town of Zakynthos extends in an irregular circle -somewhat amphitheatrical
in the center- across the eastern slopes of the Castle hill.
The devastating earthquake of 1953 and the fire that followed razed the beautiful, old town with its tall mansion-houses and its elegant buildings to the ground. However, Zakynthos emerged from the ruins reborn and renewed. The new town has attempted to retain the style of the old.
A walk at Solomos Square may give you a hint of the pre-earthquake atmosphere. It is a wide-open space facing the sea and surrounded by magnificent buildings with arched windows and arcades, such as the Zakynthos Museum of Post-Byzantine art and the Municipal Library. Nearby is the church of St Nikolas "on the mole", a Renaissance style building of 17th century with Byzantine style belfry. The church is one of the few buildings that have survived the fire of '53. In the centre of the square stands a statue of Dionysios Solomos, the national poet of Greece, native son of Zakynthos.
The Strata Marina (K.Lomvardou), the street that encircles the harbour, is the town's busiest street during summer time. Its innumerable cafes, restaurants and shops of every kind attract visitors and locals. The street starts in Solomos Square and runs as far as the church of St Dionysios, patron saint of the island.
A few streets away from Solomos Square, moving towards the interior of the town, the visitor comes to the historic Square of St. Markos. Here are the Catholic church of St. Markos and the Museum dedicated to Solomos, ╩alvos and Eminent Zakynthians.
From St. Markos Square starts Alex. Romas Street, which runs through the center of almost the whole town and is lined with arcades. This has been the commercial centre of Zakynthos for centuries.
It is worth visiting the church of Our Lady "Faneromeni" and the Church of Our Lady of the Angels, with magnificent works by local and Cretan hagiographers.
Within the same district of Faneromeni you can also find the newly established museum of a well-known Greek writer, Grigorios Xenopoulos, located at the same place where the writer's family house used to be.