The Palace of St. Michael and St. George

Last updated on September 20th, 2020 at 09:23 pm

During the era of the British rule, High Commissioner Sir Frederick Adams in 1819 decided to build a house for him and his family.

But he was a little exaggerated and instead of a house he created a unique palace in a Georgian style, The Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George in Corfu

The building was designed by the English engineer Colonel Sir George Whitmore (1775-1862) and despite its enormous size is elegant and beautiful. It has been described as the best example of regency architecture outside Britain.

It is the largest palace in Greece, second only to the palace of King Otto in Athens,  which today houses the Greek parliament.

The large line of Doric columns has two gates, the Gate of St. Michael and the gate of St. George.

In the garden is the statue of commissioner Frederick Adams made by Corfiot sculptor Pavlos Prosalendis.

Outside it has carved representations of the Ionian Islands and within two rows of Ionic columns surrounding the main hall, showing scenes from the Odyssey.

The first floor is decorated with Corinthian columns.

There are three main halls: the ballroom, the throne-room, and the symposium room.

The palace previously housed the Ionian Senate and is the home of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.

For half of the century, it was also the summer residence of the former Greek royal family. Today it has been refurbished as a museum displaying classical antiquities.

A meeting of the summit of the European Union was held here in 1994.

The building looks over the north side of Spianada square on Iroon Politechniou street and also houses the Asian Art Museum and the Municipal Gallery.

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The Old Historic Buildings of Benitses

Posted in: Benitses All Info 0

Last updated on September 5th, 2020 at 07:49 pm

In Benitses there are some very old and beautiful buildings, some of them more than 5 centuries old.

We tried to collect as much information we could about the most important of them, it was really difficult as most old people who knew about are dead, and the living ones are so old that they can’t remember much or strangely don’t want to talk about.

Here is what we have learned about these houses with the promise to add as much information as we can in the future.

The tall building at the entrance of Benitses old port

This beautifully tall and slim neoclassical building was built right at the banks of the river that embarked at the old Benitses port when the main road that leads up to the old village was a river.

It must be older than 4 centuries old, but details from its early history are not known.

Vandoros old house and Kefalonitis restaurant-1960
Vandoros old house and Kefalonitis restaurant-1960

Owners during the early 20th century were the three Vandoros brothers, Memas, and Aggelos who were traders in Corfu’s Jewish sector, and Spiros who was a lawyer.

EDES, a rightwing partisan group leading by Napoleon Zervas, had its headquarters in Vandoros building from 1945 to 1949, just after the war.

Serafim was a priest living in Messonghi, who later became Archbishop, he was a member of this rightwing partisan group of EDES, he used to go around the area always riding on a horse.

An Italian family with 2 daughters was living on the first floor during the Italian occupation(1941-1943)

In the same building, on the ground floor, and after 1949, the traders Matios and Likouris open a general commercial shop, they sold potatoes, onions, etc. Οnce they have been ripped at the area of St. Jonh of pigeons by a gang of Greeks from southern Albania, their leader was the grandfather of today’s a hotelier in Corfu.

From 1953 to 1958 the ground floor was a barbershop run by Yiannis Kontos(Bourelas) and from 1958 to 1971 was one of the two kafeneions that existed in Benitses before the 80s.

This was the kafenion Skaloma named by the name of the area, indeed the area around the port and at the seaside is called Skaloma.

Benitses cafe Skaloma-1967
Benitses cafe Skaloma-1967

Today the building belongs to Bellos family as they buy it in 1971 from Spiros Vandoros.

The Grapevine Restaurant of Nikos Bellos, or else Klimataria, is operating today on the ground floor.

The other building of the photo – Finanza

The other building of the photo doesn’t exist today, it was called Finanza back at 1941 and used to be the headquarters of the Italian occupation army, many members of the resistance were severely tortured inside this building.

Later it became a restaurant owned by Stefanos Kefallonitis until it was demolished before 1974 when the square of Benitses and the new road constructed.

The building of Township

This house was built almost 3 centuries ago and owned by an Italian noble named Palaviccini.

Later it became the property of Varvitsiotis, a family of famous notaries, and after the death of the last family offspring, it was donated to the state for public use, It is known today as the Varvitsiotis Legacy.

In this building were always the offices of the local municipality, many years ago in a small office at the backside of the building while the rest was used as a customs office.

The first customs officer was someone named Harilaos Pateras, during his duty here he married Lina Kouris, a local girl from the wealthy Kouris family.

The custom office moved to Corfu in 1962.

From 1962 to 1965 a school for young women was working in the building, most of these girls were coming from other villages all over Corfu.

Yes, it sounds strange now, but in Greece of the 60s, there were schools teaching young girls how to become good housekeepers.

This school in 1965 moved a few yards further north in another building for few more years until it permanently closed down in 1972.

Girls were living inside the house and many of those met and got married to men from Benitses.

Today the first floor of the building belongs to the municipality and also houses the offices of Benitses Cultural association, while the groundfloor is hired for commercial purposes.

The building of Pagiatis family

Built by an Italian, later the owner was another Italian named Palermo.

Pagiatis house
Pagiatis house

Then the Pagiatis family stayed there for more than 4 decades and the house today belongs to them.

In this new photo, the house is completely renovated and different from the original building.

Photos with old Benitses buildings

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Angelokastro: The Castle Next to Paleokastritsa

Last updated on September 5th, 2020 at 07:49 pm

Angelokastro (Angel’s Castle) in Paleokastritsa

Corfu, Aggelokastro in Paleokastritsa
Corfu, Angelokastro in Paleokastritsa

Angelokastro was the westernmost outpost of the Byzantine Empire and the Despotate of Epirus to which Corfu belonged until 1267 AD, it is near the village of Krini north of Paleokastritsa next to a monastery.

Built in the early 12th century AD by the Despot of Epirus Duke Michael-Angelos Komnenos the second, therefore the name Angel’s Castle, and in its prime, in an emergency, it could protect the entire population of the region, about 4000 people.

Inside the castle, two large water tanks and the churches of the Holy Archangels and Agia Kiriaki are preserved.

The church of the Archangels was built in 1784 on the site of an older church.

Agia Kiriaki was built inside a small cave and has 18th-century paintings.

Angelokastro(Angel`s castle) saw many sieges but never fell except once to the Venetians after a six-month siege in 1386.

In 1537 only 8 soldiers of his guard with the help of the residents were needed in order to repel the attack of Barbarossa.

The Turks tried again and failed to conquer the Castle in 1571.

The villages around got their names from the soldiers who took pieces of land to settle on when they retired.

Examples are Makris-Makrades, Vistonas-Vistonas, Doukas-Doukades, Aspiotis-Aspiotades, Kabbadias-Kabbadades, etc.

Today the castle is still standing at the top of the rock and it is a strong tourist attraction, a well-preserved piece of history for this magnificent island.

More sights and Monuments in Corfu

Mon Repos Palace in Paleopolis Corfu
| |

Mon Repos Palace is a neoclassical building at the east of Paleopolis, the Corfu ancient city. Built at 1830 by the British Commissioner Sir Frederick Adam in the beginning of the peninsula of Kanoni opposite the... Read More

The Bell Tower of Annunziata in Corfu
| |

Annunziata, a monument of pan-European significance. At the intersection of Evgeniou Voulgareos and Vrahliotis streets in Corfu, is the Annunziata, a church devoted to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary as well as to Santa... Read More

Ancient Corfu Sites of Paleopolis
| |

If you fancy a journey in your imagination explore the site of the ancient city of Corfu, known as Paleopolis (Old City). It was discovered after archaeological excavations during the last century. The city was founded in the... Read More

Ruins of Roman Villa with Baths in Benitses
| |

Roman remains are not something many visitors associate with Corfu, but traveling around you can get glimpses which show you that their occupation was definitely not a quick holiday stop! Many conquerors have left their... Read More

Corfu Blue Bus Routes and Timetable

Last updated on September 16th, 2020 at 03:21 pm

Blue buses in Corfu urban area

Blue bus starting point in Saroko Corfu
The blue bus starting point in Saroko Corfu

The Corfu Blue Bus company has very frequent routes with some villages around Corfu, on the island’s urban fabric.

It connects the city with 12 destinations.

  • Line 7 with Dassia and Ipsos
  • Line No. 2a with Kanoni and Pontikonisi
  • Line 6 with Benitses
  • Line No. 10 with Achilleion
  • Line No. 11 the city with Pelekas
  • Line 8 with Saint John (Aqualand)
  • Line 5 with the villages Kouramades and Kinopiastes
  • Line 14 with Kanalia and Kompitsi
  • Line 4 with Potamos and Evropouli
  • Line 2b with Kefalomandouko
  • And finally, line 15 makes two routes, one to and from the Airport and the other one going to and from the Port.

The starting points are located at two points on Saroko Square and at one point low on Methodiou Avenue.

Click on the pdf for a detailed timetable.

Timetable for 2020

Open the pdf files for timetables

Achilleion-no10
Afra-Ag.Ιoannis-no8
Airport-no15b
Benitses-no6
Ipsos-Dassia-no7
Kanalia-Kompitsi-no14
Kanoni-no2
Koinopiastes-Kouramades-no5
Mantouki-no2b
Pelekas-no11
Port-no15a
Potamos-Evropouloi-no4

See also

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Corfu`s Summer Season
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In the 1970s when Corfu first became widely visited by tourists the season stretched from the end of March until early November. Of course, the island was not full for all those months, but from May15th-September... Read More

Corfu`s Notable Foreign Residents
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Across Corfu Island
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Corfu Town in the Winter
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Corfu Nightlife: Is Corfu a party island?

Last updated on September 5th, 2020 at 07:51 pm

A Night in Corfu

Corfu vivid nightlife

Corfu offers, and always offered, a vivid nightlife, after all, it has always been one of the most cosmopolitan islands in Greece.

There are many lively bars scattered around the town and much more on the tourist areas of the island.

And if you need something really exciting, for instance, to reach the dawn dancing, and meeting people, and enjoying yourself, visit one of the many large nightclubs of Corfu.

These clubs can be found in many places as Paleokastritsa, Sidari, Dasia, Ipsos, Acharavi, Moraitika, and of course in Kavos, a British-frequented spot at the southern end of Corfu, with the most notorious nightlife in the island.

There are, and used to be since the 60s, some good and huge nightclubs at the north of Corfu Town, just after the port, in the Ethikis Antistaseos Street(National resistance street), this part of town used to be called Emporiko(Commercial center).

If you prefer a more peaceful way out you can start your night out visiting one of the hundreds of traditional restaurants scattered in every corner of the island and especially in all tourist resorts.

There are small with special style restaurants in very idyllic parts of the old town of Corfu too if you prefer the romantic atmosphere of the Venetian style Town.

You should not miss the bars and cafes inside the heart of the old town, at Liston, next to the huge Esplanade square.

Corfu Nightlife: Is Corfu a party island?
| |

Corfu offers, and always offered, a vivid nightlife. If you want a more peaceful night out you can start your night out visiting one of the hundreds of traditional restaurants scattered in every corner of... Read More

Mon Repos Palace in Paleopolis Corfu
| |

Mon Repos Palace is a neoclassical building at the east of Paleopolis, the Corfu ancient city. Built at 1830 by the British Commissioner Sir Frederick Adam in the beginning of the peninsula of Kanoni opposite the... Read More

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