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Town of Zakynthos

The town of Zakynthos is the capital of the island of Zante, Greece also named as Zante. This town is a municipal unit of the Zakynthos municipality since 2011. The Greeks also call it the Chora which means the town, a term used when the name of the capital is same as the name of the island. The town of Zakynthos lies at the east of the island at the foot of the Mpochali hill.

The great earthquake in 1953 left almost everything on the island in a devastated state. Only three buildings survived the earthquake. The entire island of Zante was rebuilt by following strict anti-seismic codes. The town of Zakynthos is almost built from the scratch after this earthquake.

Dionysios Solomos, the Greek National poet was born in Zante and was inspired by the Strani hill of Zakynthos for the National Anthem, ‘Hymn to Freedom’. The Solomou Square, which is the main square in the town, was named after the poet. The statue of Solomos that was built to honor the National poet overlooks the square. Many other buildings of interest are located at the Solomou square like the Church of St. Nicolas on the Mole, the National Bank building, the Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos, the Cultural Centre of Zakynthos and the Municipal Library.

The Church of St. Nicolas is one of the buildings that survived the 1953 earthquake. Built in 1561, it is the only Venetian building to survive through the years. The library building is also a notable building and it has more than 50,000 works. Besides, it has an art gallery and a unique collection of Greek dolls dressed in traditional costumes. The Byzantine Museum is home to many hagiographies from the Byzantine era and also to statues and sculptures from the era.

Besides the impressive churches, museums and other buildings of interest, the town of Zakynthos also offers majestic views of the mountains and vegetation and water. It is the main port of the island and tourists get to enjoy day trips on the boat to visit the Shipwreck Blue caves and many other attractions.

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