Sights

Museums

National Gallery – Annex in Corfu in Kato Korakiana.

 

The National Gallery in Corfu, is situated in the area Kato Korakiana.

A permanent collection works starting from the post byzantine era and El Greco, includes Eptanesian paintings and paintings that represent the art of the free Greek state up to the end of the 20th century.

Access

 

The National Gallery Annex is 14 kilometers from the town of Corfu, in the Kato Korakiana area, on the Paleokastritsa National Road, heading towards Kassiopi and Dasia.

You can come to the Gallery using the Corfu Bus Service (KTEL): Bus No 7 – Dasia (final destination Katomeri). Starting point: Saroko Square, Corfu

Contact

 

Tel.: 26610 – 93333 / FAX 26610 – 80233

Museum of Asian Art

 

The Museum of Asian Art was founded in 1927 and is owed to a remarkable Greek collector of Asian art: In 1919, Grigorios Manos donated his extremely interesting collection to the Greek state under the condition that a museum would be established in Corfu, specifically in the Palace of St. Michael and St. George.

Some of the most interesting artifacts to be seen in the Museum are the Masks of the No Theater in Japan, dated to the Edo period I1615-1868), the wood-cuts of Kitagava Utamaro from Japan (1753-1806), Chinese porcelain vases of the green group dated to the K’ang-hsi period (1662-1722), Statuettes from China, dated to the T’ang dynasty (7th-8th centuries A.D.), objects made from nephrite (Ch’ing dynasty, 1644-1912) and Hindu wood carving for the 17th-19th centuries.

Address

Palea Anactora (Old Palace) – Spianada

Tel: 26610 – 30443, 20193

Dyonisios Solomos Museum

 

The house where our national poet lived from 1828 to 1857 and where he died is in the town of Corfu and is converted into a museum.

The museum includes his personal items, photographs of his life and his works as well as historical material including old editions of the ‘Hymn to Liberty”.

Address

 

1, Arseniou Street, Mouragia, Old Town

Contact

 

Tel: 26610-30674

 

Archaeological Museum

 

The Archaeological Museum of Corfu hosts exhibits exclusively from the island of Corfu which reveal the island’s everlasting cultural presence in the ancient world. The aim of the museum is to bring visitors close to their ancestors through their creations. Also to present the cultural continuation of the island of Corfu and provide the foundation for all to experience their cultural identity and appreciate the necessity of its preservation.

Address

1, Vraila Street, Corfu

Contact

Tel: +30 26610 30680

 

Historic Buildings

Ricci Mansion at 15, Moustoxydou Street 15

Plati Kantouni (Strada Larga under Venetian rule)

One of the most interesting mansions in the town of Corfu from the Venetian rule era (possibly of the 17th century). Originally it had two floors. Its most typical feature is the portico on the ground floor with its elegant row of arches decorated with the busts men and women, which refer to the decoration of the Loggia. There was a balcony on the second floor above the portico. It was from here that town officials watched the tournaments taking place on this street during carnival. The building has sustained newer additions of floors and is completely altered from the exterior.

Cobici Mansion (1680) at 43-49 N. Theotoki Street (Calle d’Erbe)

In the center of town across from the church of Agios Vasilios. It has the typical loggia on the ground floor, which is common to most buildings on this street and is the main feature of commercial areas around town. According to the inscription on the side it was built in 1680 by Daniel Cobici and was remodeled in 1728; it has been modified many times since then. The interior arrangement of Piano Nobile is very luxurious and the façade is elaborate with decorative horizontal bands at various levels, stressing the axis of symmetry. The loggia has been modified by newer reinforcement efforts.

 

The Old Fort

It dominates the eastern side of town in a naturally defensive location. Under Venetian rule (15th century) it was converted from a peninsula to an islet for defense reasons with the construction of a moat and impressive bridge connecting it to the town.

The initial mid Byzantine fortifications on the two pointed rocks were improved during the 13th-14gh century and the walls were reconstructed by the Venetians (15th-16th century).

The fortified islet was a military and administrative center since the beginning of the 16th century. New defensive structures and new buildings were erected under British rule (1815-1864).

The most important monuments in the fortress are:

  • The main gate, built around 1550 it is flanked by two spacious vaulted chambers (Venetian guardhouses)
  • The Savorgnan, Martinengo and Mandraki bastions
  • Towers towards the sea and the mainland
  • The church of Saint George – basilica in the form a traditional ancient Doric temple, it was built around 1840 and was the official Anglican church under British rule.
  • The Roman Church, a catholic chapel, the prison building.
  • British barracks and the British hospital.

 

At the entrance to the bridge of the Old Fortress is a statue of Austrian Reichsgraf Marshal Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg (1661-1747) who defended the island against the Ottoman Turks in the siege of 1716.

The New Fort

The New Fort of Corfu is built on a hill above the old port and is a section of the first line of Venetian fortifications after the 1571 siege by the Ottoman Turks. It has underground galleries, cisterns and significant fortification. At the New Fort you will see the British barracks, the Ceramic Art Museum and the outdoor theater.

 

CHURCHES

The Church of Agios Spyridon (1589 – patron saint of Corfu)


Agios Spyridonas is a single-dome, wood-roofed basilica with an impressive bell tower, which is the tallest building in town. In the interior of the church you will see the marble temple, frescoes, many heirlooms and votive offerings. The Saint’s relic is kept in a golden shrine decorated with precious stones.

The Church of Panagia Antivouniotissa (Arseniou Street, tel. 38313).

Single-aisle, wood-roofed basilica of the Ionian style, with tall pews, painted ‘tapestry’ on the walls and panels decorated with elaborate gilded wood engravings. The church houses the Byzantine Museum, under the same name.

The Church of Panagia Spilaiotissa (1557 – cathedral since 1841)

It has notable icons by Michail Damaskinos, Emmanouil Zanne, Pagagiotis Paramythiotis. Of special interest is the doubles sided icon of Panagia Dimosiana, 15th century.

Church of Agios Nikolaos dei Vecchi (of the old people), early 16th century.

It served as a cathedral until 1712. It has an exquisite carved temple, among the oldest in town.

Saint Jacob’s Catholic Cathedral (Duomo), 16th century.


The catholic church of Saint Jacob has interesting architectural elements. It was the catholic cathedral since 1632, dedicated to Saints Jacob and Christopher.

Squares

Kremasti Square

One of the most beautiful squares of the Old town of Corfu with its characteristic well in the center, is in front of the church of Panagia Kremasti, in Campielo.

Wells are very common in Corfu squares. This is because before construction of the aqueduct under British rule by Commissioner Adam, the town water supply was from cisterns. The elegant well with relief decoration, was donated to the Community by Antonios Kokkinis in 1669.

City Hall Square

This was the most important square under Venetian rule. Loggia nobilei, (the loggia of noblemen) was in the area where the City Hall is now. It took 30 years to build (1663-1691) and is made of the best material: Sinia rock.

This was the meeting place for local nobles even after 1720 when the Loggia was converted into the first opera in the East. Taking its name from the nearby catholic cathedral, the San Giacomo Theater featured impressive Italian melodrama performances for two centuries.

The theater moved in 1903 and a new floor was added to the building when it became the Municipal Theater. The two main sides are decorated with stone masks and various historic inscriptions and symbols. Above the main entrance is the emblem of Corfu and on the eastern side is the bust of Francesco Morosini with an inscription describing his virtues and accomplishments. The catholic Cathedral and the residence of the catholic Archbishop were built in the 17th century, which now houses the Bank of Greek after serving as a courthouse for a while.

Spianada

The largest, liveliest and most impressive square in the Greek territory was formed from Venetian military fortifications to protect the city during the 17th and 18th centuries.

In the enormous grounds of Spianada you will see:

  • The Maitland Rotunda at the southern end of the Spianada is an unadorned, circular, Ionian style monument erected in honor of the first British High Commissioner Thomas Maitland (1816- 1824), even though his years in office were the harshest and darkest period for the Ionian Islands.

    Rotundas were a very popular type of monument at the time. It is the work of British military engineer G. Whitemore, who also designed the Palace of Saints Michael and George, in Maltese stone. The sculpted decoration is Corfu sculptor Prossalentis. You will also hear it called the cistern, as the monument covered an old Venetian cistern.

  • Enoseos Square with the pavilion where the Resurrection Mass is performed during Easter and the local Philharmonic orchestras mount various concerts and further down the monument in honor of the Unification of Eptanisa with Greece in 1864. Etched on the monument are the emblems of all Ionian Islands.

In front of the bridge leading to the Old Fortress, are the statues of Schulenburg and Guilford. The marble statue of German marshal Mathias von der Schulenburg is the work of sculptor Corradini; it was erected in honor of the Marshal whose contribution was determinative for the defense of the town from the Turks, in the siege of 1716. The statue is made with Carrara marble by Italian sculptor Antonio Gorradini. On the pedestal there is a latin inscription referring to the battle of the marshal during the 1716 siege and creation of statue during the same year. The second statue is in honor of British philhellene Frederic North, Count of Guilford (1766-1827), who reestablished the Ionian Academy under Commissioner Adams; the academy was an important cultural institution that established the Greek language for the first time and operated for 40 years (1824-1864), until the Ionian Islands were unified with Greece.

In front of the Doric colonnade of the Palace of Saints Michael and George stands the bronze statue of British High Commissioner Lord Frederic Adams, one of the most memorable British Commissioners, known for the significant construction projects in town, including the aqueduct. The statue is the work of sculptor Pavlos Prossalentis and the characteristic movement of one hand of the statue towards the water flowing in the small pond that surrounds the statue refers to the important project the British Commissioner bequeathed to the town.

A good part of the square is taken by the cricket field. The love of the Corfiates for cricket, a team game of British origin, is rooted in the British rule era (1814-1864).

Liston

Liston in Spianada is a complex of multi-storied buildings of French architecture, with its typical arcade and venetian lanterns. Under the Venetian rule, only those included in the Libro d’Oro could walk here. The bistros and restaurants of Liston are today the meeting point for most residents and visitors.