Monday, March 13, 2023

Something About Nafpaktos

Port authority.

I recently mentioned Professor Childermass reenacting the Battle of Lepanto in his bathtub last time (The Curse of the Blue Figurine, 61). Where is Lepanto? Surprisingly, several hours west of where the battle occurred. Lepanto is the Venetian name of the ancient city Nafpaktos, found in western continental Greece on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth.

Venetians controlled the city in the 15th Century when it carried the Venetian form of its name, Lepanto. In 1499, the city fell to the Ottoman Empire, which used it as a naval station in the 16th Century. Except for a brief period of Venetian control in 1687–1699, Lepanto remained under Ottoman rule until Greek independence in 1829 [1].

The Venetians built fortifications around the city to protect their shipping interests. This castle sits atop a hill northwest of the town and spreads downward to the port, both of which remain popular tourist attractions. The port includes monuments commemorating the Battle of Lepanto and a statue of Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616).


The celebrated author of Don Quixote (1605) enlisted in a Spanish Navy infantry regiment and was wounded at the Battle of Lepanto. He suffered three separate wounds, two in the chest and another rendering his left arm useless.

Lepanto is also a city in Poinsett County in northeastern Arkansas [3]. Bellairs created a few American towns with European-sounding names in his books, but this one is genuine.

Anyway, after briefly mentioning one Don (Quixote), we'll touch on another (Don John of Austria) later.


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