Corfu’s History is over 3.000 years old and is turbulent and fascinating. Despite the numerous raids, attacks by barbarians, and conquests by Europeans during the medieval period, Corfu has managed to survive and keep intact its Greek identity while incorporating in its culture the best elements of civilizations that have passed from here.
The highlights of Corfu
In 1888 Elisabeth of Bavaria, Empress of Austria, commissioned a summer residence at this elevated setting about 10 km south of Corfu City.This Neoclassical palace was designed by the Italian architect Raffaele Caritto with the hero Achilles as its central theme.The illustrious German sculptor Ernst Herter produced statues inspired by Greek mythology for the grounds (the most famous shows Achilles in his death throes).
Corfu Old Town
A city packed tight between two fortresses, Corfu’s Old Town is a knot of walkable streets and alleys between Venetian and Neoclassical houses painted pale yellow and orange.
Platia Liston Square
Between the Old Town and the old fortress is the esplanade, a long green square that is a remnant of the Venetian fortifications in the 17th century. The Liston, on the Esplanade’s western boundary is an elegant arcade, also from the French period and designed in the style of the Rue de Rivoli in Paris.
Corfu’s foremost church is from 1580 and its Renaissance bell tower is the highest in the Ionian Islands.Hosting the relics of St Spyridon, brought to Corfu City from Constantinople in the 15th century.
Pontikonisi ( Mouse Island )
A small island where a 12th-century Byzantine monastery is crowded by pine and cypress trees.
According to legend Pontokonisi is Ulysses’ ship after it was turned to stone by Poseidon.
Mon Repos Palace is situated on top of Analipsis hill, near the Kanoni area, in the middle of a beautiful setting full of greenery. It was built in 1826 by the British Commissioner Frederic Adams as a gift to his Corfiot wife, Nina Palatianou. It is a small but very beautiful palace with colonial architectural elements.
Paleokastritsa Monastery and Beach
Topping a rugged headland on the northwest coast, Paleokastritsa Monastery dates to the 13th century and is on the site of a Medieval castle that has long since disappeared.The monastery has a small museum with vestments, icons and, strangely, the skeleton of a whale. Nestling just east of the monastery is the exquisite Paleokastritsa Beach.The beach, though narrow, has soft golden sand as opposed to the shingle coves nearby.
Palace of St.Michael and St.George
It is an impressive historical building in the old town of Corfu near the Old Fortes and the sea.It was built in the beginning of 18th century and it was intended to serve as a residence to the Lord High Commissioner Sir Thomas Maitland who was the governor of the Ionian Island at that time.