"Spinalonga is an arid and barren rocky islet with an area of 8.5 hectares lying at the mouth of the natural port of Elounda in the Lasithi prefecture of Crete. Due to its strategic location, it was fortified and served a variety of roles and purposes over the centuries"1
"In 1903, the Cretan State established a leper colony in the island; its first 251 patients settled there in 1904. Originally, lepers coming only from Crete were deported here. But after 1913, when the island became part of Greece, lepers from the rest of the country also came to Spinalonga. The state was obliged to provide an allowance for each patient. The leper colony had a physician-director, nursing personnel, caretaker, financial department, and a priest.
The ill resided in already existing buildings in the settlement as well as in modern buildings constructed in the 1930s. Patients lived independently in their own space, and were responsible for earning their livelihood. (…) After the leper colony closed in 1957, the islet remained desolate and uninhabited"2
The cemetery of the leper colony was built on the same place of the 16th-17th century Donato Bastion.
Some objects and medical tools belonged to the lepers can still be seen in a little Museum along with some information panels.
- Photos by Melania Stubos moc.liamg|sobutsainalem#| (August 2015)
- Locate the item on this Google Map