Video by Dronakias

Corfu New Fortress: The Venetian Fortification

Last updated on February 16th, 2022 at 11:13 pm

The New Fortress

The New Fortress in Corfu is another example of the exceptional capacity of Venetians in fortification, and an architectural marvel of art built by the Venetians and with the physical labor of the inhabitants from 1576 until 1645.

Venetians due to the permanent threat of the Turks felt that it was necessary to complete the fortifications of the city which meanwhile had been expanded far beyond the existing fortress.

So in 1576, they started the construction of the new fortress on the hill of San Marcos extended south with walls and ramparts reaching the sea at Garitsa bay. Corfu is now all within the walls, it was then that Corfu took the name Kastropolis.

To become a fortress, except of the exhaustive work of the residents, 2,000 houses in particular where now stands the vast Esplanade square, had to be demolished.

The reason for this was not only to find building materials but primarily defensive, the Venetians wanted to create a large buffer zone between the Old Fortress and the city, something that would help better their defense plans.

That is why today Corfu has perhaps the largest square in Europe, the famous Esplanade.

At the entrance of the new castle, we find the emblem of Venice, the lion of Saint Markos, while inside the new fortress is worth seeing the underground galleries, reservoirs, and ammunition depots.

The new fortress also houses the Museum of Ceramic Art, photography, painting, sculpture as well as concerts and other cultural events.

Inside the fortress today, the Naval Station of Corfu in also hosted in a newer building.

Video by Dronakias

The Old Fortress in Corfu Town

Last updated on June 29th, 2022 at 09:20 am

Corfu Old Fortress position

Corfu Old Fortress is the small peninsula at the east of the medieval citadel of Coryfo.

It was originally a natural promontory offering in its rocks protection for the residents of the 5th century AD when the city of Corfu was moved here after the destruction of the ancient city of Corfu by the Visigoths.

Fortifications

Corfu Old Fortress has two tops (koryfes, or korfes), one in the East, where the Tower of the sea was first built by the Byzantines around the 7th century AD, and the West top which is called the tower of the land.

It was fully converted into a fortress by the Byzantines in the 8th century AD and contained all of the small medieval town, as well as military barracks.

The rock was always further reinforced either by the Angevins or later by the Venetians, to protect the city from the numerous invasions of the Middle Ages, and gradually the town grew around it.

Later the Venetians, because of the Turkish threat, strengthened their fortifications, extended the bastions, and dug the moat known as the kontra fossa which separated the fortress from the land and made it an island.

During the last period of Venetian rule, the area in front of the Fortress was leveled by destroying almost 3000 houses, this was made for defensive reasons and that is how Corfu got its very large Esplanade square today.

This way the Venetians created an impenetrable triple line of defense both by land and from the sea.

Buildings inside the Old fortress

Inside the old fortress in 1840 the Doric church of St. George was built by the British as a garrison church.

There were many buildings constructed by the Venetians as it was a small town, but most buildings didn’t survive and have now been demolished, and some that survived are mostly those constructed by the British.

Deserving attention though is the central gate, the bastions of Savornian, Martinengo, and Mandraki, the tower of the land at the West, and the tower of the sea at the East.

Also the English hospital, the English barracks, the clock tower, and the lighthouse.

There is still a prison in place, built by the Venetians in 1786, and later expanded by the British, The military chapel, and the two English barracks of 1850.

The lower building of the British military hospital now houses the Music Department of Ionian University.

The fortress also contains the historical records of more than six centuries of history, the Byzantine collection of sculptures and images of the Byzantine era, and the public library.

At the entrance of the old fortress on the upper Esplanade is the statue of Prussian Marshal Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg, made by the Venetians in his honor after he successfully repelled the Turkish invasion of 1716.

Today the Corfu old fortress is a masterpiece of architecture and fortification art while offering visitors the best panoramic views of the city, its harbor, and over the sea to the mountains of Epirus.

The British Hospital

One of the important buildings that still exist inside Corfu Old Fortress is the British hospital.

In fact, There were two buildings, the larger at the top and between the Tower of the sea and the tower of the land, and the smaller at a lower level. Here we deal with the large building.

It was built by the British colonists in 1814 to be used as the second hospital in Corfu town, as the larger hospital was in the area of Liston.

This old fortress hospital was then able to treat up to 120 patients.

It was used as a hospital most of the time, first during the British domination of the island, later during the 19th century, and later during the first and second world wars.

There was a dark period for the building and the city too during the occupation by the axis forces, the Italians first and the Germans later used it as their headquarters.

Executions and tortures in its chambers turned this life-savior building into a place of death and anguish.

There was a hole in its floor called “kokkaliera” (bone hole) in which the occupiers threw the bodies of the executed or of those who died after tortures.

After the Germans, the Greek army took over the building, the bone hole was sealed and bureaucratic services of the army were housed there.

Unfortunately, the building today is abandoned, and there are legends surrounding the building; it is one of the most haunted buildings in Greece.

Many people say that there is paranormal activity there, sightings of executions, dark figures at the windows, screaming, voices asking for help, or shootings have been reported.

Also a document in a local newspaper in 1982 talks about similar rumors.

We believe that all of these legends stem from the fear caused by the atmosphere inside an abandoned building.

The large empty rooms, broken doors, and glazed windows from where the wind can be heard as screaming and the creakiness of the almost fallen roof can make anybody very very nervous!!!

Corfu Old Fortress Opening Hours

8:00 AM to 8:00 PM

But first, let’s make clear some things.

The Corfu old fortress is a small island with old buildings, churches, old prisons, barracks, buildings with museums, and public services. Here are the main offices of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Corfu, departments of the Ionian University, military services, even a cafe bar, etc.

Therefore, it is not easy to give reliable opening hours as they differ, and also it is not possible to visit some government buildings.

The Old fortress as an area is always open to the public as the main entrance never closes and anybody can walk in and see the monuments from their outside.

Most museums inside, are open to the public from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

The music department of Ionian University is not open to the public but to the students.

The Bell Tower of Annunziata in Corfu

Last updated on February 16th, 2022 at 11:14 pm

Annunziata, a monument of pan-European significance

Annunziata was a church devoted to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary as well as to Santa Luccia, at the intersection of Evgeniou Voulgareos and Vrahlioti streets in Corfu, it was the Catholic Church of Lontsiada as the Corfiots knew it.

Built at the end of the 14th century by the Napoletán captain Petró Capece and dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary since March 25th is the date of the founding of the Venetian Republic.

At the inauguration ceremony where all the nobles of Corfu attended, Petró Capece handed over the church to the Order of the Augustinians, giving Nicolo Russino, a representative of the battalion, a commemorative stick, a symbol of the transfer.

Today the church does not exist, first destroyed by the German bombings on September 14th, 1943 and later, instead of being repaired, it was demolished without a serious reason in 1953 during the mandate of the mayor Stamatios Dessylas.

It is not the only monument in Corfu that has been demolished without reason, the same has happened with the old municipal theater, so did with Porta Reale, the main gate of the old city

Today, only the characteristic bell tower of Annunziata remains stand, which is a monument of pan-European significance, this is due to its relationship with one of the most important events of world history.

One of the greatest naval battles of all time was the naval battle of Nafpaktos in 1571 among the fleets of the Holy Alliance, ie the united fleets of Venice, Spain, Naples, Sicily, Genoa, and Malta against the Ottoman`s (undefeated until then) Turkish fleet.

In the naval battle that took place in the bay of Patras opposite Nafpaktos, the Turkish fleet was completely destroyed, since its 251 ships were sunk or captured, and of the 50,000 Turkish soldiers and sailors over 20.000 were killed.

In Turkish ships also served about 1500 Greeks from the Turkish-occupied Greece who after the battle were released.

Many of the Latin nobles who lost their lives during the naval battle of Nafpaktos were buried in this church, so this is the reason for the historical significance of the monument.
After the demolition of the church, the bones of those Heroes were transferred to the Catholic cemetery.

Among the dead Christians were the Corfiots Halikiopoulos, Kontokalis, Kokkinis, and Petros Bouas.

PETROS BOUAS became the Martyr of Freedom, he had the misfortune to be captured, the Turks dangled him alive and presented his skin as loot to the Sultan.

Today efforts are being made to maintain and emerge the monument, but sometimes plans change, sometimes they are abandoned after they encounter various obstacles such as political feats, impotence, disclaimer …

Who is going to Save Annunziata?

 

Rovinia Corfu: How To Visit This Emerald Beach

Posted in: Corfu Beaches 0

Last updated on May 12th, 2022 at 12:53 pm

Where is Rovinia Beach?

Rovinia beach is located in the area of Liapades in western Corfu just south of the rocky shores of Paleokastritsa.

Small, remote, beautiful, and unspoiled.

It is perhaps the most beautiful of the hidden beaches in western Corfu, considered by many tourists as the top beach in Corfu.

Map with the 5 most famous beaches around Rovinia

Corfu’s western coastal mountain range literally collapses steeply into the sea creating a natural dam of the coast from the interior of the island.
Rovinia, therefore, is accessible from the sea as well as from the land through a small path with steps, about 600 meters long, unlike the other isolated beaches of the area which are accessible only by the sea.

It is deserted, therefore not very crowded, with fine pebbles, little sand, and a turquoise crystal clear sea in a landscape of exceptional natural beauty, it could be a nudist beach.

It is a small petal-shaped beach, almost surrounded by tall rocks on both sides, these rocks at its southern end creating a small but spectacular cave.

Waters in Rovinia are crystal clear, fairly cold, almost frozen, as well as in the whole area of Paleokastritsa, due to the cold streams from the Adriatic that end up on these coasts.
They deepen abruptly so the beach is also suitable for those who want to use the surrounding rocks for diving. Therefore someone has to be careful with children.

There is a canteen boat close to the cave, in the shadow, that comes every day and offers ice cream and refreshments at cheap prices.

How to Visit Rovinia beach

We said already that the beach is easily accessible by the sea by getting a sea taxi from Gefyra beach in Paleokastritsa.

But if you decidе tо go there from the land using your car and foot, you need a small guide as it can be a little complicated.

First, it’s important on your way to Liapаdes Beaсh, to find a supermаrkеt called Athena.
There is a small road on its left sidе which you must follow.

If after 40 yards yоu arrive at a small сrοssroаd – then you are in the right path.

There you must turn to the right, just after the turn you must see a sign pointing to Rovinia. You can take this road in your car with extra care as it is small and with many slops.

After about 300 metеrs there is a small pаrking area where уоu must leаve yοur vehicle and follow the steps down to the beach. Here we are, in Rovinia beach!

A beach worth to visit

We have not visited it yet, but seeing it from the pictures we have the impression that we have been there already, or to be more precise we have found ourselves on a very similar beach many years ago, but we certainly do not remember where.

It is the famous Deja vu, this beach looks amazingly the same in all with a beach we been and exists either in Lesvos or Lemnos islands in the Aegean sea, but we certainly do not remember the place or the name …

In fact, Greece has so many beautiful places that resemble each other.

We hope to be able to visit Rovinia in the near future, in the meantime we try to convince you to visit it, it is worth the effort as those who were been there say, as well as the very positive comments by foreign tourists.

Here are some pictures from Rovinia

Map with Corfu Beaches by Type

Posted in: Corfu Areas Maps 0

Last updated on January 12th, 2022 at 11:56 pm

Here is a new useful map that shows a more complete picture to the users about the type of beach they are going to visit.

This map shows the type of each beach in Corfu, we have the large sandy beaches, the well-organized sandy beaches, the organized beaches with pebbles, then mixed with sand and pebble, the small and isolated sandy or pebble e.t.c.

Just see in the memo how the different types of beaches are separated.

Corfu beaches map by type
Corfu beaches map by type
1 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 48