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Corfu Monuments


The Fortresses of Corfu
Click to Enlarge,   The Fortresses of Corfu

It is here that the Ottoman Turks stopped advancing westwards .

The fortresses and fortifications surrounding the town are a living monument where visitors can go when they come to Corfu town. If you wander around the small cobbled streets, on the fortifications, between the different buildings, if you have coffee or dinner at the various cafes and restaurants, you will experience pictures and feelings.

You will find your soul relaxing on the green scenery and the beautiful old town.

The mind travels to the open sea, searching for old traces. It is looking for the places where took place the battles of the Ancient Greeks, as described by Thucydides , it is searching for Antony and Cleopatra , for the places where the crusaders would stop for a short rest. You can "see" galleys and ship coming back in triumph after the naval battle of Nafpaktos . You can see the Turkish fleet on their last unsuccessful attempt to advance westwards. You can feel the agony of the united Christian fleet, the agony of the defenders . You can hear, in the empty rooms, the orders, the shouting and the celebrations. You can feel through the cobbled streets the prayers of the besieged, the gratitude processions to Saint Spyridon, the " Protector" .

A walk on the fortresses of Corfu town os not to be missed. It is the only place of the world where you can see the history of 2500 years in its most dramatic moments, with just one look .

Arco Bonati,copyrights:View/Copy/Print but not Publish


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New Fortress
Click to Enlarge, New  Fortress

Grandiose , it oversees the Town from the western part, between the Old Fortress and the New Port. It was constructed by the engineer F. Vitelli from 1576 to 1645 and it is almost exclusively   an artificial  hill  which was delimited with the opening of large perimetrical fosses and raised by gathering the material from the fosses.


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Old Fortress
Click to Enlarge, Old Fortress

Constructed on a rocky peninsula, with two typical heights (Corifes), it is the eastern extremity of Corfu Town. It started to be inhabited and fortified after the devastation of the ancient Town (Palaeopolis) after the 6th century and it was the Town of Corfu ( Corifo , Corfu) from the 11th until the 15th century. In the 16th century, the Town took in a way its actual form and the Old Fortress was turned into a military area.


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Achilleion
Click to Enlarge,Achilleion

Myth , imperial luxury and plain natural beauty . The imperial villa of the sad emperess Sissy is the emblem of a whole era .


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Agelokastro Castle
Click to Enlarge,Agelokastro  Castle

Agelokastro is the westernmost fortress of the Byzantine empire and the Despotate of Epirus, which included Corfu until 1267.

It was constructed in the early 12th century, with the transfer of Palaiokastron (the actual monastery of Palaiokastritsa) to a more strategic position . In its prime, it could protect, if necessary, the entire population of the region (4000 people).


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Anemomylos Paxos
Click to Enlarge,Anemomylos Paxos

The historic Lesianitis windmill is circular, with an interior stone staircase and four windows on top, symmetrically constructed. The Mill wa built on a foundation.

For opening hours and visits, please refer to the webpages of the Ministry of Culture

Annunciata
Click to Enlarge,Annunciata

A monument of Paneuropean importance, since it is here that the Latin Nobles who were killed at the naval battle of Nafpaktos ( 1571 ), were buried; this naval battle was the end of the marine threat of the Turks. A few years later the Turks will no longer constitute a threat for the land, either, and the effort of the Turks to expand to the West will come to a final end .


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Archaeological sites
Click to Enlarge,Archaeological sites

Palaeopolis

The archaeological site of Palaeopolis and the Mon Repos is the site of the ancient market of Corfu town, as it evolved from the ancient times till the 6th century AD. The most important monuments of the site are the following: the agora, the doric temple of Kardaki, the roman baths and a pre-Hellenistic round building, which was transformed into a Christian church during the first Christian era.

Temple of Artemis Gorgo (6th b.C) 

 The Gorgon at Corfu Museum,click to enlargeThe unique stone gable of the temple is at the Archaeological Museum of Corfu.
Here, visitors have the chance to see the well-preserved doric temple and the large altar .

For opening hours and visits, please refer to the webpages of the Ministry of Culture

Churches
Click to Enlarge,Churches

Visit the churches and monasteries of Corfu , Paxos and the Diapontian islands . Feel centuries of prayer. Admire the art of popular and acknowledged painters of the post-Byzantine Cretan or Ionian school. Even if you aren't faithful , light a candle in memoriam of those who sought here in these churches hope and strength .


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Gardiki Castle

Gardiki Castle, constructed by the Despote of Epirus, Michael Angelos II in the 13th century AD, who also built Agelokastro, is octagonal in shape and it has got a tower in every corner. What is particularly interesting here is the relics of ancient fortifications inside it, as well as the relics of ancient temples, which are embedded in its fortifications.

Grava Gardiki

 Panagia Velianiton Grava Corfu ,click to  enlarge Grava of Gardiki is a cave, where evidence of human populations of the Upper Paleolithic Era (20.000 BC). There hace been found   tools of pyrites, animal bones etc.

It is in the village of Agios Mathaios, 22km southwest of Corfu town   and very near the Gardiki Byzantine Castle. It offers a wonderful view over south Corfu.

Kassiopi Castle
Click to Enlarge,Kassiopi Castle

It is unknown exactly when the castle of Kassiopi was built .

The Venetians , considering that it would be hard to defend both the castle and the port, blew up parts of the castle and evacuated the village. Few parts of the castle are there to remind of its glorious past.

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Menecrate's Monument
Click to Enlarge,Menecrate's  Monument

Menecrate's Monument is in the Garitsa area  on the borders of the cemetery of ancient Corfu, facing the gate of Alkinoos' port. 

It is a circular tomb, constructed in the 6th century BC . with an impressive archaic inscription, which is considered to be one of the most ancient inscriptions in Greece .


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Monastery of Panagia Palaiokastritsa
Click to Enlarge,Monastery of Panagia Palaiokastritsa

The monastery of the Virgin Mary was founded in 1225 . However, the building that the visitors see today date to the 16th-18th century .

The first buildings seen to have been parts of older fortifications , where comes the name "Palaiokastritsa" (of the Old Castle). It was destroyed by the Genovese in 1403 . It was rebuilt in 1469 and destroyed again in 1537 by the Turks. In 1572 it was built again and it is still preserved with several additions and repairs, like the northern entrance of 1722. 


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Platytera Monastery

It is located at the northern entrance to the town. It was built in 1743 but it was  destroyed   in 1798. It was rebuilt in 1801 and it was completed in 1864 with the bell tower. It is devoted to the Virgin Mary, to Agios Chrysanthos and Agia Daria.

In the monastery there is an interesting collection of post-byzantine icons made by important painters, like G. Klontzas, father Nik. Koutouzis and Sp. Ventouras. It has got an artistic   wood-carved templon  covered with sheets of gold and silver.

 In the monastery there are the tombs  of Ioannis Kapodistrias , the first governor of Greece, as well as of several Metropolites of Corfu.

The Churches of Corfu Town

Corfu town has got today 35 churches in service

Agios Spyridon


Ekklisies Ag. Spiridon, click to enlarge Constructed in 1589 with thw contribution of the Corfiot community. It is the church which houses ever since the holy reliques  of Agios Spyridon, Corfu's patron saint .
The huge belltower of the church is predominant in Corfu Town and you will recognize it as you will be walking through the old town and the castles . The bell tower resembles a lot the bell tower of the Greek church of Venice ( San Giorgio dei Greci ).


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The churches of Paxos

At Paxos, there were 39 churches in 1686, 45 in 1739 and 51 in1781.

Paxos Ipapanti,click to enlarge Today on the island there are 64 churches of which 2 are paleochristianic of the 6th century (Agia Marina - Agios Stephanos at Porto Ozias).
All of them have got architectural and artistic details. Marble temples , doors, windows, bell towers , icons with artistic and archaeological value and remarkable frescoes . They are all   remarkable monuments of the island.


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