Only a few of the mansions belonging to the island’s nobility have survived the earthquakes that regularly rattle the island, but their ruins remain an impressive sight to behold.
The façade of “Sarakina”, still standing in the village of Mouzaki, was built in 1845 to resemble a Venetian villa and named after the Saracen (Arab) pirates who sought refuge in the area.
Kallipado village is home to Ambeloravdi Castle that belonged to a family of Peloponnesian bankers while Domenegini Tower, on the Argasi coastal road, is a historic landmark. Theodoros Kolokotronis, the greatest hero of the Greek War of Independence, once stayed there when he sought refuge on the island. There is also a legend attached to the castle. Domenegini, its nobleman owner, used the castle as a base for Zakynthian fighters who crossed to the Peloponnese under the cover of night to join the Greek uprising.
In order to discourage prying visitors and keep his activities under wraps, Domenegini spread a rumor that the tower was haunted; he even had his own people throw rocks at passers-by, rattle chains and scream, giving the tower a name that it keeps to this day: “Devil-House.”