Corfu Town Tourist Attractions
Corfu TownThe island of Corfu's chief town is Kérkyra, beautifully situated on a promontory on the east coast and dominated by the New Fort. The ancient city lay farther south on the Kanóni peninsula. Kérkyra is now the seat of both a Greek Orthodox and a Roman Catholic archbishop.
Corfu - New Fort
At the north end of Corfu town is the harbor, with the massive New Fort (16th C.) rising above it on the south. Offshore to the north, 1km/.75mi away, is the island of Vídos.The fort also houses the Museum of Authentic Casts and New Fortress.
Address: Plateía Solomou, Greece
Corfu - Esplanade
From the harbor in Corfu we can either go east along the high seafront road, passing the former royal palace, or southeast along Nikifóros Street, the town's busy main shopping street, to the Spianada (Esplanade), a large park-like area between the town and the Citadel.The Spianada is the largest and one of the most beautiful squares in all Greece.
Royal Palace Museum of Asian Art
In Corfu, on the north side of the Spianada is the former Royal Palace, a neo-classical mansion built in 1816 for the British Lord High Commissioner which now houses the Museum of Byzantine and East Asian Art.The Royal Palace or Old Palace has two gates: St Michael's Gate and St George's Gate. The gates were built by the British in 1823.The Asiatic museum contains a superb collection of Chinese, Japanese and Indian art from the Neolithic era through the 19th century. The Palace also houses the Archives of the Ionian Academy.
Address: Plateía Spianáda, 49100 Kérkyra, Greece
Count Matthias Johann von der Schulenburg Statue
From the east side of the Spianada, where there is a statue of Count Matthias Johann von der Schulenburg (1661-1747), who commanded the stubborn defense of the island against the Turks in 1716.
From the east side of the Spianada, a bridge leads over a ditch (the "contrafossa") to the Corfu Citadel, situated on a small island, with its dilapidated walls climbing up the slopes of a steep-sided double hill (70m/230ft; lighthouse). Son et lumière shows are given here in summer.
Corfu - Old Town
Northwest of the Spianada stands the church of Áyios Spyrídon, with a silver sarcophagus containing the remains of the town's patron saint (processions on Palm Sunday, the Saturday before Easter, August first and the first Sunday in November). To the north of the church extends the old town with its narrow lanes (many silversmiths' shops) and Italian- and Venetian-style houses. To the west of the Spianada, in Theotoki Square, are the former Venetian Theater (1663-93), which since 1902 has been the Town Hall, and the Roman Catholic Cathedral (16th C.), with a Neo-Classical facade. West of this is the former Archbishop's Palace (18th C.), now occupied by the National Bank of Greece.
Corfu Archeological Museum - Gorgon Pediment
From the Spianada Leofóros Dimokratías runs south along the seafront. 200m/220yd along this street, off on the right just beyond the Corfu Palace Hotel, is the Archeological Museum; its most notable exhibit is the Gorgon Pediment (C. 585 B.C.) from the temple of Artemi.From the outside the museum is rather unimpressive, in a modern looking complex which looks more like a small apartment complex.
Address: 1 A. Vraila Street, 49100 Kérkyra, Greece
Corfu - Tomb of Menekrates
500m/550yd beyond the Archeological Museum, on the right in the garden of a police station, can be seen the Tomb of Menekrates (seventh or sixth century B.C.), a low circular structure resembling a fountain-house which was discovered in 1843 during the demolition of the old Salvator Bastion. Leofóros Dimokratías ends at the bathing station of Mon Repos, at the southeastern end of the suburban district of Garítsa.
Corfu - Mon Repos Park
500m/550 yd south of the Cofu Archeological Museum, set in a beautiful park, is the villa of Mon Repos, birthplace in 1921 of the Duke of Edinburgh. North of the park, near the ancient harbor of Anemomylos, now silted up, is the Byzantine church of SS Jason and Sosipater (11th-12th century), partly built of stones from ancient buildings. Some 500m/550yd southwest is the ruined church of Áyia Kérkyra (originally fifth century; frequently destroyed or damaged), formerly the basilica of Palaiopolis, built on the site of a late Hellenistic Agora (second century - first century B.C.). Nearby are the remains of Roman baths.
Corfu - Temple of Artemis
One km/.75mi west of Mon Repos Park, beyond the monastery of Áyios Theodóros, are the scanty remains of a temple of Artemi of the sixth century B.C.; its west pediment, known as the Gorgon Pediment, is now in the Archeological Museum.
Kanoni, Vlakherna & Pontikonisi, Greece
From Garítsa a beautiful road runs 3km/2mi south to the southern tip of a promontory between the sea and Lake Khalikiópoulos, with the tree-shaded terrace of Kanóni. In front are two small islets: on the nearer one, reached on a causeway, is the small monastery of Vlakhérna (17th C.), and beyond this is Pontikonísi ("Mouse Island"), with a Byzantine chapel. To the ancient Greeks Pontikonísi was the Phaeacian ship, turned to stone by Poseidon, which took Odysseus back to Ithaca ("Odyssey", 13,163). On the west side of the Kanóni peninsula lies Lake Khalikiópoulos, now partly drained (airport) and partly marshland (wild ducks), which in ancient times was the island's principal harbor. The encounter between Odysseus and Nausikaa is said to have taken place on the southwest shore of the lake.
Gastouri - Achilleion & Gastouri Mansions
A favorite outing from Kérkyra is to the villa of Gastoúri (15km/9.5mi) and, 1km/0.75mi beyond this, the Achilleion (Akhíllion; alt. 145m/475ft), a villa in Italian Renaissance style built in 1890-91 for the Empress Elizabeth of Austria (d. 1898) and acquired by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1907. State property since 1928, it contains mementos of the Empress and the Kaiser. It has a beautiful park with numerous statues and fine views.
Three km/2 mi south of the Achilleion is the charming fishing village of Benítses, with the remains of a Roman villa. From here or from the Achilleion the return to Kérkyra is on the road along the east coast (17 km/10.5 mi or 10 km/12.5 mi).Benítses is now a tourist resort with tavernas lining the beach.
Ayii Deka, Greece
13km/8mi from Kérkyra on the road to Gastoúri a side road goes off on the right to the village of Áyii Déka (the "Ten Saints"; alt. 206m/676ft), from which it is an hour's climb (with guide; stout footwear required) to the summit of Mt Áyii Déka (576m/1,890ft); magnificent views.
Corfu - Old Fortress
The old fortress of Corfu dates from the Venetian occupation and was constructed in the 15th century.Many historians identify the fortress as the Heraion Acropolis, mentioned by Thycidides. The fortress has been cut off from the land proper by an artificial defensive moat, the famous contrafossa, measuring 15 m deep and from 23 to 40 m wide.
Sound and Light Shows
Sound and Light shows are performed at the old Fortress until late September.
Corfu - Ionian University
The Ionian University aspires to emulate the prestige of the 19th century Ionian Academy. Its departments include History, Foreign Languages and Interpreters' School, Music and Archive and Library Science.In the summer it operates as a Greek language center.
Corfu - Dionysios Solomos Museum
The Solomos Museum on Corfu, located in the restored house where the poet spent most of his life, houses a collection of items related to Solomos personal life and writing career.
Address: 1 Arseniou Street, 49100 Kérkyra, Greece
Corfu - St Spyridon Church
St Spyridon Church has a silver sarcophagus adorned with precious stones. It encloses the remains of Corfu's patron saint.It also has wonderful icons and a fascinating collection of silver and gold votive offerings.
Corfu town celebrates carnival with special festivities and customs on the last Sunday before Lent. Events include a parade of floats and bands, followed by the traditional burning of an effigy representing the spirit of Carnival.
Corfu - Feast of St Spyridon
The Feast of St Spyridon, the patron saint of Corfu, is held on the island on April 15 and 21.
Corfu - Municipal Gallery
The Municipal Gallery of Cofu contains collections of the Samartzis, the Aglaia Papa, and Philippos Makotsis, as well as two works donated by Nikolaos Ventouras.
Address: 1 Acadimias Street, 49100 Kérkyra, Greece
Corfu - Ste Theodora Augusta Cathedral
The Ste Theodora Augusta Cathedral in Corfu town contains the remains of the saint as well as a fine collection of Byzantine icons.
Corfu Byzantine Museum (Byzantine Museum of Antivouniotissa)
The Corfu Byzantine Museum is housed in the Church of Our Lady Antivouniotissa. The museum contains about 90 icons dating back to the 15th century.
Address: Prosfórou 30 & Arseniou, 49100 Kérkyra, Greece
The annual Corfu Festival is held in September. It includes concerts, ballet, opera and theater performances.
Corfu Town Hall
The Corfu Town Hall was built in 1663. It is a splendid example of Venetian architecture.
Villa Achillion - Museum
The Palace was built between 1889 and 1891, as a summer palace for "Sissi", Austria's Empress Elizabeth. The Villa also houses a museum.
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