Last updated on May 2nd, 2021 at 09:13 pm
At the junction of Eugeniou Voulgareos and M. Theotoki streets, there is the City Hall building that dominates the homonymous square.
The building began built in 1691 and was originally the gathering place for the Venetian nobles of Corfu, loggia di Nobili in Italian.
In 1720 it transformed into a theater. The theater of San Giacomo. It was the first theater in Corfu and the first in the later Greek territory.
Between 1733 and 1893 it became the center of Greek opera, attracting many Italian musicians and composers, many of whom were residents of Corfu and contributed to the local music scene.
The theater was the center for the creation of the Ionian Scholl of Music, its cultural influence was catalytic.
The mixture of Italian and Corfiot music tradition was cultivated by the musicians who created in this theater with the prominent figure that of the Corfu composer Nikolaos Halikiopoulos Mantzaros, who later musically invested our national anthem in poetry by Dionysios Solomos.
The theater mainly performed operas and usually a light type of comic opera known as opera buffa, less demanding and therefore less expensive.
Performances also continued in difficult times, such as in situations of siege, when the performances became tools of propaganda and revitalization of the morale of the inhabitants.
Needless to say, the actors of the theater such as professional musicians, performers, and teachers were mainly Italians from southern Italy, without of course missing the Greeks.
This is where the first Greek musicians and composers emerged and started at a time when music was unknown in the later Greek territory.
At that time Corfu was the capital of the Ionian state, it was considered a political and spiritual center, and especially the San Giacomo Theater had a prominent place on the cultural map of Europe.
The theatrical audience of Corfu had an infallible criterion, in order for a theatrical work to succeed on the European stages, it had to first be able to be applauded in Corfu.
The expression “applauded in Corfu” gave the author the informal permission to present his work in other cities.
Antonio Vivaldi presented here the oratorio Juditha Triumphans written on the occasion of the repulse of the Ottoman siege of Corfu in 1716, and then went to Milan and toured all the major European theaters.
It was the composer’s first major oratorio.
In 1892 the San Giacomo Theater stopped its performances after moving its stage to the old Municipal Theater of Corfu, which in turn unfortunately suffered enormous damage after being bombed by the Germans in 1841 and later demolished to be replaced by the New Municipal Theater, this ugly building we see in the next photo.
The building of San Giacomo since 1903 become the City Hall of Corfu.
See more Sights in 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 ruins of Paleopolis….… Read More
Another example of the high 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… Read More
This was originally a natural promontory offering in its rocks protection for the residents of the 5th century AD when the ancient city of Corfu was moved here after the destruction of the ancient city by the Visigoths.… Read More
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 Luccia, it was the Catholic Church of Lontsiada as the Corfiots knew it.… Read More
10 km south of the city and three kms north of the village of Benitses on the edge of the village of Gastouri sits the beautiful Achilleion(Achillion) Palace.
It was built by Empress Elizabeth of Austria who became known as the sad queen Sisi.… Read More
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 8th century BC by Dorian Greeks from Korinth.… Read More
Due to rich historical and cultural heritage, the museums in Corfu are many and offer a wide variety of exhibits from Neolithic times to the present, there are also cultural museums dedicated to the rich intellectual life of the Ionian Islands, a bright example is Corfu Reading Society.… Read More
On an island like Corfu, with huge rainfall and rich and inexhaustible water table, one would expect that the water supply of the city of Corfu with plenty of good quality water would be an easy task, but this is not the case.… Read More
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 marks on the island.… Read More