the sunshine.
Many of the buildings erected by the Venetians and later the Turks would have been still standing although they made for very rough accommodation and were quite inhospitable.
Can you imagine how it must have felt to be able to see the mainland through this tiny window of your house, which was part of the Fort wall, knowing that you would never leave Spinalonga?
Repairs would have to be made by the lepers themselves with supplies brought over from Plaka or Elounda on the mainland.
|The large concrete block on the left is the Dormitory, the Hospital is top right in the photograph above.|
|the Church has been restored by the Archaeological Service|
The history of Spinalonga goes back centuries and I couldn't even begin to scratch the surface if I tried to tell you it's stories.
So please allow me to share some of the dozens of photographs taken during our visit, some of the information boards displayed in the restored part of the leper village and a link to an excellent website which you can visit if you would like to know more about Spinalonga.