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The Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor Centre Will Soon Open its Doors to the Public

Feb 22, 2019
Only a few kilometers from the village of Kardamyli, three traditional stone buildings nestle into an estate full of wildflowers and olive, cypress, and pistachio trees. This is the Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor House, which is expected to reopen its doors to the public in June 2019 for guided tours and organized visits, upon the completion of repair and restoration works.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) supported, as lead donor on the project, a study on the use, operation, and sustainability of the house, then the necessary repair and renovation work. The main objective in this process was to preserve the original character of the buildings and the surrounding space. In five months, the house will be open to the public for tours, and in the near future it will function as a space for conducting educational activities and cultural events open to the public and for hosting researchers. 

The author Patrick Leigh Fermor and the photographer Joan developed a special relationship with Greece, which led them to build their permanent residence in Kardamyli, Mani, where they lived until the end of their lives. The house was designed by architect Nikos Hatzimichalis, in close collaboration with them, and was completed in the mid-1960s. In 1996, they bequeathed the Leigh Fermor House, which is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful properties in Greece, to the Benaki Musem, expressing the desire for the house to be used for the purposes of the Museum and remain open to the public.

Read more about the project here.