top of page

On the continent people have good food, in England people have good manners

The big match of the UEFA EURO 2024 is scheduled for next Wednesday at 10:00 PM (Greek time): the Netherlands – England. Besides this crucial battle, both countries have a lot in common. For example, both Northern European countries share a rich maritime history and were major seafaring nations. In the 17th century, the Netherlands and England fought several naval wars, but they were also trading partners.

Furthermore, both countries had significant colonial empires. The Netherlands had colonies in Indonesia, the Caribbean, and South Africa, while England had numerous colonies, including India, parts of Africa, and North America.

In Kefalonia, after the Venetian rule from 1500 to 1797, French rule followed and Napoleon let Kefalonia and the other Ionian Islands fall under French authority at the Peace of Campo Formio (1797 to 1809). In 1809, the British fleet conquered the island and a provisional government was installed in the Republic of the Seven Islands. The British significantly improve the infrastructure:

In 1813 the first architectural masterpiece took place: the longest overseas stone bridge in the world was built to connect Argostoli with the Koutavos lagoon. The design for the bridge, which was built as a wooden bridge but was replaced by stone after more than twenty years, was designed and built by the Swiss Charles Philip De Bosset. He worked for the British Army.

15 years later, in 1828, another symbolic building for Kefalonia and specifically Argostoli follows: the Lighthouse of Saint Theodoros. This white, 8-meter-high structure, inspired by the Doric architectural style, was originally built when Charles Napier was governor of Kefalonia. Completely destroyed by the 1953 earthquake, the light tower was rebuilt in 1964 by the architect Takis Pavlatos, retaining its original, stylish character.

There are many more examples of British influences in Kefalonia. For example, Lord Byron, regarded worldwide as one of the greatest poets and also a huge lover of Greek culture, was a great inspiration for the island in the 18th and 19th centuries. And don't forget the number of English residence living in Kefalonia. This is estimated at over 2,000. Kefalonia has been a popular destination for the British since the 1990s, while the Dutch started to discover the island about 5 years ago.

Back to next Wednesday's football match, the semi-final between Holland and England. For sure, a wonderful battle will develop between the Cheeseheads and the Tea Drinkers, both on the pitch and among the audience. May the best win!

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page