The Focas-Cosmetatos Foundation in Argostoli, the main town of Kefalonia,
offers two sites open to the public:
The Collections, next to the main Square,
and Cephalonia Botanica, at the edge of town.
Both function as repositories of the island’s cultural and natural heritage,
and as learning environments for the Foundation’s educational programmes,
which are at the core of its activities.
They are both open to the public from May to October:
The Collections from Monday to Friday, 10.00-14.00
Cephalonia Botanica from Monday to Saturday, 09.00-14.00.
The E 4.00 ticket gives access to both.
An audio tour in Greek and English, lasting approximately half an hour,
is provided free of charge at both venues.
The Collections occupy a traditional building next to the main Square, and contain exhibits from the private collections of the founding family, mainly paintings and lithographs, as well as coins and banknotes – all intimately connected to the history
of the Ionian Islands. Among them, two rarities: the flag of the Septinsular Republic
and the version used by the British Protectorate. Also, the complete series of Joseph Cartwright’s “Views in the Ionian Islands”, which depict, in great detail
and with a wealth of information, life in the islands on the eve of the Greek War of Independence.
The important collection of coins and banknotes relates, through a special exhibition,
the political and economic life of the islands up to WW2.
In the small garden behind the building, an exhibition of the destruction caused by the 1953 earthquakes, and an accompanying documentary film, conclude this tour of a civilization that no longer exists.
Cephalonia Botanica, a unique botanic garden for the Ionian Islands, was created by the Foundation in order to collect, protect and promote the local endemic Mediterranean flora; it also serves as an open learning environment for its educational programmes.
An old abandoned olive grove, overgrown with wild plants, bushes and trees, was provided with footpaths, water for its dried-up stream, and a botanist to map out and identify the vegetation. Since its inception, the Garden has been continuously enriched with plants collected in the wild, plants that rare or endangered. Cephalonia Botanica offers special environmental educational programmes to the children of the island, and to visitors an aesthetic environment of peace and tranquility. The small open-air theatre, the meadow and the lake host every summer exhibitions or musical events, thus providing a direct link between nature and culture.
To find out more about our activities, we invite you to visit our upgraded website:
And, of course, to pay us a visit next time you are in Cephalonia.